She stands 5 feet, 2 inches tall and may or may not crack triple digits on the scale.

She also features a captivating smile that can light up any room she enters.

It’s a good bet Sara Johnson won’t grab your attention if you’re looking for an imposing creature that can stare a hole through you.

That is, unless you see her on the starting block.

"She’s super nice, witty and has a dry sense of humor," John Carroll University women’s track and field associate head coach Jake Alexander said. "On the track, she’s a stone-cold killer who wants to go dominate people."


Fear not, though, Blue Streak fans. This rather intimidating and menacing version of the diminutive Johnson doesn’t show this cold persona 24/7.

You may just want to wait until she reaches the finish line. And the 2018 Tallmadge graduate had a knack for crossing it faster than most others.

Johnson concluded a stellar first season as a member of John Carroll’s women’s track and field squad, which captured its first Ohio Athletic Conference championship in school history during the spring.

The Blue Streak women concluded their breakthrough season by sending six athletes to the NCAA Division III Championships, which concluded May 25 at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva.

That super six included Johnson, who advanced in the 100-meter race and as a member of the 400-meter relay team.

Is Johnson, a former Division II state qualifier for the Blue Devils, surprised by her stellar rookie season?

Let’s put it this way: She’s still waiting for someone to pinch her.

"I had no expectations of going to NCAAs," the 19-year-old Johnson said. "I was very shocked, especially since it was my freshman year."

Johnson finished 20th in the 100-meter dash at the NCAA meet. She ran a school-record 12.08 seconds earlier in the season to advance to the national competition.

By the way, Johnson’s best time as a high school athlete was 12.6 seconds. Of course, track was just one of many activities for the tireless Johnson during her stay in Tallmadge.

Johnson was a goal-scoring All-Ohio dynamo as a member of the soccer team. She also spent time in the backcourt as a member of the Blue Devils’ basketball squad.

When Johnson made her home in University Heights, her athletic life became far less complicated.

Johnson could fully dedicate herself to a sport that may be her ticket to some luxurious hardware down the road.

"Now I train year-round for track," Johnson said. "It’s a great experience and a whole lot of fun. I’m looking forward to the next three years."

If Johnson has sifted through the channels to check out the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, it might make her a tad bit sad.

Johnson cherished her time as an explosive playmaker in a sport widely known as "The Beautiful Game."

So yes, the speedy John Carroll rising sophomore most likely wouldn’t object to receiving one more pass from former Tallmadge teammate Riley Chochola on a breakaway.

"I miss soccer a lot," Johnson said. "I thought about playing in college, but I thought it would hinder me in track."

Being a one-trick pony has never been Johnson’s style.

The exercise-science major reached last year’s state competition as a member of the 800-meter relay team. She qualified for the 2017 state meet in the long jump.

Johnson’s status as the jack-of-all trades remains intact since she graduated from high school. The 200-meter race and the long jump are still part of her repertoire.

However, one of her events went through a major overhaul.

Despite her success for the Blue Devils, Johnson needed to tweak quite a few things in the long jump.

"I had to reconstruct my entire jump and my approach on the runway," Johnson said. "We’ll see how that goes. I hope I can compete at nationals [in that event]."

Alexander believes she will.

He sees his standout pupil leaping a certain distance few Division III female athletes achieve.

"I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s a 20-foot jumper," said Alexander, who works with the sprinters.

Why not? She attained an extraordinary amount of success in everything else she tried.

Johnson was an All-OAC selection in the 100- and 200-meter dashes and as a member of the 400 and 800 relay teams. She also earned All-OAC honors in the 60-meter dash during the indoor season.

Johnson didn’t rise from the ashes to achieve such prestigious recognition. But to say she flourished on talent alone wouldn’t do her justice.

Johnson embraced heavy-duty training the moment she joined the team. And she won’t be resting on her laurels anytime soon.

"You could see her raw talent and eagerness to get better," John Carroll head women’s track and field coach Kyle Basista said. "She’s a very competitive individual. You could see it in practice now and then. It was just a matter of waiting for it to happen in a competitive setting."

He probably won’t have to wait long next year.

Now that Johnson knows how the college game works, the sky’s the limit for the gifted teenager.

Just ask Alexander.

He recently had another vision appear in his crystal ball. This one has something to do with breaking a barrier, as well.

"I wouldn’t be shocked if she’s sub-12 next year," Alexander said. "She has a chance to be top five in the country."

John Carroll smashed its way through a wall that was about as impenetrable as the Korean Demilitarized Zone prior to this spring.

Why stop now? Johnson won’t have any issues if her team invades more territories once unthinkable in previous years.

"We’re looking to win the national championship," Johnson said. "We have a lot of talent on our team across the board."

That quest for an unprecedented gold will be led by a certain versatile sophomore, who won’t be turning her frightening scowl upside down.

Not when she’s competing, at least.

If her coach’s apparent psychic powers prove to be on the mark, Johnson will have the widest grin on her face before she leaves John Carroll.

Rumor has it she’ll stick out from the crowd.

"I think she can win a national championship," Alexander said. "She has the mindset to handle that pressure. She has the total package."

Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, or @FrankAceto_RPC.