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Dallas, Texas-native David Johnston has announced his verbal commitment to the University of Texas men’s swimming and diving team for 2020-21. A senior at The Covenant School who swims year-round for Rockwall Aquatic Center of Excellence, Johnston has seemingly come out of nowhere to be one of the top distance freestylers in his class. He will join a stacked class of 2024 in Austin that also includes verbal commits Armando Vegas, Ben Charles, Brendan McCourt, Carson Foster, Coby Carrozza, Ethan Heasley, Matthew Tannenberger, Victor Tremblay, and Zac Van Zandt.
“I’m proud to announce my verbal commitment to continue my swimming career at the University of Texas! The team’s competitive spirit and unity as well as the extraordinary coaching is what drew me to Texas. I’m excited to represent the longhorns and be a part of their unmatched legacy. Swimming for UT has been my dream since I was 9, and it is surreal to imagine that all the incredible support of my family and coaches has finally led me here. I want to thank the entire RACE program and my coaches, specifically Coach Tom Applegate and Neil Walker, for believing in me and pushing me to be the best swimmer and person that I can be. In addition to the coaching at RACE, my teammates’ positivity has inspired me and shaped my mentality and on swimming. I also could not have done this without my family and words cannot express how much they have done for me. I’m looking forward to August and cannot wait for the many years and memories ahead with Texas swimming.”
Johnston has improved vastly over the last two years and is poised for even more explosive growth in this his senior year of high school. He didn’t have Sectionals cuts until 2018 and yet he wrapped up the 2019 long-course season with 2020 Olympic Trials cuts in the 800m free (8:12.14),1500m free (15:33.36), and 400m IM (4:24.83). Competing at Speedo Junior Nationals, Johnston kicked off the meet with a 28-second drop in the 1500 free to finish in 2nd place. He then took 3rd in the 400 IM, 14th in the 400 free, and 6th in the 800 free. He also earned a PB in the 200 breast (68th in prelims) and 200 IM (48th in prelims). His times progression in LCM is as follows:
While he’s made significant improvements in his short-course times as well, Johnston has yet to translate this past summer’s times into their SCY equivalents. He earned PBs in his top events last spring at College Section Sectionals and RACE’s North Texas Short Course Championships.
Top SCY times:
- 200 free – 1:42.25
- 500 free – 4:29.59
- 1000 free – 9:21.78
- 1650 free – 15:28.62
- 200 IM – 1:52.87
- 400 IM – 3:56.89
- 200 back – 1:49.40
- 200 breast – 2:06.94
Watch these times, though. Johnston only has national time standards, so far, in the 500/1000/1650 and 400 IM, and the 1650 is his only Summer Juniors cuts; the rest are Winter Juniors. Johnston is such a quickly-developing talent that he could go in any number of directions under Eddie Reese’s tutelage. He could focus on the 500/1650 or he could wind up like Jonathan Roberts, a distance freestyler for the Longhorns who became one of the top 200 backstrokers and 400 IMers in his class.
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