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As I See It

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Josh Kopsa(l) and Trevor Johnson(r) finish 1 -2 in their 100 meter heat at the Coeur d’Alene Invitational on April 12 Josh Kopsa(l) and Trevor Johnson(r) finish 1 -2 in their 100 meter heat at the Coeur d’Alene Invitational on April 12

Getting Back on Track

How about this winter we seem to be having here in the north woods? Nice huh? Rejoice, because it’s a record setter! Beat the winter of ‘96–’97 for snowfall, by cracky! And you know me, there’s nothing I like better than breaking a record and setting a new standard for all those up n’ comers. But I gotta say this is one record I don’t want to see broken.

I’m sure we’re all tired and frustrated by all the shoveling, plowing and snow-blowing out around our homes and businesses since last November, but think about the frustration and disappointment for our high school athletes who participate in spring sports.

Parents who have sons and daughters who play sports in the spring know directly the impact of the weather this year, but those who don’t probably are not aware. The baseball and softball seasons have had many cancellations as have the tennis teams. The track team has had all home meets cancelled plus two others in Post Falls and Coeur d’Alene. Those seniors who are trying their best to complete their high school careers on a high note have had quite a few obstacles to overcome along the way.

To get the perspective of one of those athletes, I had a chance to talk with one of the top sprinters from the Sandpoint High School Track Team, four year varsity letterman, Trevor Johnson.

Q: Trevor, first of all, what events do you participate in, on the track team?

A: As a sprinter, I may run in any of the events, the 100, 200, 400 and the relays. I prefer the 100 and the 4 x 100 relay.

Q: How has it been this year with all the delays and postponements of your scheduled meets?

A: It’s been hard, and we’ve had to treat some of the meets like a practice instead.

Q: Has it affected your training and preparation differently from previous years?

A: Not really. Our training regimen has included hills, beach running and ladders.

Q: What are ladders?

A: Ladders are when you run a combination of 100s, 200s and 400s all at different percentages of speed or under a certain time. We never run ladders full out at 100 percent.

Q: You’ve only had a few meets so far this year, and they’ve been pretty cold. Do you feel the cold when you’re out there on the field waiting for your event to begin?

A: There’s no real difference for me, I wear the same warm-ups regardless of temperature.

Q: What do you do while you’re waiting for your event to begin?

A: I warm-up, listen to music, and if there’s enough time, sleep.

Q: How is the team shaping up this year, what do you see are team strengths?

A: It’s too early to tell, but there have been some great individual performances this year.

Q: Did you set any personal goals for this year?

A: No specific times, just to run faster than last year.

Q: You’ve been running track for some time, when did you begin?

A: Probably 6th grade at Northside. We had a fun track meet then, and it was great to hang out with friends and just do your best.

Q: Was it then that you figured out that you were pretty fast?

A: Well, I always thought I was fast, quick anyway, from all the years playing soccer.

Q: In 8th grade you had a pretty good experience, tell me about that?

A: I have forgotten all the events I was in, but the thing I remember most is setting the school record for the 4 x 200. It was me, Tarnell Brown, Kyle Gibson and Mat Lawrence.

Q: Does the record still stand today?

A: I think so.

Q: What do you like best about Track?

A: I guess, the elemental fundamental aspect of the competition. Whoever runs the fastest, wins. We’re not playing a game, or scoring points, you have to beat the guy next to you by running as fast as you can. I like the pure aspect of the sport.

Q: In preparation for this season, and being a senior, have you done anything differently?

A: Not really. I started weight lifting a little earlier than in past seasons, but it’s always a mix of running and weight lifting, same as before.

Q: How about diet? Do you eat anything special before and during a meet?

A: I really haven’t found the perfect mix yet.

Q: Has there been any downside to being on the team? School work suffered?

A: No not really. When I was a freshman I would take homework on the bus with me, but I don’t anymore.

Q: Speaking of that, how are the road trips? Separate buses for girls and boys?

A: Well, they’re just like any other bus ride. In the past or the present, we have used both one bus and two separate busses.

Q: When you’re at the meet, do you hear the crowd?

A: Not really. You can hear more on the back side of the track or where there aren’t any bleachers, if some of your individual teammates or coaches are there.

Q: Is there much banter between the athletes when you’re getting into your lanes?

A: Not really. Very little, you know, what are your times, nice race, stuff like that.

Q: Are there any comments you can remember that were memorable or funny?

A: Well, there was this 300lb guy running sprints, and a guy told us that "he eats cats and slaps babies".

Q: Track is both an individual and team sport. How does that work for unity of the overall team?

A: Well, there are the sprinters, the distance runners, throwers and field people. So there are teams within the team, but we all support each other.

Q: The season is half over, do you think you’re positioned well for regionals and state?

A: Yes, there are definitely some standouts this year.

Q: What will you miss most when the season is over?

A: The competition.

Q: Do you plan to continue to participate in track in college?

A: It depends on the college, but, yes.

Q: Trevor, thank you for your time and good luck with the rest of the season and beyond.

A: Thanks.

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Scott Johnson Scott Johnson I was born a poor German child in the suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin on a cold April eve in 1958, on the heels of the greatest event in the history of the state: the hiring of Vincent T. Lombardi to the Green Bay Packers. Hence began my love affair with the game of football and my team in green and gold. Due to my father’s (100%) disability with MS, we moved to sunny San Diego, CA in the summer of 1968 to escape the bitter cold of those Wisconsin winters and its negative effect on my Dad's disease. While in San Diego I found not only my love for beautiful beaches and beautiful girls, but also for the stage. From junior high through college at San Diego State University, I was performing and directing in three to five theatrical productions per year. Between theatre and football I managed to squeeze in distance running as an avocation, competing in numerous 10k races, half marathons and finally the San Diego Marathon. Realizing that the chances of becoming a fabulously rich and famous actor were few and far between, I decided on an advertising career in the newspaper business as my vocation. I began at a weekly publication, then a daily, then the #1 monthly senior publication in the country, Senior World Newsmagazine, where I became their Regional Sales Manager. Looking for a “quality of life” change for our family, my wife I found Sandpoint, Idaho in 1993 and moved here with our son in 1994. I worked for the Daily Bee and then in the car business before finding my niche as Director of Sales and Advertising for Keokee Creative Group in 2001, where I remain today. In the Fall of 2006, Trish found my knowledge of sport, my gift of gab and my theatrical spin on life in the sporting world a match for the River Journal, and I’ve been writing my sports column ever since. Still waiting for that call from Sports Illustrated, though. Of course now that Ric Reilly has retired, maybe there’s a chance…

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