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Athlete’s focus influences a season of success

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Junior Thrower T'Mond Johnson in the Quad in front of the LBJ statue
Junior Thrower T'Mond Johnson in the Quad March 2. Johnson has achieved a lot over the course of the school year with 16 top 10 finishes and even a gold medal for outdoor competition.

Photo by Josh Mends | Staff Photographer

The unconditional love and support one receives could lead him or her to reach unimaginable heights. For one track and field athlete’s case, his mother’s support has been present throughout his whole life.

T’Mond Johnson, junior thrower, said his track and field career began at the early age of 12 when he joined his middle school’s team in Killeen.

“I started throwing in seventh grade,” Johnson said. “Once football ended, it was track; I wasn’t going to run, so I’d throw. I didn’t really get serious about it until my junior year of high school.”

Johnson’s high school coaches helped him realize he had a future as a Division 1 thrower while he played football in Killeen.

“In high school, I played football,” Johnson said. “I was on varsity for three years and (by) my senior year, it seemed like I was getting recruited more for track and field. I then decided to go the track route and see where it would take me.”

Tonya Johnson, T’Mond’s mother, said he attended multiple football and track camps.

“As he started going to different football and track camps, he started looking into Texas schools,” Tonya Johnson said. “Some coaches started (to notice) T’Mond (Johnson) as a thrower. He then had an unofficial visit with Texas State and fell in love. I was elated that he chose Texas State because he’s so close.”

T’Mond Johnson sees his family as much as possible, given that Killeen is only an hour and a half away.

“I see my family every other weekend, either they’ll come down here or I’ll go up there,” T’Mond Johnson said.

Family means everything to T’Mond Johnson as his mother has a strong influence on him. He said his mother is his biggest role model.

“My mom is my biggest role model,” T’Mond Johnson said. “It’s just been me and my two siblings and she would always tell us if we had a dream to just go for it. Anytime I hit a bump in the road, she’s always there to pick me back up and tell me to keep going.”

Tonya Johnson travels to as many meets as possible, and T’Mond Johnson is grateful that his mom can witness his greatest accomplishments.

“This year at the A&M meet, I had a big throw and she was jumping around excited, with tears rolling down her face,” T’Mond Johnson said. “I like that she gets to come watch me, it means a lot.”

Tonya Johnson compliments her son’s work ethic and said she knew he would be great from the start.

“He’s very opened minded, and strong-willed,” Tonya Johnson said. “I used to call him my little great achiever, and as soon as I laid eyes on him, I knew that one day he would achieve anything. I’ve seen him really mature and grow to be a great leader.”

T’Mond Johnson proves his strong will every day as a student-athlete trying to balance schoolwork, a social life and track.

“In college, no one is going to be there to push you other than yourself,” T’Mond Johnson said. “When you want to be good at something, you push yourself and either you have it, or you don’t.”

Tonya Johnson has had one word of advice for her son throughout his whole life, a word that will carry on with him now and for years to come.

“My saying to him always is ‘focus,’” Tonya Johnson said. “Even if I’m not there, I’ll be there in spirit telling him to focus.”

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