Where Are They Now
June 5, 2013
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Currently a Laramie Police Officer, Jeremiah Johnson is one of the all-time great Wyoming track and field athletes. During his career at Wyoming from 2003-06, he was a three-time All-Mountain West recipient in the 800-meter run, including two individual league titles for the event (one indoor, one outdoor) in 2004. That year, his success on the track led him to All-America honors in the 800-meter during the indoor season. He also assisted the 4x400 outdoor relay team to second place at the MW Championships that season.
His strong marks in the 800-meter run still stand as some of the best in UW track and field history. He holds the school record for the event with a 1:48.30 from the 2004 indoor season, and his 1:48.54 from the 2006 outdoor season is UW's second-best all-time mark. Also talented in the 1,500-meter, his 3:48.52 from the 2004 outdoor season stands at No. 9 in school history.
Give us a brief update on what you've been up to since graduating.
I have had a busy few years since graduating. I married Gretchen Fagley (now Johnson) and enjoyed being a part of her last two years as a Cowgirl athlete. We now have two little girls with a third baby on the way. I have also been working for the city of Laramie for about the last seven years.
As a Laramie Police Officer, what are your primary responsibilities? What do you enjoy most about your career?
I am currently assigned to the patrol division, so I drive around town enforcing the law and responding to calls for service. I spent most of my life playing sports and being a member of a team, so being a police officer allows me to still have that feeling of being a part of a team and contributing to something bigger than myself.
Being a Laramie native, what did it mean for you to wear the brown and gold in competition?
It meant a ton to me to have the opportunity to put that bucking horse on and go compete. My grandpa, uncle and dad all graduated from UW so it was something I wanted from an early age.
Your father played basketball at Wyoming. What did he teach you about what it means to be a Cowboy? What life lessons did he teach you as you were growing up?
My dad taught me how to work hard and do things the right way. I have been really lucky in my life to have a number of people who have influenced me. Integrity, dependability, and hard work are things that have always been taught to me and I hope I can pass them on to my kids.
You specialized in the middle distance runs at UW. When did you discover the mid-distance runs were your strongest? How was the training process to continue to cut down your times for the 800- and 1500-meter runs?
As far as running mid-distance is concerned I kind of fell into it by accident. I really wanted to play basketball and started running to get into basketball shape. It just turned out that I had some God-given talent in running and I loved to compete. The training process for me in collage was very intense. I was put around some very good coaches both on the track and in the weight room and they kind of molded me into a successful college athlete.
What is your favorite memory from being a UW track and field athlete?
I have a lot of great memories. Winning the Mountain West Conference in the 800-meter is something that I look back on fondly. It was also great to be an All-American.
What was your major at UW? When did you decide you wanted to work in law enforcement?
I majored in criminal justice. My dad was a police officer for 27 years and I always looked up to him so it is something I have wanted to do for a long time.
What was the pathway leading up to your current position? How long have you been at LPD?
I was hired right after graduating. I have been working for the department for just about 7 years.
What is your perspective on the state of the track and field program and Coach Berryhill's leadership in his first season?
I have not yet met coach Berryhill but have heard really good things from members of his staff that I do know.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work? What is your favorite activity with your family?
I love going to Wyoming football games, or just being outside hunting, fishing camping, and sometimes running.
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