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Jacquelyn Johnson: Rising Heptathlon Star


Jacquelyn Johnson: Rising Heptathlon Star

Jacquelyn Johnson

Andy Lyons/Getty Images
The multi-talented Johnson completed her college career and competed in her first Olympic Games in 2008. Although she dropped out of the Olympic heptathlon following the long jump (the fifth of seven events), the smart money says that the Beijing Olympics won't be Johnson's last.

School days:

Johnson enjoyed a near-perfect college career, winning NCAA heptathlon championships in 2004 and 2006-08. She redshirted in 2005 while playing 17 games for the Arizona State basketball team. Johnson also won three pentathlon titles at the NCAA Indoor Championships after placing second as a freshman.

Familiar faces:

Johnson squared off against U.S. Olympic heptathlon teammates Hyleas Fountain and Diana Pickler prior to the 2008 Beijing Games. Fountain defeated Johnson for the 2004 NCAA pentathlon championship, but Johnson beat Fountain for the 2004 NCAA Outdoor heptathlon title. In 2007, Johnson rallied from behind to defeat Pickler in the NCAA heptathlon final. Additionally, in 2008, Johnson broke Pickler’s Pac-10 championship record with a then-world-leading score of 6,307 points.

On Trial:

Johnson placed second to Fountain at Johnson’s first-ever Olympic Trials, just two weeks after winning the 2008 NCAA heptathlon championship. Johnson, who was coached by 1996 Olympic decathlon champion Dan O’Brien (a volunteer assistant at ASU), earned the 2008 Honda Sports Award for track and field, given to the top women athletes in each of the 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports.

The stats:

  • Height: 5-8
  • Age: 23
  • Birth date: September 8, 1984
  • Hometown: Yuma, Ariz.
  • World Championships: None.


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