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Athletes of the Month: Josh Keenan and Julie Johnson

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Josh Keenan is a senior and captain of the men’s cross-country team. He is a three-time USCAA All-American and Academic All-American and has served the Falcons as captain during all four of his years at Florida College. This season, he won the Embry-Riddle University Invitational, earned a fifth-place finish at the University of South Florida Invitational with an 8K time of 26:05 and was honored as the USCAA Men’s Cross-Country Runner of the Week.

What made you decide to come to Florida College?

I always planned on coming to FC. I have grown up around FC and my dad was the baseball coach when FC had a team. The spiritual atmosphere and great people is probably what had the most influence on my decision though!

What have you enjoyed most about your time at Florida College so far?

For sure the friends I have made on the cross country team. Each year I meet new people and every year they are all great. It is a great thing to be able to participate in collegiate sports, but when you can do it with your best friends it makes it a real pleasure.

What are some things you bring to the team?

As a captain of the XC team I expected to set the climate of the team, motivate, and give advice to teammates as best I can. I try my best to accomplish all of these and fulfill my duty to serve my teammates whenever I can.

What is your vision for this season?

The team this year is by far the best team we have had in school history. We have 5 (almost 6) guys under 30 min for the 8k and times are dropping fast. With the progress I’ve seen I have confide that we can place in the top three at nationals.

Who is your athletic role model?

My athletic role model is my dad. He has been an enormous source of encouragement throughout all of my sport endeavors. Regardless of what sport I am playing, my dad does not let me slack and he always holds me accountable to my training. After some of the fastest races of my life my dad draws my attention to the future. He reminds me that I haven’t met my potential and encourages me to set new goals. My dad played professional baseball and because of this I trust any advice he gives me.

What is your favorite hobby outside your sport?

Hiking and hammocking in my eno.

What are your career goals?

I plan on applying for Physical Therapy school after I graduate from Florida College.

What is one random fact about yourself that other students would be surprised to hear?

I have lived in three countries.

What is your favorite memory as a Florida College athlete?

It hasn’t happened yet. I know it will be XC nationals 2016!

What is your favorite memory as a student at Florida College?

Running up four skyscrapers in downtown Tampa as a squad!

 

img_0050-johnson-julieJulie Johnson is a sophomore and captain of the women’s cross-country team. She was a USCAA All-American and Academic All-American and has served the Falcons as captain during both of her years at Florida College. This season, she won the Embry-Riddle University Invitational and earned a fourth-place finish at the University of South Florida Invitational with a personal record and new school record of 18:32.

What made you decide to come to Florida College?
I decided to come to Florida College because I wanted to be able to continue my education in a good environment, by Christian professors, surrounded by Christian peers. I came here in hopes of having the opportunity to grow spiritually and meet many like-minded friends.

What have you enjoyed most about your time at Florida College so far?

The amazing friendships I have made are definitely what I’ve enjoyed the most so far, and my fellow Legends are some of my best friends! I love how although we are all very different, we share common goals and values, which really brings us all together.

What are some things you bring to the team?

I love running and I’m pretty passionate about it. As I try to encourage my team to enjoy the sport and do their best, I think I bring enthusiasm and dedication to the team.

What is your vision for this season?

We have had an incredible season so far, and we are looking forward to our last meet, the USCAA National Championships, in a few weeks. My vision for the rest of this season is for each of us to train hard and smart and do our very best at Nationals! Hopefully we will be able to bring back some trophies and personal records.

Who is your athletic role model?

A runner that really inspires me is my teammate Josh Keenan. He is an amazing runner and he always pushes himself to a level I can’t imagine. He always motivates everyone on the team to go their hardest and do their best, and he is always very encouraging.

What is your favorite hobby outside your sport?

I have so many hobbies! My favorites are making things (knitting, crocheting, and sewing), reading, and doing anything in the kitchen.

What are your career goals?

My ultimate career goal is to be a stay at home wife and homeschooling mother. I am getting my degree in English and I love teaching others, so before that I would love to have any sort of teaching job, whether it is English or not.

What is one random fact about yourself that other students would be surprised to hear?

I love to be barefoot and I would do it all the time if I could!

What is your favorite memory as a Florida College athlete?

I absolutely love spending time with the FCXC team, so almost any memory with them is a great one! One of my favorite memories from this year is our trip to Tallahassee. The whole trip was an adventure and I came away with so many funny stories and great memories.

What is your favorite memory as a student at Florida College?

One of my favorite memories is of having an ENO party last year by the river! We stacked seven hammocks on top of each other and I eventually built up my courage to get up in the top one!