As if being part of a state championship team this past spring wasn’t enough, Olympia High water polo standout Alec Johnson learned in July that — along with teammate Luke Carey — he had been named an All-American by the National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association. Carey was named to the First Team and Johnson was named to the Sixth Team as a sophomore.
What was it like to earn All-American recognition?
When they first posted it, I was so happy for Luke (Carey) to see he got First Team All-American. That just solidifies the fact he’s the best player in the state — and that’s my teammate. When I scrolled down the list and saw my name as a Sixth Team All-American, I was so surprised, happy and grateful.
Does that taste of national recognition motivate you?
Yeah, because now Luke has First Team, and I have to get First Team.
What was it like to be part of last season’s state championship team?
The team chemistry — we’re, literally, like brothers. It’s closer than any other team you’ve probably ever seen. When we got in that pool (for the state championship), there was no doubt in our mind that we were going to win that game.
What were some memorable games that will stick with you from last season?
Our biggest loss, I’d consider, was probably the St. Thomas (Aquinas) game. … I felt like we played pretty well, but it really taught us a lesson that any team can beat you at any time. … And then our second most memorable game was the (Ian) Supra Tournament final — we won that tournament, and it was our first taste of success.
How long have you been playing water polo?
I played in fifth grade and, funny story, up until eighth grade, I did it as cross-training and absolutely hated it. I got really good at it, my dad kept me going to practice, and I just learned to love it.
Can you expand a little bit on what you love about the game?
The physicality and the fact that when the ball goes into the net, you’re the most happy person in the world.
What’s your favorite area of study?
In school, my favorite subject is math. I love doing equations — when you work it out and are completely done, it feels amazing.
What does the team do when it hangs out outside of the pool?
Usually we go bowling or something like that, and then we go to Twistee Treat — Twistee Treat is always the place. I usually order vanilla soft serve — I keep it basic.
See any good movies lately?
“The Meg” — it kept you on your toes the entire time. It was super crazy and surprising.