Paonia’s Reed ready to run at Colorado State

Paonia state champion Johanna Reed runs ahead of a pack during the Class 2A girls 3200-meter run at the state track and field championships in Lakewood. Reed signed her national letter of intent Wednesday to run cross-country and track at Colorado State University.

Johanna Reed has always dreamed of being a college athlete.

Her dream came true Wednesday, only not as she once envisioned it.

The Paonia High School senior signed a national letter of intent to attend Colorado State University on a cross country and track scholarship.

“One of my dreams was to be a college athlete,” Reed said. “I’m glad I accomplished that. I always thought I’d be in basketball. I told my dad I was going to be one of the shortest people to make it to the WNBA.”

Reed started running to get in better shape for basketball.

“I would run after basketball practice or do track to get in shape for basketball,” she said. “My freshman year, it hit me that I really like this sport and wanted to compete against some of the best runners in state.”

Reed was immediately one of the best runners in the state herself, winning the Class 2A 3,200-meter state title as a freshman.

Last weekend, she capped her prep career with an 800 and 1,600 title, leading the Eagles to a second-place finish, their best in school history. She was on two 3,200 relay state championship teams and placed fifth in the Class 3A state cross-country championships last fall.

“I was happy with how I finished,” Reed said. “I never thought I could be running as fast as some of the 5A, 4A and 3A girls. I’m excited I had a really good season and was healthy all year. I am very lucky to have the coaches I’ve had and the people I’ve had surround me all four years.”

The 800 and 1,600 are her favorite races.

“The 800 is not quite long enough for pace work,” Reed said. “It’s also kind of a sprint. When I go into it, I think of 200 (meter) splits and mentally preparing myself like it’s a quick race. It makes it easier to focus.”

She played on the Paonia girls varsity basketball all four years of high school and was the starting point guard the past three.

The Eagles won their first state basketball championship this school year.

“It was great to be with this group of girls,” Reed said. “We all wanted it. We made history for Paonia and the community supported us so much.”


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