2024 Northwest Herald Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year: Huntley’s Dominique Johnson

Red Raiders junior won Class 3A triple jump state title and ran on 4x200 winning relay

Huntley’s Dominique Johnson explodes out or the blocks as she runs the first leg of the 4 x 200 meter relay during the Huntley IHSA Class 3A Girls Sectional Track and Field Meet on Wednesday, May 8, 2024, at Huntley High School.

The Northwest Herald Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year honor changes hands for 2024, but not households.

Huntley sprinter-jumper Dominique Johnson won the Class 3A triple jump title at last year’s IHSA state meet but did not win Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year because she was up against two of the best in area history in her sister Alex Johnson and Prairie Ridge’s Rylee Lydon.

This time it is Dominique Johnson’s turn. She repeated as triple jump champion, took third in long jump and led off the Red Raiders’ state-champion 4x200-meter relay with Emmy Byers, K’Leigh Saenz and Vicky Evtimov, who finished in 1:38.14.

Johnson, a junior, takes the honor her sister held the past two years (sharing with Lydon in 2023), selected by the Northwest Herald sports staff with input from area coaches.

Johnson jumped 12.25 meters (40 feet, 2 1/4 inches) in the preliminaries and did not jump in the finals since no competitor caught her. Instead, she saved her energy for the 4x200.

Johnson won the long and triples in the Fox Valley Conference Meet and the Huntley Sectional. Her 12.64 jump (41-5 3/4) at the FVC Meet was a record.

Johnson was triple jump state runner-up as a freshman to her sister, who now competes at Arizona State. As a sophomore, Dominique Johnson won the triple jump a few inches ahead of Alex.

With Johnson’s considerable contributions, Huntley almost repeated as team state champion. Prospect took fourth in the final event, the 4x400 relay, to finish with 53 points, Huntley (50) was second and Whitney Young (49) was third.

Johnson answered a few questions about her season and career with Northwest Herald sports writer Joe Stevenson.

Huntley’s Dominique Johnson flies through the air as she long jumps during the Huntley IHSA Class 3A Girls Sectional Track and Field Meet at Huntley High School.

What is your best memory of your track and field season?

Johnson: My favorite part of this track season was the bus ride to and from state. We slept a lot, but when we weren’t sleeping we played a bunch of games, and it was really fun.

How hard is it to do triple jump, where you take off on one foot, land on that same foot and jump, then land on the other foot and jump for the final phase?

Johnson: Triple jump is not that hard after getting used to the motions. It was difficult for my body to get used to landing with so much force and having to get back up after.

Who is your favorite teacher?

Johnson: This year it was Mrs. [Laura] Jenkins who taught pre-calculus honors. She’s the most dedicated teacher because she spends every single day helping students during her only lunch period.

What is your favorite post-meet meal?

Johnson: My favorite post-meet meal is [Raising] Cane’s. It’s always a good reward after doing good at a meet or a comfort food if I did bad.

What is the last really good book you read?

Johnson: I recently read “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I thought it was so good because all of the characters were very real. At some points while reading, I would love the main character Evelyn Hugo, but the next moment she would do something crazy.

Who were three of your favorite Disney characters when you were growing up?

Johnson: One of my favorite Disney princesses growing up was Merida from “Brave.” I thought she was so cool because she used a bow and arrow. I also loved Tiana because I used to live in Louisiana and I would go to New Orleans a lot, so “The Princess and the Frog” reminded me of it. My third favorite Disney character was Wreck-It Ralph. I used to be scared to watch the movie because the villain really scared me, but I still liked Wreck-It Ralph.

Huntley’s Dominique Johnson lands in the 3A long jump Saturday, May 18, 2024 at the IHSA girls state track meet in Charleston.

What sport that you don’t compete in would you be good at?

Johnson: I played pickleball with my mom for Mother’s Day, and I realized that I could be a pro pickleball player.

Who is the most famous person you have taken a picture with?

Johnson: I went to a concert recently of a band called Driver Era, and their opener came out after the concert, so I took a picture with her. Her name is Valé, and I didn’t know who she was before the concert, but now I love her.

If you could train with any coach or athlete for a week, who would it be?

Johnson: Ackelia Smith, from the University of Texas, who won NCAA nationals in long jump and triple jump. Her form is perfect in both of these events, and I would love to learn from her.

What would be your walk-up song if you played softball?

Johnson: “Monster” by Kanye West. I know every single word by heart.

What is your dream job?

Johnson: Being a flight attendant so I could travel around the world.

What do you hope people say about you when you’re not around?

Johnson: I want people to talk about me being very genuine and very funny.

What is your favorite wild animal?

Johnson: I like giraffes because they’re different from any other animal.

What scares you?

Johnson: I’m incredibly scared of bees. If one is ever near me, I’ll run, even if it’s one of the bumblebees that don’t sting. I don’t trust that they won’t sting me.

Have a Question about this article?