Marble Falls High School senior runner Shea Johnson is headed to Ranger College to join the track and cross-country teams.
Johnson signed his National Letter of Intent on May 14 to compete for the Eastland County school, which sits between Abilene and Fort Worth.
“I appreciated all my coaches,” he said and then pointed to Mustangs head cross-country and track-and-field coach Chris Schrader. “This one made me improve even more. The next two years are going to mean a lot for me. My academics and my running will improve greatly.”
He recalled realizing he was “decent” at the sport while running for Marble Falls Middle School coach Brenda Gonzalez. Later, in high school, former coach Anthony Torns helped him develop his confidence.
Then, Schrader took over the cross-country and distance track programs.
“Coach Schrader worked me,” Johnson said. “I looked forward to coming every day. I looked into his eyes and knew things weren’t going to be the same.”
Johnson’s best time in the 800 meters is 2 minutes 5.09 seconds. His best 1,600-meter race finish is 4 minutes 35 seconds. He clocks 10:10 in the 3,200 meters.
Johnson, who will major in agricultural engineering to help with the family ranch, plans to transfer to Tarleton State University in Stephenville after two years at Ranger College.
“Ranger will help with my academics,” he said. “It’ll always be a great experience for the next chapter of my life.”
Schrader said when Ranger head coach Kathy Graham called him about Johnson, she didn’t ask about the runner’s times.
“She asked about the little things. ‘What is he like?’” he said. “’I told her Shea is the first at practice, the first kid who shows up, and he does things without being asked. I’m proud of Shea for how he represented Marble Falls High School. Every year, he’s gotten better. He’s scratching the surface.”