Event: Pole Vault
PR: 5.98m, 19-7.5 (1996)
Born: May 7, 1974, in Norfolk, Va.
Current Residence: Knoxville, Tenn.
High School: Great Bridge HS, Chesapeake, Va. '92
College: Tennessee '96
Coach: Roman Botcharnikov
Agent: Emanuel Hudson
Career Highlights: 2001 World Indoor gold medalist; 2000 Olympic silver medalist; 3-time U.S. Indoor Champion (1997, 2000, '01); 4-time U.S. Outdoor Champion ('96, '97, '00, '01); 1997 World Indoor silver medalist; four-time NCAA Champion
Other than his no-height performance at the USA Outdoor Championships, Johnson did not compete in 2003 after a series of injuries sustained the previous year left him unable to compete. During the 2002 season, Johnson sustained a severe left ankle sprain, which was followed by torn cartilage in his left knee. Following an arthroscopic procedure to repair the torn cartilage in October 2002, Johnson discovered that a sore shoulder problem he was experiencing for an extended period of time was getting progressively worse. An examination discovered that Johnson had torn the rotator cuff in his shoulder, which was subsequently repaired by surgery in October of 2002. Johnson decided to take the majority of the 2003 season off from track & field to work for his father-in-laws company, Bailey Construction in Knoxville, Tenn. Having recently resumed his training, Johnson is now looking to regain his world class pole vault form in 2004, with hopes of making his third U.S. Olympic Team. Johnsons father, also Lawrence Johnson, was a 400m hurdler for Norfolk State. Initially, Johnson had intended to be a hurdler as well, but his high school coach, Floyd Conley, told him to try other events because the school already had four of the states best hurdlers... coached by Bill Webb while at Tennessee, Johnson missed the pit on a bad vault in May of 1994 and tore tendons from the bone of his left foot and ankle. He began working with coach Jim Bemiller in 1996... was injured on his birthday in 1998, getting a third degree ankle sprain while filming a commercial for adidas which caused him to miss training for six weeks. During his 1994 injury lay-off, he pursued his interests in music: instrumental, R&B, pop-type vocals, etc...has started an entertainment production company and released his first CD locally in December 1998, Masquerade. He describes it as motivational instrumental music. Johnson joined with tennis great John McEnroe, Jon Drummond and soccer star Alexei Lalas to sing backup for Bryan Adams at the World Sports Awards January 13, 2000 at Royal Albert Hall in London...recently finished cutting his first vocal solo album, an R&B CD titled, It May Be Right. ... Athletically, My goal is to be the best in the world. If people shoot low, theyre not maximizing their abilities. I know what I can do...adds that its exciting to see more young African Americans trying the vault: It feels great to be spearheading a movement...says struggling with injury in 1998 was very revealing. Ive always felt like I was the best athlete among the pole vaulters. Ive realized that technique and getting through the training is far more important. Ive restructured my training with that in mind...has been working on his speed with HSI coach John Smith...broke American record indoors in 2001 with 5.96m/19-6.5 won 2001 GST Open at Princeton Invitational after bouncing out of the pit and landing on his hip during a practice vault. Johnson limped throughout the competition but won regardless2001 season ended with a broken right fibula sustained in winning U.S. Outdoor title in Eugenestruggled with ankle problems indoors in 2002 was an accomplished decathlete in college, winning a Southeastern Conference title in 1993 and posting a score of 7576 wife, Christina, is a native of Brazil official website is www.lojoentertainment.com.
at Olympic Trials1st in Knoxville (5.65m/18-6.5)best of
2003: No-height at USA Outdoors.
2002: 8th at USA Outdoors (5.64m/18-6)1st in Knoxville indoors (5.80/19-0.25)3rd at adidas Boston Indoor Games (5.70m/18-8.5)2nd at Millrose Games (5.70m/18-8.5)10th at Lausanne (5.70m/18-8.5)ranked #7 in U.Sbest 5.70m/18-8.5.
2001: USA Outdoor champ (5.85/19-2.25)World Indoor gold medalist (5.95m/19-6.25)USA Indoor champ in new American record of (5.96/19-6.50)1st at Verizon Millrose Games (5.70/18-8.25) won GST Open at Princeton Invitational (5.85/19-2.25)season ended with broken right fibula sustained in winning U.S. Outdoor titleranked #5 in world, #2 in U.S. by T&FNbest of 5.90m/19-4.25 (4th best in the world in 2001, and equals U.S. seasonal best mark).
2000: Olympic silver medalist (5.90/19-4.25)...Won USA Indoors (5.81/19-0.75)...won Olympic Trials for second-straight time (5.83/19-1.5)... ranked 6th in the world (2nd U.S.) by T&FN...best of 5.90/19-4.25.
1999: Did not compete at USA Outdoor Champs (broke ankle in a motorcycle accident)...best of 5.90/19-2.25.
1998: Won the Rieti GP meet (19-00.25)...no heighted at USA Outdoor Champs...ranked #9 in world (#2 in U.S.) by T&FN...best of 19-0.25.
1997: Won USA Indoors (19-2.25)...silver medal at World Indoors (19-2.25)...won USA Outdoor Champs (19-4.25)...no height in the finals at the World Outdoor Champs...ranked #7 in world (#2 in U.S.) by T&FN...best of 19-4.25.
1996: Won Olympic Trials (19-0.25)...8th in Olympic Games (18-8.25)...8th in USA Indoors...won NCAA Indoors (18-6.5)...won PV at SEC, plus 2nd in decathlon...set American record of 19-7.5 in Knoxville on May 25...won NCAA Outdoors (19-1)... ranked #2 in U.S. by T&FN... best of 19-7.5, also a 6921 decathlon.
1995: Won SEC PV...won NCAA Outdoors (18-8.25)...5th at USA Outdoor Champs...silver medal at World University Games... no height at NCAA Indoors...ranked #6 in U.S. by T&FN...best of 18-8.25.
1994: Won NCAA Indoor (19-1.5 CR)...won PV at SEC, plus 3rd in decathlon...no height at NCAA Outdoors...best of 19-1.5, also a 7318w decathlon.
1993: 2nd at NCAA Indoor (18-0.5)...won decathlon at SEC meet... placed 9th at NCAAs...no height in the Qualifying at the USA Outdoor Champs... won PV at USA Juniors... gold at Pan-Am Juniors...best of 18-8.75, also a 7576 decathlon.
1992: National Scholastic champion indoors and outdoors, both times clearing 16-0...Virginia state HS champion...HS Athlete of the Year for Virginia...best of 17-6.
1991: Virginia state HS champion...best of 16-0.