Pioneer Focus: Johnnie Legrair

 

PEDIGREE: This week’s Pioneer Focus goes to senior track and field athlete Johnnie Legrair for his outstanding performance last weekend at the NCAA Division II Challenge at Spire Institute on Feb. 2.

Legrair led the Pioneers men’s team to an impressive second-place finish out of 21 teams after scoring a meet-best 23 points by capturing the 60-meter hurdles, the long jump and a sixth in the 60-meter dash.

In the 60-meter hurdles Legrair put together quite a performance from prelims to finals. After running a seventh-place prelims time of 8.45 he was able to crank up the effort and come flying in at 8.19 to win. Then in the long jump he beat out 25 other competitors by leaping 23’0.75”.

Senior track and field athlete Johnnie Legrair leaps forward in the long jump at a meet last year. Legrair dominated last weekend’s meet with two first-place finishes and a sixth-place finish to earn a slew of awards this past week, including this Pioneer Focus. (Photo courtesy of Andy Smith)

Both the jump and the time were NCAA provisional qualifying marks and earned the man from Copley, Ohio a slew of awards this week, which has included the NCCAA Student Athlete of the Week and the athletic department’s athlete of the week.

Get to know the Pioneer man of the hour…

Q: Favorite food?

A: I’m still kind of figuring that out. Apparently I really like cheese, so mozzarella sticks and/or lasagna.

Q: Favorite athlete?

A: My favorite athlete of all time is Jeremy Wariner because I am an ADIDAS fan and I really appreciate  the 400 meter-dash. It’s just much easier to watch others run it than for me to run the event myself. Also he looks like the epitome of “cool”.

Q: Something  most people don’t know about you?

A: One thing most people probably don’t know about me is that I hold a significant disdain for competition; I don’t like feeling nervous. This is why I prefer “performing” in track and field rather than “competing”. Having my own lane to run in is sort of like having my own stage on which there are no surprises from a defensive team.

Q: Most embarrassing moment?

A: I guess relatively my most embarrassing moment happened a year ago at a volleyball open gym. There was a group of volleyball players in the gym whom I really wanted to impress, and when I finally got my chance to hit I swung too aggressively and missed the ball completely.

It has happened several times since. Also I later tried to use the story on Facebook as a sort of ice-breaker with a girl from that group, but it was a flop. My friends enjoyed considering me a “creeper” after I explained the process and we may never agree on the matter.

Q: Favorite aspect of track and field?

A: My favorite aspect of track and field is, as aforementioned, the fact that I have my own area in which I can perform without interruption. I really don’t like physical contact in athletics; I have a tendency to take it personally.

Q: Best coach you have ever had?

A: The best coach I have ever had is (no brownie points expected) my current coach Mark McClure. He has done more for me in my four and a half years at Malone than I could ever expect anyone outside of my family to do.

Also he is just an amazing coach and always makes the effort to reach out to me and provide guidance in my life as a friend, and that means more to me than I can say. It is going to be very difficult to leave his team after this spring season.

Q: Who is your role model and why?

A: I can’t say that I have a role model because I’m far too critical and difficult; however, I have great respect for Matthew Anderson. Maybe it’s just because I’m falling in love with volleyball.

Q: Favorite fast food outlet?

A: My favorite fast food stop is Wendy’s…it’s cheap and easy, though I usually feel disgusting after thinking about all of the grease.

Q: Best and worst part of college athletics?

A: Best part of college athletics: the ability to grow and live among your teammates. It seems we depend on one another so much more than in high school because we are essentially a home for each other.

Worst part of college athletics: The inherent “celebrity” status once granted in high school means nothing anymore. Being the team hero was much easier before everyone else also worked for it, and track and field was much more of a social outlet than a team sport.

Q: Least favorite rule at Malone?

A: My least favorite rule at Malone is the chapel requirement. I respect that we try to lead our student body to experience new styles of worship in Chapel, but it seems that pushing others, least of all young adults,  into an experience is an easy way to make them resist it.

Some Chapel hours are great, but I am extremely grateful that I am not required to attend any this semester as a commuter.

Q: Coolest nickname you ever received?

A: The “coolest” nickname I have ever received is a courtesy of my great friend Ashton Avery who began calling me “JJ” simply because I called her “AA” (or “Ayae”). While my name for her is rooted in her initials, her name for me is rather irrelevant because my initials are in fact JL. Regardless it is my favorite nickname because I can usually tell whom I know mutually through Ashton because they refer to me as “JJ”.

Q: Facebook or Twitter?

A: Facebook!! I don’t like the celebration of “following” others. We all do it on Facebook to a degree, I know, but doing it intentionally just doesn’t settle right with me. I would rather share my “tweet” thoughts personally  with my friends and not virtually with my “followers”. #IAmAHater

Chris Sherwood is sports editor for The Aviso AVW.

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