Owatonna High School senior Jacob Johnson recently signed a Division I National Letter of Intent to compete on the track team at the University of South Alabama.

Johnson was a fourth-place finisher in the 110 hurdles at the state meet last June. He hopes to win both the 110 and 300 hurdles this year before heading off to compete with the Jaguars. He said the new facilities in Mobile were the "best thing I've ever seen." South Alabama has turned out 11 Olympic athletes and many All-Americans, according to Johnson.

The third-year hurdler was checking with some Minnesota Division III schools when he started to hear from programs like the University of Minnesota and North Dakota and realized he could get a scholarship to go to school. Johnson knows a runner from Lakeville who signed with South Alabama.

The high school season starts soon and Johnson hopes to finish his prep career with a hurdling double by taking the 110 and 300 titles. He missed state in the 300 when he hit the final hurdle at the section meet. He was leading the race at the time.

Johnson plans to major in biomedical engineering and would like to help people who suffer from sickle cell anemia as his career goal.