Nashville, Tenn. – Earlier this month, hundreds of Tennessee State students assembled in the amphitheater to find out which one of those among them had been selected to TSU’s Student Government Association.
Dr. Samuels read off the results of the various appointments before reaching the winner of Mr. TSU. He let the suspense build before ultimately delivering the news that the TSU track team’s very own Michael Johnson had won.
“I was really nervous,” Johnson said about the moments that led up to his election. “After I heard my name I let out a sigh of relief, but then it was straight to practice.”
Johnson has been a main contributor to the Flying Tigers’ success the past three seasons and winning Mr. TSU was yet another milestone on his impressive collegiate career.
“My main goal as a freshman was to make the podium at the OVC Championship, and I did that [in the 4x400 meter]. As a sophomore, I wanted to get an internship and I did that by getting a job at the Metropolitan Police Department. I got another internship as a junior… just looking back on everything, I am truly grateful to be in this position,” Johnson said.
Johnson accomplished another goal in being named Mr. TSU, but it is a title that requires a lot of responsibility in addition to his duties on the track and, especially, in the classroom.
However, it is designation that Johnson felt strongly about.
“I want to change the male image on campus,” Johnson said. “A lot of people think that a male at TSU is not capable of being involved in community and campus activities, but I wanted to change that misconception. If I can be an athlete and keep my grades up, you can do it too.”
Johnson makes juggling so many balls sound easy, but even he will admit that it takes careful planning and coordination from those around him.
“I believe in structure and communication. The people on student government have helped me out a lot and my teammates on the track team have been supportive throughout,” Johnson said.
Johnson has also been supporting the rest of the Flying Tigers this year, notching 13 top-five finishes including three titles in this month’s Boston-Moon Relays. Johnson won the 400-meter in front of the home fans with a season-best time of 48.95 seconds.
Even with all of his recent accolades, Johnson is staying focused on the task at hand.
“I have accomplished almost all of my goals here at TSU,” Johnson said. “One of the only goals that remain is an OVC Championship and that has always been my top priority.”
Tennessee State will compete at this year’s Ohio Valley Conference Indoor Championships starting on Friday at Eastern Illinois.