Destin Lasco always had a feeling the University of California, Berkeley was the place for him.

The Mainland Regional High School junior made it official last week.

Lasco, one of the nation’s top scholastic swimmers, verbally committed to attend California on a full athletic scholarship.

“Cal was always in my mind because it’s one of the best schools athletically and academically,” Lasco said. “I’ve been looking at them since freshman year.”

Lasco is a two-time Press Boys Swimmer of the Year.

California is one of the nation’s top programs. Golden Bears coach Dave Durden was just named coach of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Men’s Swimming team. The Golden Bears have produced some of America’s top swimmers, most notably Olympic gold medalists Ryan Murphy and Anthony Ervin.

Cal was the No. 1 ranked team for the fall portion of the season in October. The Golden Bears continued their season Friday.

“When you’re surrounded by people who have the same aspirations as you, the advice they’re going to give you is just amazing,” Lasco said. “They’re proven they can take people to the Olympics, while giving them a phenomenal world-class degree.”

Lasco is one of the top athletes in Cape-Atlantic League history regardless of sport. He led the Mustangs to state team titles as a freshman and sophomore. Lasco won the 100-meter backstroke Wednesday at the Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championship in Fiji.

Lasco, 17, broke the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (NISCA) public school 200-meter freestyle record in 1 minute, 51.15 seconds. The Linwood resident now owns five of the eight (NISCA) individual public-school meters records, plus all three relay marks. Lasco won the 200-yard individual medley and 500 free and anchored two first-place relay teams at last season’s Meet of Champions.

He plans to major in either business or biology.

“They’re a top-five school (in the country) in both business and biology,” Lasco said. “

In addition to California, Lasco also made official visits to the University of Virginia, Stanford, North Carolina State and Indiana.

“Every official visit I went on I could see myself there,” Lasco said. “But when I made my pros and cons charts, CAL was really the place I wanted to be. I’m super-pumped to go there in 2020 and do four years there and hopefully longer than that.”

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Twitter @ACPressMcGarry

Staff Writer

I've covered high school sports and variety of other events and teams - including the ShopRite LPGA Classic and the Phillies - since 1993.

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