It has been nearly five years since Nick and Lauren (Davenport) Johnson
graduated from Huntington University, and they’re chasing their dreams — literally.
After graduating with degrees in exercise science
, the Johnsons uprooted their lives and moved to Eugene, Ore., where Lauren turned her running talent into a career. She trained for only a few short months before competing in the 2010 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, where she enticed Nike to become her sponsor.
When Lauren began running with the Oregon Track Club — an elite track and field team sponsored by Nike and comprised of Olympic competitors and medal winners — it was simply a good career move.
“I had missed being part of a team and wanted to surround myself with other elite athletes with the same focus and goals as myself,” she said.
But joining the team would open more doors than she could have realized. Nick began volunteering with the team as much as possible, and the connections he made helped him win the available director of operations and assistant coach position for the Oregon Track Club.
In his new position, Nick manages the budget, arranges travel plans, organizes medical care and maintains community relations. He also assists the head coach in creating workout plans for each athlete.
“I can’t think of a better way to make a living than by participating in the sport that my wife and I share a passion for,” he said.
Lauren is working to be in the best shape possible for the approaching season.
“I have had some bad luck with injuries the last two seasons and have yet to be able to race to my full potential,” she said. “Right now, I am beginning my preparation for the 2014 indoor track season and hope to stay healthy and race a full 2014 schedule.”
The former Foresters’ plans for the future are all focused on the 2016 Rio Olympics. In order to make the USA Olympic team, Lauren will need to finish in the top three at the U.S. Olympic Trials, which will be held in June 2016 in their hometown, Eugene, Ore.
As they go side by side through training and trials, it’s obvious that the Johnsons have found their gold — Olympic or otherwise.