WILKES-BARRE — Tara Johnson earned Middle Atlantic Conference women’s cross country Rookie of the Year last year and the Pittston Area graduate has not slowed down in her sophomore season at King’s College.
Johnson was the team’s top finisher and third overall out of 92 runners in the season-opening Delaware Valley Invitational. It was the fifth top-five finish of her college career.
Johnson then was the best NCAA Division III finisher and the ninth-best, non-Division I runner with a career-best, five-kilometer time of 19:19.3 while placing 46th overall out of more than 200 runners in the 38th National Catholic Invitational at Notre Dame.
The Long-Short Invitational at Dickinson College last weekend brought out another career-best for Johnson with a 4K time of 14:53.0 to place sixth out of 181 runners. The event scored the top three 6K and top three 4K runners from each school.
Johnson, who also ran distance races on the indoor and outdoor track teams as a freshman, finished 71st in last season’s NCAA Mideast Regional after placing fifth at the MAC Championships. She also received multiple All-Academic awards.
Two other Pittston Area graduates are also part of the King’s cross country program.
Jessica Tighe is a freshman teammate of Johnson’s.
Mike Havrilla, a junior, has been frequently among the top three King’s runners for the past two seasons. He led the team’s 4K runners in the Long-Short Invitational, placing 40th of 148 runners in the race at Dickinson.