A pair of wins and meet records
Destin Lasco sacrificed plenty during swimming season. He cut short time with friends in order to get proper rest and endure multiple early-morning training sessions.
His performance at the State Individual Swimming Championship, commonly called the Meet of Champions, made it all worthwhile.
Lasco set meet records in his two individual events, the 200-yard individual medley and the 100 backstroke. He also anchored Mainland’s 400 freestyle relay team, which set a meet record by just more than three seconds. He led off the Mustangs’ winning 200 medley relay.
Lasco won the 200 IM by more than two seconds in 1 minute, 49.74 seconds. He returned in his top high school event, the 100 backstroke, to win in 47.67 seconds.
“I really feel happy right now because I’ve sacrificed myself so much to be able to do this,” Lasco said at the meet. “Things like not staying late at someone’s house and being at 5 a.m. practices. I definitely came in to break records.”
A state championship
Mainland Regional was one of the state’s most dominate teams in any sport this winter.
Lasco was a big reason why.
The Mustangs finished 15-0 and won their second straight state Public B championship with a 103-67 defeat of Scotch Plains-Fanwood.
Lasco won the 200-yard individual medley and the 100 backstroke at the championship meet.
Lasco set or took part in five National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association meters records this winter. One of his top performances came Jan. 17 in a 114-56 win over Cape-Atlantic League rival St. Augustine Prep.
Lasco won the 200-meter individual medley in 2 minutes, 2.14 seconds to break the existing National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association mark of 2:02.56 from 2008. The record was set by Kyle Owens, of Science Hill High School, in Johnson City, Tennessee.
“I was focusing on breaking the 100 backstroke (national) record, but got the IM record instead,” Lasco said afterward. “The backstroke leg (of the individual medley) got me off to a good start. I looked up at the clock after the IM and said to myself, ‘Did I just do that?’ ”