Salute to Seniors: White Knoll's Johnny Clemens


Name: Johnny Clemens
High school: White Knoll High School
Event PRs: 16:26 in 5K, 10:11 in 3200, 4:41 in 1600, 1:58 in 800, 51 in 400 (4x400)
Hobbies: Drawing, making music, singing

What was your most memorable race/competition?

Mid State Qualifier, 10th grade. It was cold, it was windy, it was rainy, it was AWFUL.

Out of all your high school accomplishments, which stands out the most?
Getting 16:31 in 10th grade at Low Country Invitational. Even if it was a short course, that gave me a lot of confidence to bring my time down to 16:41 by region the same year.


If you could do it all over again, what would you change about your athletic career in high school? 
Probably a bunch of little things I don't really remember.

What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
The pressures of being number one, and unlearning a lot of habits I'd built up over the years to "protect myself" during races.

What will you miss the most?
My friends from off the team. Running was fun, but it wouldn't have been what it was without my teammates.

Do you have any advice for younger athletes?
Push each other; running's an individual sport, but you won't get better just by keeping to yourself. Step outside your comfort zone; you'll never know what you're capable of unless you try.

How have your coaches influenced your performances and your life goals?
For performances, they've given me good advice and encouragement over the years. For life goals, I guess they taught me to not back down as much to opportunity.

What kind of impact did your family have on your time as a high school student-athlete? 
Too much; I don't think I could've done half the things I did without them.

What are your college or post high school plans?
Going to Clemson for civil engineering, most likely gonna run for them, probably gonna start a band.

What do you hope to achieve after high school? 
I'd like to run a marathon one day.

Do you see yourself coaching in the future? Please explain and if so, what level and why? 
I don't. I would be really flaky and passive-aggressive.

Shout-outs?
Bryan Grumbach, for pushing me and encouraging me to do my absolute best. Allie Clemens, for persevering through adversity and being a beacon of dedication. Tyler Rivera; may your father rest in peace. Nick Schirato and Nathaniel Wilburn, for helping to pass the torch. Glenn and Anita Robinette, for spurring me on to greater heights. Mason Morvant, for making my last year fun as all heck. Andrew Emery, for reaching across and helping another runner. Eric Grumbach, for keeping me on my toes and offering much-needed advice. Mom and Dad, for always being there when times got rough and nothing seemed like it was worth it. Joshua Bowers, Weston Hutto, Blake Newcomb, and Jake Mueller. Seth Kurtz; honest-to-God shame he couldn't run this year.

If there is one thing in the world you could do, what would it be and why? 
Hang-glide off some cloud-topped mountain; it sounds exciting, and I love clouds and fog.

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