Who’s Who in Beaver Sports: Kylie Johnston


Ella Wiebusch, Sports Assistant Editor

When transitioning from high school to college, multi-sport athletes usually choose to concentrate on one sport. For one such athlete at Buena Vista University (BVU), concentrating on one sport came much earlier in life. Kylie Johnston started running before she was even walking, and has run competitively for seven years. 

Johnston, a freshman Biology major from Smithville, Missouri is a sprinter for the BVU Women’s Track and Field Team. She most often competes in short sprints.

“I played soccer for eight or nine years,” says Johnston. “I did it in the spring, summer, and fall so almost year round. My soccer coaches could easily tell I was fast and I always knew I wanted to do track and field. Once my coaches quit coaching I relaxed for one year and did no sports and once I got into 7th grade I did track and fell in love with it. I was much better at track than I was at soccer. I couldn’t score a goal to save my life.” 

From an even younger age, the spirit of BVU was already very much present in her life. Her older sister attended the university and graduated in 2007, so she knew about the school since she was 4 years old. 

“I came here to the cross country meet, because even though I was a track athlete I still wanted to meet the team. When I met the team I made my mind up. I wanted to come to BV because of the track team,” says Johnston. 

According to Johnston, her dad and grandfather influenced her the most, because she wanted to be just like them.  

“My grandpa did track in high school and was a Kansas state 200m dash champion in 1954 and got a full ride from Pittsburg State University and my dad was also a track and field runner and held records at his high school. So I just kind of followed in those footsteps,”  says Johnston.

Here at BVU, she does short sprints such as the 60m, 100m, and 200m dashes, but will occasionally compete in the 4x400m relay. 

“I love the 200m. It’s an all out sprint and it’s the perfect length for me. The 100m is just too short, it takes me a while to get up to top speed so the 200m is just perfect because once I pass the 100m mark I’m at my top most speed,” said Johnston.  

Johnston has no regrets about coming to BVU and has immensely enjoyed being a part of the team. 

“I spend a lot of my time with them and appreciate them all so much. The team is literally the highlight of my day, I am always excited to go to practice; the coaches and some of the athletes tell the funniest jokes. I never leave practice without a smile on my face,” says Johnston.  

While college track is different than high school, Johnston has benefited from the harder workouts and more intense environment. 

Head Coach Colton Slack is proud of what she has accomplished thus far in her career and loves her motivation to work hard every day. 

“Kylie has learned a lot since day one,” says Slack. “We have been critiquing her form a lot, especially her block starts. She is willing to learn and takes coaching very well. That is key in being successful at the college level. She is fun and always smiling and wanting to learn.” 

In looking forward to the rest of her career at BVU, Johnston and Slack have big goals in mind.  

Johnston aims to run in the 25-second range in the 200m dash, and has confidence in herself that she can do it. In her first outdoor season she hopes to run 12.50 in the 100m, run 25 in the 200m, and run faster than a 68 second split in the 4×400. 

“We are aiming for Kylie to compete at the national meet and claim All-American status,” says Slack. “Kylie is going to have a stellar career as a Beaver and I am looking forward to helping her achieve her goals here.”