SEWELL--- Mainland’s Destin Lasco wanted to race fast all weekend at the NJSIAA Meet of Champions.
The end result of that goal was a pair of meet records in the 100 and 200-yard freestyle at Gloucester County Institute of Technology on Sunday.
“I wanted to practice racing fast in prelims and coming back and racing fast and consistently in finals,” Lasco said.
Lasco won the 100-yard freestyle in a time of 43.44 seconds and the 200-yard freestyle in 1:35.17.
He specifically focused on those races with an eye on future success at the Olympic trials next year and other big meets.
“The reason I picked the 200 and 100 free is because I’m definitely looking toward Olympic trials next year and my best shot at making the team is the 100 and 200 free,” Lasco said.
Lasco started the weekend focusing on the small details in his preliminary races and then put everything together to shine in Sunday’s final round.
“When I come into the prelims, I focus on the small, fine details, the turns, the break outs, the starts,” Lasco said. “When it comes to finals, you just have to put it all together and grit your teeth when you’re on the third 50 and your legs are screaming.
“You have to nail your foot turn and get that initial velocity coming out of the water to hold your speed. Those are the fine details I try to work on at meets so when I get to the bigger meets, I’m calm and ready and my body has practiced it a thousand times.”
Two other South Jersey swimmers took home gold on Sunday, as Holy Spirit’s T.J. Given won the 50-yard freestyle and Moorestown’s Josh Fong won the 100-yard butterfly.
Given used some advice from his brother to amp up his motivation for the quickest event in the pool.
“Usually I go into a race and I’m in the zone, I’m just going to swim normally, but this time my brother told me to get angry,” Given said. “It definitely had an effect. It felt primal. It felt good, but all in all it was just a lot of fun.”
Fong finally won the butterfly in his final high school swim after finishing third in the event in each of the last two seasons.
“It’s definitely a pretty amazing feeling,” Fong said. “I’ve been third in this race the last two years. Coming so close the last two years and finally being able to get there is emotional.”
S.J. Girls Champions
200 IM – Sophomore Katie McClintock, Mainland, finished first in 2:00.87. She broke the 6-year-old meet record with a time of 2:00.30 in Saturday’s prelims. McClintock also finished second in the 100 back.
100 Back – Sophomore Annie Behm, Cherry Hill East, finished first with a time of 55.36.
100 Breast – Junior Grace Yoon gave Cherry Hill East its second individual champion with a time of 1:02.67.