|Team:||Swimming & Diving|
Kari Klassen Johnson ’98
Sport: Swimming & Diving
Year Inducted: 2005
Kari Klassen ’98 earned first team All-Ivy honors 13 times in her three-year Brown career, helping the Bears win three consecutive Ivy League/Eastern Championships. An honorable mention All-American as a junior, Klassen was named the 1997 RIAIAW Athlete of the Year. She also set a conference record in the 100 butterfly, a record that still stands today. Klassen was first team All-Ivy five times as a senior, while also earning Academic All-Ivy honors.
Klassen, who began swimming at the age of six, transferred to Brown in 1995 from the University of Minnesota where she placed third in the 100 Fly at the Big Ten Championships and was also a NCAA qualifier.
In her first year at Brown, Klassen was First Team All-Ivy in the 100 free, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle relay and 400 freestyle relay events. As a junior she continued her winning ways, capturing four more First Team All-Ivy honors. Klassen qualified for the NCAA Championships in both the 100 butterfly and 100 freestyle that year, finishing 10th at Nationals in the 100 butterfly.
As a senior in 1998, Klassen served as a co-captain and went on to earn First Team All-Ivy honors in the 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle relay, 400 freestyle relay, 800 freestyle relay and the 400 medley relay. At the end of the season, Klassen received the Marjorie and Stanton Smith Award, which recognizes outstanding achievement, sportsmanship and leadership by a member of the Brown swimming and diving team.
In the winter of 1998, Klassen received her B.A. in Organizational Behavior and Management from Brown. Upon graduating, Klassen began working for an advertising agency and then for the Minnesota State House of Representatives, where she worked for several years before giving birth to her first daughter, Annika, in 2002.
Shortly after their daughter’s birth, Klassen and her husband, Eric, moved to Monument, Colorado where they reside today. In October 2004, their second daughter, Elisabeth, was born.