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February 27, 2014

Seniors to finish up careers at home

By Aaron Cutteridge

Seniors Alex Lewis and Alexandra Johansson look forward to the Horizon League Championship, Feb. 26 through March 1, at Cleveland State’s Robert F. Busbey Natatorium and life outside the pool after graduation.

Both Lewis and Johansson are looking forward to swimming in their home pool for the championships. “I love racing in this pool,” Lewis said. “It’s terrific to have the conference here.”

“Definitely. It’s going to be fun to have our first conference at home and our last one. It’s good to wrap it up in here,” Johansson added.
Johansson and Lewis both spoke highly of the quality of the Natatorium and said it’s probably one of the best in the country and feel the Vikings will have an advantage in the championships.

Lewis, a criminology and sociology major, plans on returning home to New Richmond, Ohio and enrolling in the police academy after graduation.

Lewis’ career in the pool at Cleveland State will end as individual record holder in the 100 Freestyle, 50 Freestyle and 100 Butterfly as well as part of the relay team record holders for 200 Freestyle Relay and 400 Freestyle Relay.

Johansson will return to Sweden a week after graduation with a degree in social work.
Johansson’s Cleveland State career is equally as impressive with individual records in the 100 Butterfly, 50 Freestyle, 100 Freestyle and 100 Backstroke and relay records in 200 Freestyle Relay, 400 Freestyle Relay and 200 Medley Relay.

Lewis and Johansson spoke about being de facto coaches to the freshman swimmers by teaching them advantages and techniques to excel in the pool. “Everything happens in the morning swim [at a meet],” Johansson said, “and for a lot of the freshman coming in, they usually don’t realize that you need to be prepared in the morning.”

“I think not only are you a leader of the team, but also a kind of a coach in the water as well. If you see something one of the underclassmen are doing that’s not correct, you can mention it to them, cause there’s fifty swimmers on the team and our coach can’t possibly notice all of them. It helps when the seniors step up and act as a coach as well,” Lewis sad.

Johansson’s time in America has helped her grow as a person learning cultural differences, which she knows will help her with her job in social work. Johansson and Lewis both agreed the key to their decision for coming to Cleveland State for the swim team was the coaches. “Honestly, I chose it simply because of the coaches. They were great at recruiting and I felt Wally really meant what he said and I have not regretted it, at all,” Johansson said.

“Yeah, the coaches for me when I was there were definitely a huge part of it. Going to other schools and being recruited by other schools, I couldn’t see myself going to those schools because here, they made me a part of the team right off the bat,” Lewis said.

“He’s not only a great coach, but he wants the best for us out of life. That’s a big factor,” Johansson said of Coach Morton.

“While you’re here, enjoy swimming, but I want you to become a great person, as well,” Lewis said of Coach Morton’s philosophy. This is a sentiment both Lewis and Johansson will carry long after graduation from Cleveland State.