Last year, Prosper head coach Jennifer Gegogeine took a serious hit to her girls cross country program. The new school in the district opened and several of her senior class runner transferred. The transfer list included a couple of seniors who had been important members of the squads that qualified for the Nike Team Nationals in the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
Prosper still went on to have a strong season and used the strength and talent of it's number one runner and defending state champion Aubrey O'Connell to keep pressing forward.
A year after having strong pieces of the team taken, Prosper received a strong addition in the form of Shewaye Johnson. Moving in from Iowa, where she was a state outdoor champion in the 3K for Ballard High School last spring, Johnson has been outstanding so far this season.
Opening up with a 10:54.92 at the Southlake Carroll 2 mile, a fourth place finish showed the promise the junior would have this season. From there, that promise turned into fruition; Johnson trounced around the course at the Southlake Carroll XC Invite for the majority of the race in first place. She eventually finished in second place with a 17:24.43 and TX No. 2 ranking for 5,000m.
"I really like it so far, the team is really awesome."
Shewaye Johnson, Prosper junior
The Prosper team showed up to the Marcus Coach T Invitational in full force and that perhaps motivated Johnson to continue cranking things up. She followed last week's runner-up finish with a win this time around adding a second consecutive sub 18:00 run on the 2021 season resume.
Getting out fast and setting a solid and hard pace seems to be the M.O. for Johnson. Two weeks in a row she has shown total disregard to playing it safe and saving anything. Conversely, she has taken the lead early, unafraid to run in the front all alone. This weekend, she held on for a 10 second win over second place.
Competing for Prosper is a positive for the team and boosts the team back to it's previous status. It also seems to be a positive thing for Johnson, she said, "I really like it so far, the team is really awesome."
Looking at things a little deeper, Johnson clearly has state championship contention ability and the mindset based on the way she competes. That could be highlighted and improved upon everyday in practice as she trains with the 2019 UIL 6A cross country state champion Aubrey O'Connell.
When asked what she wants to work on, Johnson was quick to say "staying consistent and pushing each other." That could sharpen her mentality and running making Johnson, O'Connell, and Prosper all the more dangerous as the season progresses.