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May 5, 2013

Around the Horn with North Andover runner Jacob Johns

North Andover cross country co-captain Jacob Johns is accustomed to longer races.

But the versatile senior has proven he can more than hold his own in the 400 meters.

He did just that last Saturday. Johns, the No. 2 runner, ran a speedy 51.5-second 4x400 leg and helped North Andover place second in that final event to clinch the EMass. Division 2 Relays championship.

“It was big drama,” said Knights’ coach Steve Nugent, whose team managed to hold off Reading.

Johns, a three-season runner, is one of the area leaders this spring in the 800 (2:01.27) and the mile (4:39.57).

What’s your favorite personal athletic achievement? “Winning the sprint medley championship and the team championship last week at the Relays. We’ve come so close a bunch of years. We were two points down with one event left last year.”

What was that final event, the 4x400, like for you? “In the previous meet I had run a really good split. This was the first time I was with the A team. I was a little nervous. When I got the baton, I heard the roar. It pumped me up and I got a little more energy to run down the Reading guy. I made it close.”

Do you play any other sports? “I did lacrosse and hockey in middle school. In high school I decided I wanted to do track.”

What’s been the lowest point of your career? “Sophomore year indoor track was pretty rough. I wasn’t running well. Outdoors I picked it up.”

What events do you run? “I can range from the 800 to the 2-mile and the 5K. This season I’m focusing on shorter distances.”

Do you have any college plans? “I’m going to UMaine to study engineering. I hope to run there. I won a $10,000 Merit Scholarship.”

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