Paine College, Augusta, GA For Immediate Release
July 16, 2013
(Augusta, GA) – Recently, Baiesha Johnson, a 2013 Paine College graduate embarked upon her professional athletic career in Europe. She won her first track meet that took place in France on June 30th at the Meeting de Mulhouse with a jump of 6.12 meters. She finished 3rd in her first 100 meters dash the same night and was the center of attention at the Mulhouse meeting.
Her second meet was of a higher competition. While still in France, she competed in a pro tour among world class athletes in Nancy. She finished 6th place (6.07) in the long jump behind World Champion Eunice Barber of France.
“This was a great experience for Baiesha who will know now what level to expect on the European circuit,” said Coach Lionel Nau who guided Johnson to compete abroad. “She knows that she has to jump 6.40 or more meters to get some wins and she is absolutely capable of doing so. Her time is currently 6.31 meters.” While at Paine, Johnson trained under the watchful eye of Coach Nau who is also a native of France.
Her third competition took place Sunday, July 7th at the track meet in Chaux de Fond in Switzerland. She competed in the 100 meters dash in heats and finals where she ran 12.42 seconds and participated in the 200 where she placed 8th with a time of 25.50.
When Johnson’s story first broke in June 2013, alumni, family and friends donated over $2,000 to help finance her trip to Europe. She is still in need of nearly $2,200 to cover the costs for travel, lodging and meals for competitions that will take place in Belgium, Italy and other European countries. Coach Nau and his mother have opened their home to Johnson during her stay in France.
The public is invited to make donations payable to Baiesha Johnson and deposit funds into the Wells Fargo account (553-774-6678) that has been established to hold funds for Johnson’s European travel fees.The public is also invited to make checks payable to Baiesha Johnson and drop off donations in care of the Paine College Institutional Advancement office located in Haygood-Holsey Hall, Room 115. Upon receipt of donations at the College, the funds will be deposited into the Wells Fargo designated account for Baiesha Johnson. For more information, contact the Paine College Office of Institutional Advancement at 706.821.8233 or email Leadra Collins: Lcollins@paine.edu.
Johnson is scheduled to return to the U.S. at the end of the month and has indicated that she wishes to meet and thank all of the well-wishers and supporters personally.