As a young boy, sophomore track and field star Johnathan Farquharson never liked to run. Over the years that began to change. As he grew older, he quickly realized how fast and how far he could run. So fast and so far, that it brought him to Abilene.
“It’s something you really have to love,” Farquharson said. “I honestly think it’s the worst thing to train for, but at the end of the day, I cannot go without it because it has brought me so far.”
Not many people can say they came running to Abilene Christian as a native of the Bahamas. Johnathan’s good friend and former ACU track teammate, Dennis Bain, spoke highly of the Wildcat track program.
“It’s a good school, good environment and a good place to go if you want to get faster,” Bain said.
Track programs in the Bahamas differ from the program at ACU. The weather in Abilene alone could pose some problems for a runner used to the scorching heat of the Bahamas.
“The weather here is different for sure,” Farquharson said. “I never ran in cold weather before I came here, so it was difficult to adjust my lungs to the constant temperature change.”
A fellow field-athlete senior Aaron Bynum believes Johnathan could be an Olympic gold medalist if he was just a bit taller.
“It’s amazing to watch him run against guys who are sometimes eight inches taller than him,” Bynum said. “He still keeps up with them, and most of the time finishes before all of them.”
His legs may be shorter, but he uses them to his advantage. While the sprinters beside him take one stride, he takes two. It is a challenge for him because a tall sprinter could have a bad stride or two, but for Johnathan, his movement has to be smooth. Sprinting is all about consistency and endurance.
“It doesn’t bother me too much,” Farquharson said. “I’ve never been intimidated walking up to the blocks looking up to all the other athletes in my heat, because then, I would already feel defeated.”
Johnathan’s two main sprints are the 200 and 100 meter. Last season, as a freshman, Farquharson was a conference runner-up in the 200m at the Lone Star Conference Championships, clocking in a time of 21.40. He finished fifth at the Indoor Nationals in the 100m.
“In the 100, keeping up with the other athletes is a little easier because the distance is shorter, but the 200 is more of a task,” Farquharson said.
His success last season has carried over to this year. Farquharson finished fifth in the men’s 60m sprint final and tied his personal record in the men’s 200m sprint with a 21.47 at the Texas A&M Invitational two weeks ago.
Farquharson’s role model sprinter is Warren Weir, a 2012 London Olympics bronze medalist in the 200m, who is only 5’10”.
“He’s a short guy just like me,” Farquharson said. “Nobody believed he could run against athletes like Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake, but he finished third amongst the fastest men in the world. Weir’s nickname from then on was, ‘The Wolf,’ because he came from behind within the last 30 meters or so to finish ahead of USA’s Maurice Mitchell.”
Johnathan has come far in his time at ACU representing the Wildcats. He continues to strive for a podium spot at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
“I think it’s all about the work you put in,” Farquharson said. “If I do well at the World Indoor Championships this year, I believe I will have a chance at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.”