In a panorama of exciting 1986 achievement, “Yo-Yo” wrote a storybook finish to her prep career, dominating her field of competition with every honor possible. Graduating “prep-perfect” from George Washington High School, she never lost a race in her entire prep career.
She was the fastest prep hurdler in the nation in 1985 with an All-America time of 13.60 seconds for 100 meters. She had nine national hurdles rankings, three of them No. 1, and 100 scholarships offers.
But 1986 was even better. Ten of her 11 high hurdles races in 1986 eclipsed the 13.60 of 1985 and one 13.25-second clocking made her No. 2 on the all-time prep list as well as the year’s No. 1 All-America. When she also recorded the fastest low hurdles time for 100-meters with a 13.06 at the Colorado High School Track and Field Championships, she was an unbeatable pick for National High School Woman Athlete of the Year.
In 1985, she was happy to be on The Athletics Congress and Pan-American National Junior teams. In 1986, she owned the TAC and Pan-Am Junior titles and was picked, in addition, for the All-USA Track Team.
Highlights dotted her sensational 1986 campaign. At the Albuquerque Invitational early in the year, she successfully defended her 60-yard hurdles crown by upsetting world record holder Stephanie Hightower and NCAA champion Rhonda Blanford. In the National Indoor Championships at Madison Square Garden, she finished third behind Hightower and the leading East German.
Governor Dick Lamm proclaimed June 25 as Yolanda Johnson Day. The Colorado Sports Hall of Fame named her Amateur Athlete of the Year and Sportswomen of Colorado inducted this Sportswoman of the Year into its Hall of Fame. Yo-Yo went on to a record-setting, All-America collegiate career at the University of Colorado where she now is a successful assistant track coach known by her married name, Yolanda Hall.