While at Marshfield Johnston set the current 3000-meter school record and was state champion in the event. After graduating from Marshfield, Johnston attended the University of Portland where she was a Five-time All-America pick in NAIA cross country and track. She then took a break from running after having some frustration but later started her professional career in hopes of making the Olympics. She qualified for the 1992 US Olympic Trials and placed 11th in the10,000. In 1993 Kristy Won Houston and was ranked #2 in U.S. by Track and Field News and in 1994 she went on to win the Chicago Marathon. In 1996 she placed 5th in the Olympic Trials for the Marathon and was an alternate for the Olympic team. In 2000 Johnston’s Olympic dreams were cut short when she placed second at the Olympic trials for the Marathon which would normally get her into the Olympics. But in 2000 only the first place finisher would automatically go to the Olympics everyone else would have to achieve the A standard Time. This was very difficult because the trials were on a hilly course and it was a very hot day. After this Johnston chose to retire from the sport.
Johnston has many great memories of Coos Bay, but watching fireworks every 4th of July with her family is something she will never forget.

“When I was a little tiny kid we used to go out to Bastendorf beach and watch the fireworks off of the Coast Guard Station,” Johnston said. “That was my favorite thing to do as a little kid.”

Johnston credits much of her athletic success­ to the legacy that Steve Prefontaine left behind for all up and coming Marshfield athletes.

“Obviously the Pre factor was there,” Johnston said. “In the back of my mind I always wanted to be the next Prefontaine, because of him every kid wanted to run.”

Johnston has accomplished many great things in the running world, but said when she looks back she would do it all again for 5 races.

“There are so many ups and so many downs,” Johnston said. “But winning the State Championship in the 3000 against Sue Martineau was one of my greatest accomplishments.”