MAC-to-Navy Pipeline Continues: McCullagh and Johnson Give Verbals

Seniors Erin McCullagh (Charlotte Catholic High School) and Luke Johnson (South Mecklenburg High School) will continue the SwimMAC Carolina legacy at Navy, as both have verbally committed to swim for the U.S. Naval Academy next year. Erin’s brother Hayes McCullagh ‘17 is a Senior ‘Firstie’ swimming at Navy. Other SwimMAC alums on the current Navy rosters include Jack Eudy ‘19, Lauren Greenberg ‘19, and Alexandra Bonfilio ‘20.

Since the club’s founding in 1997 over a dozen SwimMAC swimmers have gone to Annapolis to become Navy Midshipmen. Among others, these include Mary Hesler, Charlie & Thomas Hetzel, Kellie Darmody, Dan Bowden, David & Joe Guthman, and Ian Johnston (Johnston was the first to take the SwimMAC-to-Annapolis path, 25 years ago this year). All Midshipmen are commissioned as Ensigns upon graduation from the Naval Academy.

Photo courtesy of Mary McCullagh

Photo courtesy of Mary McCullagh

Erin McCullagh

A freestyle/backstroker, McCullagh is a Junior Nationals qualifier in the 100/200 back. She has been a finalist in the 500 free and 100 back at North Carolina 4A State Championships in each of the last two years. She competed at 2015 Speedo Winter Juniors East in the 500 free, 100/200 back, and 400 IM, and earned a PB in the 200 back. Her best times (SCY/LCM) are:

  • 200 free – 1:52.02/2:07.29
  • 500 free – 4:57.91/4:25.14
  • 100 back – 57.07/1:05.31
  • 200 back – 2:01.44/2:19.17
  • 400 IM – 4:27.45/5:04.51

McCullagh would have scored points for Navy at the 2016 Patriot League Championships (which only scores two finals) in the 500 free, 100/200 back, and 400 IM. She will be the third sibling to swim in Division I: in addition to her brother, Hayes, at Navy, her older sister Nora swims at Texas. Both her parents swam at Boston College.

Photo courtesy of Mary McCullagh

Photo courtesy of Mary McCullagh

Luke Johnson

Johnson is primarily a breaststroke/IMer, and has been a finalist in the 200 IM and 100 breast in each of the last two years at North Carolina 4A State Championships. He competed in the 500y free, 100/200y breast, and 200/400y IM at 2015 Speedo Winter Juniors East, and in the 400m free, 100/200m breast, and 200/400m IM at USA Swimming Futures in Atlanta this summer. He finished the 2015-16 swim year with new times in all his events. His best times (SCY/LCM) are:

  • 100 breast – 57.22/1:05.35
  • 200 breast – 2:02.99/2:22.38
  • 200 IM – 1:52.90/2:08.86
  • 400 IM – 3:58.09/4:39.42
  • 200 free – 1:40.84/1:58.90
  • 500/400 free – 4:32.66/4:07.37

Johnson would have scored in the B finals of the 500 free, 100/200 breast, and 400 IM at 2016 Patriot League Championships.

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About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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