Alaysha Johnson Defies Odds To Qualify For Paris Olympics

Alaysha Johnson says she was counted out ... but, now she is in.

She is in the field of 100-meter hurdles who will compete at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. Next month, she will do so as a representative for Team USA.

Johnson placed second in yesterday's finals race. Her time of 12.31 was a personal best performance second to only Masai Russell's world leading and US Olympic Trials record run of 12.25. Recent University of Florida graduate Grace Stark was third with a time of 12.31 as well.

Arlington Seguin graduate Tonea Marshall placed fifth with a time of 12.38.

After the race, Johnson was emotional, displaying the release of feelings and thoughts that have obviously built up over time. In a post race interview, Johnson said, "people like me, from the inner-city of Houston don't really get these types of opportunities, and I thought once I turned professional going into this sport, once I started running fast I would get the same opportunities."

Despite a deal with Ulta, Johnson is largely an unsponsored athlete. She doesn't have a clothing or shoe sponsorship and even had to borrow a pair of spikes after the first round from fellow Texan Marshall, in order to finish the competition.

It wasn't just the eight other competing hurdlers and apparel Johnson was competing with, she was battling herself.

Johnson divulged that she has a hypothyroidism diagnosis, a condition with her thyroid gland that leaves her tired and lethargic. With the advice of her endocrinologist, Johnson's team was strategizing throughout the week against her own body.

The Spring graduate (attended Westfield HS first) went on to compete and at the University of Oregon and studied as an undergraduate.  As a grad student, she also attended and competed for Texas Tech University. In her time spent those schools, she won UIL 5A state titles, was named Gatorade's Texas Girls Track and field Player of the Year, and eventually won a PAC 12 conference individual title.

She was runner-up at the 2022 US Indoor Track and field Championships in the 60-meter hurdles and was runner-up at the 2022 Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the 100-meter hurdles. 

Now, Johnson is an Olympian who will compete in Paris next month.