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MADISON – It has been a difficult year for Micah Johnson.
The Boyceville sophomore has been dealing with injury and illness throughout much of this season, not to mention the pressure of being a defending state champion.
So it should not come as a surprise that Johnson came down with bronchitis and strep throat earlier this week. And to top it off, the health of his younger brother Gunnar, who recently suffered a seizure, has been occupying his thoughts.
Through it all, including a numbing loss in last evening’s semifinal, Johnson has persevered.
Although the shine is not as brilliant as the gold he procured last year, Micah Johnson will be donning precious medal this evening when he accepts the bronze medal in the Kohl Center after placing third this afternoon in the D3, 152-pound weight class with a pair of dominating performances.
Johnson followed a pin in the consolation semifinals with a 15-5 victory over Kevin Lansin of Coleman in the third-place match.
“It’s been tough dealing with a cold, bronchitis and strep throat,” Johnson said following his bronze-winning bout.
“I had a fast pin (in consolation semis) which helped and the last match I won 15-5.”
“It was a tough one but I pulled it out and did what I needed to do to finish off the day strong,” added Johnson.
Johnson said the illnesses did have an effect on his preparation for the state tournament.
“I only got one practice in this week,” said Johnson. ” so weight cutting was hard to get the weight off.”
“It was a hard experience this week and then last week at sectionals my little brother started having grand mal seizures. It has been a rough past couple of weeks,” stated Johnson.
But character is defined by how one handles adversity and setback and Johnson showed that this weekend.
In the third place match, like the one he had wrestled just an hour and a half before, Johnson went on the attack from the opening whistle.
He racked up a takedown and corresponding two-point near fall and added a reversal by period’s end for a 6-2 lead.
Although he was warned for stalling and surrendered a reversal to Laskin in the first 50 seconds of the middle period, Johnson rebounded to score a reversal to maintain the four-point advantage (8-4) after four minutes of action.
In the final two-minute period, Johnson scored an escape, a pair of takedowns and another two-point near fall to cap a 15-5 victory.
“I not satisfied,” said Johnson of the third-place finish. “I definitely wanted to get first place. Not just for me but for my coach and my little brother.”
“But I can’t expected much more, I only had 15 matches in this year before state because of my injuries.”
Johnson missed eight weeks due to a back injury which he said was a joint problem that he will just have to deal with in coming seasons.
“It is hard to come to regionals, sectionals,and state and do what I did last year after not even having a half year of wrestling.”
“But I will definitely be ready for next year and come back stronger,” concluded the Bulldogs’ sophomore.
Johnson finished his abbreviated season at 18-3.