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Billings West High School and Billings Aquatic Club teammates Michael Van Keuren and Mason Johnson have decided to announce their college commitments together for the fall of 2019: Van Keuren to Kenyon College and Johnson to Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut.
Van Keuren, whose strengths lie within the endurance based events, will join arguably the strongest DIII conference in the nation in the North Coast Conference, while Johnson, a breaststroker and IMer, will be joining Wesleyan, also a DIII team, that competes in the New England Small College Athletic Conference.
At the 2019 Montana High School State Championship meet Van Keuren swam the 200 yard IM and 100-yard butterfly, taking 2nd and 4th place respectively, while Johnson swam the 500-yard freestyle and the 100-yard breaststroke, taking 3rd and 5th place respectively. They both swam at the 2019 Speedo Champions meet in Federal Way, Washington, however, only Van Keuren swam individual events in finals. He took 20th place in the 1650 yard freestyle with a new career PR and 23rd place in the 200-yard butterfly after setting a new career PR in prelims.
Michael Van Keuren’s Best Times in Yards
- 500 free – 4:45.44
- 1650 free – 16:09.20
- 200 fly – 1:52.45
- 400 IM – 4:06.33
Mason Johnson’s Best Times in Yards
- 100 breast – 1:00.23
- 200 breast – 2:11.19
- 200 IM – 2:03.92
- 400 IM – 4:17.88
Van Keuren will enter the 2019 NCAC season with career-best times in the 1650 yard freestyle that would have ranked 12th in the conference and 6th on the team last year and a best time in the 200-yard butterfly that would have been ranked 13th in the conference and 4th on the team. Johnson will bring career best times to Wesleyan in the four events listed above that would have been the fastest times on the team for the 2018-2019 season.
The Class of 2023 for Kenyon will be made up Van Keuren as well as Spencer Pruett, Nicholas Hong, Andrew Stolarski, Liam Sweeney, and Jake Ritz; a class made up sprinters and breaststrokers with Stolarski and Ritz being more distance orientated. For Wesleyan, Johnson will join Jacob Lafferty, Richard Ettinger, Nick Dillon, Jeremy Kim, and Mason Polaner; a very diverse class with Kim being the only other breaststroker.
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