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McAlester’s Gavin Johnson – Athlete Spotlight – Presented by BancFirst

Gavin Johnson is a multi-sport athlete that has left competitors in the rearview mirror for the past four years. During this spring’s track and field competition, the 2021 senior has been able to put his blazing speed on full display.

Johnson started running track his freshman year where he qualified to go to the Class 5A state meet in the 300-meter hurdles. Since then, the 6’3 and 200-pound standout has only gotten faster and stronger with the motivation of leaving a legacy on the programs he’s been in. 

“The biggest driving factor in all the things I’ve done in any of my sports is to leave a legacy,” said Johnson. “You see people’s names on lists and boards and plaques, and I wanted my name to be on those too.”

Johnson would ultimately achieve his goal in his final time to wear the gold and black McAlester uniform. At the 2021 OSSAA 5A state championships, Johnson not only won a silver medal in the 100-meter dash and 4×100 relay, but he also brought the baton across the finish line for a state championship and a new school record in the 4×200 relay.  

“There was a little bit of despair at first, because the team in front of us had a pretty handsome lead going into the last straightaway,” said Johnson. “Catching up and passing them to win the championship made it feel way better.”

The state champion has accumulated many accolades throughout the school year, including the Region 6 Male Athlete of the Year by the Oklahoma Coaches Association. Whether it be breaking away from defenders on the football gridiron or sprinting across the basketball hardwood for a chase-down block, Johnson said track has made him better in all sports.

“Track has really allowed me to reap the benefits of staying in the weight room and staying active,” said Johnson. “I think there’s no other sport that shows your athletic ability better.”

The 2021 graduate will soon be using his athletic abilities to play football at the collegiate level for the Pittsburg State Gorillas in the D-II powerhouse league. However, he did leave a message for his younger teammates and future Buffaloes: “Leave your legacy as well.”

“Go out and do better than I did,” said Johnson. “Go out and break records and win championships. Make that the expectation, not the exception.”

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