Sports & Outdoors

Athlete of the Issue: Madeline Johnson

By Kate Patterson

Congratulations to athlete of the issue Madeline Johnson! Johnson, a junior, is a member of the logger crew team, one of the less known – but certainly not less achieving – athletic teams at Puget Sound. In their fall 2023 race, the women’s varsity 8+ boat came away with third place in a competitive field that included Division 1 University of Portland. Crew will have a full spring season, with the first race happening on Mar. 9 at American Lake in Lakewood, WA. Thank you to ore-some rower Madeline for your thoughtful answers to our questions, and we wish you the best of luck in your 2024 season! 

Q: How has your routine adapted in order to fit early morning practices? 

A: Because I have to get up at 4:30am most days, I’ve had to learn how to manage my time to get everything done during the day so I can stay on top of my homework and try and get enough sleep. I’m usually in bed by 8pm on most practice nights if not earlier.

Q: To be successful during a race, there’s a high level of synchronicity among rowers needed. What cues or reminders do you think about on the water? 

A: The biggest thing for me is listening to our coxswains, especially during a race. They have the best insight as to what is going to make our boat go as fast as possible, so just trusting them to make the right calls is key. I like to focus on the sound of our oars when we’re rowing to ensure I’m in time with the rest of the boat as well.

Q: Last year the Logger Women’s crew team missed first place at conference by less than a second, and competed at the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association (WIRA) championships in April. What did these achievements mean to you?

A: I think that losing conference by such a narrow margin last year really gave us the drive to work harder this year to close that gap and beat Lewis and Clark. We have a bigger team this year and everyone is really motivated to be the fastest we can. WIRA is a really amazing opportunity to get to race against teams we don’t see at other races during the season and gives us the chance to see some of the faster D1 teams as well even if we don’t compete with them directly. 

Q: Coming into this season, what are your personal and team goals?

A: My personal goal is to be the fastest I can be on the water in order to help the team. We have a team motto of “team over boat over self” and this helps put into perspective that the team is the most important thing, and any of my individual goals should not only make my boat faster, but the team as well. As far as team goals go, I think we just really want to win the conference and make it to NCAA championships. 

Q: What is your favorite memory with Logger crew?

A: Winning the Lamberth Cup last year for the first time since 2018 is definitely a huge highlight for me. It was one of my first races on the team and being able to be in the boat that got the trophy back felt incredible.