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Seward's O'Leary still making waves, Nikiski's Johnson transitions to college football

Posted: January 9, 2014 - 11:44pm  |  Updated: January 10, 2014 - 12:34am

Going from an athlete in a small pond to the ocean that is the college scene is quite the transition, but Seward’s Ryan O’Leary is still impressing the masses.

Swimming at the University of Wyoming, the junior helped to break two school relay records and also moved into the top-10 in two individual events last year as a sophomore.

The 2010 Seward graduate — who was voted Outstanding Boys Swimmer at the 2010 state swimming and diving meet after winning the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle events — ranks fifth on the university’s list of 50 free times with a time of 20.44 seconds, and 10th on the 100 free list with a 45.32 mark.

In the school relay events, he earned Second Team All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation honors in the 200 free and 800 free relays.

Then, for additional measure, O’Leary helped the 400 free relay team capture third place at the Las Vegas Invitational.

Johnson's freshman year a success

Making the transition from a talented, athletic high school football star to the college ranks is a big step, but Nikiski’s Lincoln Johnson seems to have traversed that bridge without too much trouble.

As a defensive end for Division III Greenville College (Ill.), Johnson started nine of 11 games for the Panthers in 2013 as the school posted a 9-2 season record that was capped with an appearance in the National Christian College Athletic Association Victory Bowl.

The school took a humbling 67-0 loss to the Division II Azusa Pacific Cougars on Nov. 23 at the Historic Barron Stadium in Rome, Ga., but it was the regular season play of Johnson that proved as a freshman, he belongs.

Johnson’s four regular season sacks ranked him 12th in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference, and the 18 yards he dropped opposing quarterbacks was 22nd best in the conference.

Even Alaska congressman Don Young noticed the efforts of Johnson, as well as another Alaskan that played in the Victory Bowl, Justin Moore of Anchorage. Young congratulated both players on his Facebook page, adding that, “As a former college football player myself, I know the hard work and dedication it takes to pull off a winning season.”

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