Hometown All-American: THS alum Ben Johnson earns national recognition at NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships

Ben Johnson looks on during an event this past weekend at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships on the University of Texas campus in Austin, Texas. The Tonganoxie High graduate finished up his collegiate career at Wichita State as an NCAA All-American in the decathlon. Enlarge photo

June 12, 2019

Tonganoxie High alum Ben Johnson has finished a decorated track career Wichita State as the fourth NCAA All-American decathlete in school history.

Johnson finished 14th in the decathlon to earn second team All-American honors Friday at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Austin, Texas.

Johnson finished the decathlon in 14th place with 7,329 points, earning second team All-American honors at Mike A. Myers Stadium on the University of Texas campus. Johnson opened the day with the 110-meter hurdles and ended with the 1,500 meters about 10 hours later.

The THS grad started the final day of the decathlon competition in 11th and moved up into the Top 10 after finishing seventh in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.78 seconds. He took ninth with a throw of 39.68 meters (130 feet, 2 inches).

After a two-hour weather delay, he competed in the pole vault at 14-5.5 and finished the 1,500 meters with a personal best time of 4 minutes, 39.76 seconds. That gave him a final total of 7,329 points and a 14th place overall.

Johnson won the American Athletic Conference title in the decathlon last month as he helped Wichita State to a second-place team finish at the AAC Track and Field Championships at WSU’s Cessna Stadium.

Johnson won the shot put (46 feet, 5.25 inches) and the pole vault (14-11) on his way to the conference title.

He also placed second in the 100, high jump, 110 hurdles and third in long jump, 400, discus and 1,500. In the javelin, he placed fifth.

Johnson also won the 2017 Missouri Valley Conference outdoor title in the decathlon.

Wichita State joined the AAC in 2017 after nearly 70 years in the Missouri Valley Conference.

Johnson’s outdoor success comes a few months after he earned NCAA second team All-American honors after placing 12th in the men’s heptathlon in March at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Ala.

A redshirt senior for the Shockers, Johnson graduated in 2014 from THS with a state title.

Johnson won the Class 4A triple jump title that year at Cessna Stadium in only his second year of competing in track at the high school level.

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