Athlete Of The Week: Tim Johnson
By: Brad Joyal
Topics: Swimming , Athlete of the Week
Ever since he was in eighth grade, Nauset swimmer Tim Johnson dreamed of what it would feel like to stand atop the podium after being crowned a state champion.
On Sunday morning at the Zesiger Sports and Fitness Center at MIT, Johnson finally got to experience the feeling he coveted — twice.
Johnson, a Nauset senior from Brewster, capped off his Warriors career by winning individual Division 2 state titles in the 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard backstroke.
“It’s been a dream of mine,” Johnson said. “I worked hard throughout the season and I knew that I had a pretty good chance going into it. But for my high school career to end on such an imaginable high note was really nice.”
What made the titles even more special was the fashion in which Johnson captured them.
After swimming neck-and-neck with Longmeadow senior Evan Lyons throughout the 200 IM, Johnson held on to win in 1:55.03, just .03 seconds faster than Lyons’ time of 1:55.06.
“In the water, I was thinking, ‘I’m working so hard. I can’t be working this hard for second,’” said Johnson, who broke his older brother Jack’s old school record time, which was coincidentally the same mark Lyons posted.
Amazingly, Johnson’s backstroke title was won by an even smaller margin, as he finished in 51.36 seconds — just a hair faster than Belchertown junior Luke Giguere, who was the runner-up in 51.38.
“I didn’t think it could possibly get any closer than the 2 IM, but somehow it did,” Johnson said. “Winning the 100 back by .02 was just another crazy shock.”
The Bates College-bound Johnson leaves Nauset with school records in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle, as well as the 100 backstroke, 100 butterfly and 200 individual medley.
“I’m really excited to be a part of collegiate swimming,” he said. “The head coach Peter Casares and assistant coach seem super nice and supportive. I’m also excited to have a pool that’s close by on campus instead of having to drive far away.”
Email Brad Joyal at firstname.lastname@example.org.