Feb 27, 2013, 11:24 AM EDT
Entering the Shamrock Invitational, senior swimmer Chris Johnson had already accomplished a lot in his three and a half years at Notre Dame. The St. John, Ind. native is the program record holder in the 100-yard breaststroke and was only the fifth two-time captain of the Irish swimming and diving program.
However, Johnson added to his list of accomplishments when he took the blocks for the 100-yard breaststroke at the Shamrock Invite. “Just before the race, I glanced at the record board just to check what it was, since it would be the last chance I would ever have to break it,” said Johnson.
He got out early and after he turned off the final wall he powered through the last lap. “The last lap, I just put everything I had left into getting my hands on the wall,” explained Johnson. “I knew I had gone pretty fast, but when I turned around to look at the clock, I honestly couldn’t believe what I saw. Going out with that as my last swim in Rolfs is something I will never forget.”
After the Shamrock Invite, Johnson and the Irish set their focus on the BIG EAST Championships. “BIG EAST always carries a lot of goals,” said Johnson, “Defending our conference title from last year tops that list of goals.” Johnson also has personal goals at this year’s BIG EAST Championships. He hopes to better his program record while also qualifying for the NCAA Championships later in March.
Like many at Notre Dame, though, some of Johnson’s most treasured moments revolve around the brothers and family that he has at Notre Dame. While Johnson will always remember setting the university and pool records and winning last year’s BIG EAST Championships, it is the smaller moments that also stick out to him.
“Jumping into a freezing pool in the middle of December with your brothers, hitting a new personal best in the weight room while your brothers scream encouragement, eating together, living together, [and] traveling together,” are some of the memories that Johnson will take with him after his time at Notre Dame concludes. “I couldn’t have asked for a better family,” said Johnson.
Be sure to follow Johnson and the rest of the Notre Dame men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs as both teams compete in the BIG EAST Championships through Saturday.
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