BJ Johnson and Eugene Godsoe are teammates in every sense of the word. They both were members of the Stanford men's swim team only a few years ago. They are currently teammates on Stanford Pro Elite, a small group of Cardinal post-grads.
And now, Johnson and Godsoe are teammates on the U.S. team that will participate in the FINA World Championships, set for July 28-Aug. 4 in Barcelona, Spain.
Both earned summer trips with impressive efforts Wednesday at USA Swimming's Phillips 66 National Championships in Indianapolis, Ind.
Johnson is definitely the late-bloomer of the group. During his days at Stanford, Johnson failed to break into the all-time 15 in either of the breaststroke events before his graduation in 2009.
His bio on the USA Swimming web site is all of four lines, the highlight of which was a fifth-place finish at the national championships at Stanford in 2011.
He was sixth in the 200-meter breast at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials and 13th in the 100 breast. At age 26, one might wonder why Johnson is still swimming.
Well, Johnson showed why he's still very active in the pool as he earned a berth on the U.S. team headed for Barcelona.
Johnson, coached by Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics' coach Tony Batis and Stanford coach Ted Knapp, clocked a personal best of 2:10.09 -- the No. 5 time in the world this year -- while taking second in the men's 200 breast.
Johnson's previous lifetime best was 2:10.87 from the 2012 U.S. Open Championships. This latest effort gives him his first trip to the World Championships.
"He trained and prepared for this and had a great swimmer in (Kevin) Cordes to chase," said Batis.
Johnson has managed to find time to train while currently pursuing his Ph.D. in engineering at Stanford.
Johnson's effort might have received a bit more attention, had it not been for the performance by Cordes. He made a serious run at the world record before winning for a world-leading time of 2:08.34.
Cordes, 19, was under Akihiro Yamaguchi's world-record pace at the 150-meter mark, but fell short of the 2:07.01 mark as he faded down the stretch. Still, it lowered Cordes' personal best of 2:09.16 from the morning prelims. The American record is 2:07.42 by Eric Shanteau in 2009.
Cordes is the American record holder in both the 100- and 200-yard breaststrokes, as well as the reigning NCAA champ in both events.
Godsoe, meanwhile, won the men's 50-meter butterfly in 23.29 to make his first international trip. The time ranks him No. 8 in the world.
"BJ and Eugene are two of the most thoughtful trainers I've ever known," Knapp said. "They truly value the process and take nothing for granted. Every moment serves a purpose."
In other finals Wednesday:
Stanford senior-to-be Maya DiRado was fifth in the women's 200 free in 1:58.41. She's already made the USA team in the 200 fly. Teammate Felicia Lee splashed and dashed to a fourth-place finish in the 50 fly in 26.54.
"Today was another good day of racing for us," Stanford women's head coach Greg Meehan said. "Maya DiRado will likely get to swim the 4x200 free relay in Barcelona with her fifth-place finish in the 200m free. Andi Murez and Felicia Lee continue to post best times in their events. We are pretty excited about our performances so far, and for what tomorrow has in store."
Stanford sophomore-to-be David Nolan was 11th in the men's 200 free in 1:49.49 after swimming a personal-best 1:48.87 in the prelims. Nolan's best event, the 200 IM, will be Saturday.
Sacred Heart Prep's Ally Howe of PASA was 14th in the women's 200 back (2:14.53) and 16th in the 50 fly (27.88) as she continued her busy schedule. Palo Alto High's Andrew Liang, another PASA swimmer, was 15th in the men's 50 fly in 24.65.