SUFFOLK (WAVY) – Brandee Johnson can remember traveling around for meets during her freshman season, and specifically noticing that nobody really knew who or where Nansemond River High School really was.
That’s far from the case four years later.
“‘Team WAR’, as they call us around the nation,” said Justin Bryon, the head girls track coach at Nansemond River.
Byron has indeed built the Warriors into a national power. His girls won the national title for last year’s 4×200 relay, led by Johnson. “When I got here, that was the goal. the goal was to make sure that we turned this into a program,” said Byron, who took over the program from an assistant position four years ago.
Johnson, meanwhile, is well on her way to stardom, having broken seven state records over her senior season. “Once you worry about executing, the records and things fall and come in place,” she said.
She’s committed to compete in the Southeastern Conference at the University of Florida, and has already competed internationally in China, South America and hopes to continue in Poland this year.
Her team features five of the top six runners in the state, and they’re out for a state championship in a few weeks. “The goal is of course being ready to bring home the state title and of course repeating our national title as well,” said Byron.