LUKE JOHNSON SWIMS HIS WAY TO THE US NAVAL ACADEMY
“Success is a journey, not a destination.” — Arthur Ashe
While South Mecklenburg High School swimmer Luke Johnson has achieved an incredible amount of success in the pool and the classroom, he has not completed his full mission just yet. The 17 year old son of Rod and Donna Johnson will continue his pursuit of success next season at the United States Naval Academy. Luke earned this prestigious honor by combining his swimming skills with the very best academic resume and a combination of leadership roles. Luke has the unique honor of attending the same high school of his parents. He is following the same path as his father in the pool by earning the chance to swim in college just like his father (NC State).
Luke started at an early age in a local pool.
“As a kid, I tried playing lots of different sports – soccer, basketball, football, baseball, but every summer I would swim for Olde Georgetowne summer league. Each year I got better. My father swam at South Meck, SwimMAC Carolina and NCSU so there is a long swimming history in my family. My summer league and South Meck coach, Leslie Berens, taught me how to swim when I was 6 years old. She’s the one who encouraged me to get involved in club swimming to get better for summer league. Eventually my passion and talent in swimming grew and I concentrated strictly on swimming by age 10.”
Luke is a mid-distance swimmer, specializing in the 100 Breaststroke, 200 Breaststroke, 200 Individual Medley, 400 Individual Medley, and 500 Freestyle. His best event is the 200 Breaststroke. Luke, like many top level swimmers, has a very demanding training schedule. “My peak “in season” training is 20 hours/week. I practice 8 times a week, swimming before school on Mondays and Fridays at 5:00-6:30 in the morning. I go
to practice basically straight from school where I practice 3:30 to 5:30 Monday through Friday, with 45 minute dryland sessions on Monday and Wednesday. On Tuesday and Thursday, I also lift with my swim program from 3-4 and on Saturday, I have practice from 7:00-10:15. I take Sundays off.”
All that practice led to great success. Luke is a two time Scholastic All-American, he helped the Sabres win the 2015 and 2016 4A State Championship and he is a member of the 2016 National Championship Club Team. He recently broke the oldest team record at his swim club in the 17-18 year old 200 breast. Ironically, the record was held by Ian Johnston a South Meck graduate that went on to the US Naval Academy.
The success doesn’t end in the pool for Luke, he is a very accomplished student. Luke is ranked second out of 658 students at South Meck with a 5.26 grade point average. He serves as President of the National Honor Society and is a member of the Beta Club. Luke served as a Junior Marshal last year at South Meck. Luke is also very active serving others inside our community. He serves as the North Carolina Junior Athlete Representative for North Carolina Swimming and was elected by swimmers in North Carolina. At St John’s Episcopal Church, Luke is a youth group advisor for a crew of 8th grade boys ad a member of the Senior Episcopal Youth Group. He also serves as an usher and as an acolyte.
Yes, Luke Johnson has accomplished many things at a very young age, but he isn’t ready to rest on his resume. With the appointment to the Class of 2021 at the United States Naval Academy, Luke is indicating he is ready for a new and exciting challenge that will bring a lifetime of opportunities his way. The South Charlotte Sports Report salutes Luke Johnson for his amazing commitment to success. We have no doubt this young man will rise to the challenge and accomplish great things going forward. All the best young man!