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Swimming: Mainland's Destin Lasco wins four events at Meet of Champions

03/04/2018, 10:45pm EST
By Charlie Sprang, SJSD

The Mustangs' sophomore won the 200 IM and 500 free and also swam on the winning free relays

SEWELL – Destin Lasco barely had time to catch his breath.

After receiving his first place medal for winning the 500 free, the Mainland sophomore jumped off the podium, grabbed his head phones and joined his teammates behind the blocks for the 200 free relay. The consolation heats were already underway and Mainland, which broke the meet record in prelims on Saturday, was the top seed in the event, swimming in lane four.

No warm down, no stretching, no rest and it didn’t matter.

Joey Rogers, who won the 100 free and finished third in the 50, led off the relay followed by Nick DiNofrio and Destin Lasco’s older brother, Glenn. Mainland already had a comfortable lead when Destin Lasco took off. That he would anchor that relay to another record time of 1 minute 23.12 seconds, with a 19.99 second split drew a roar from the crowd.

 “Am I surprised-surprised? No,” said Mainland coach Brian Booth. “You watch him swim and he is so efficient in the water, it doesn’t look like he’s going that fast. Then you see the board and he split 19.9. That’s pretty remarkable.”

Actually he was pretty remarkable all meet. His day started with the 200 individual medley. He set the record of 1:48.07 last year and his goal was to get somewhere near his personal best of 1:46.90. When he finished in 1:44.59, the crowd roared and he was so excited he leapt half way out of the water. He won the race by almost seven seconds.

“That race has so much emotion for me,” Destin Lasco said of the 200 IM. “To be able to go 1:44 and drop two seconds off my (best) time, I was speechless. That’s why I reacted the way I did. I couldn’t believe it.”

His next event was the 500 free which he led wire to wire. He knew the record what the record was (4:24.04) and that it is the oldest record on the books, set in 1986 by Sean Killion of Cherry Hill East. That he just missed it, winning in 4:24.90, left him a little disappointed.

“In the IM and relays I met my expectations,” Destin Lasco said. “In the five free I didn’t reach them. Definitely my goal was to break the record, but you can’t have everything. I just need to stay hungry, keep practicing hard. I love the five free. I just need to get more experience and hopefully come back and break it.”

Destin Lasco’s last swim of the meet came on the anchor leg of the 400 free relay. He followed Rogers, Brett Clauhs, and Glenn Lasco into the pool and split a 43.35 second anchor leg as the Mustangs won in 3:04.43 which was just shy of the meet record set by Mainland of 3:02.31 set last year.

So, for the meet, Destin Lasco won two individual events, the IM in record time, and anchored the two free relays, the 200 free relay in record time.

It was also one last time to swim with his brother, Glenn, in high school. Glenn Lasco, who will continue his academic and athletic career at Lehigh University, finished third in the 200 free and second in the 100 and swam the third leg in both relays.

“I am so happy for him because he has been through a lot and now he is going to go to Lehigh,” Destin said. “He has always been like a mentor for me. He has always been there for me and I am going to miss him.”

Rogers, who is also headed to Lehigh next year, was South Jersey’s only other individual winner in the morning session. He won the 100 free in 45.37 after finishing second in the 50 free.

“I wanted to go out on a good note,” Rogers said. “I was a little disappointed with the 50 so I really wanted to out and attack the 100. I took it out faster then I normally do and I had a pretty good race.”

One of several for Mainland Sunday.

Steve Vasturia played professional this past season in Germany.
Khaliel Burnett competing at the Meet of Champions
Winslow ran away with state Group 3 crown
The inaugural Schalick girls; state champions
Seniors Bill Goldsborough (left) and Michael Szwed
Left to right: Jade Pope, Jon'Nay Lloyd, Jasmine Pope, Keyoura Smith (junior) of the 4x400 Pennsauken relay team.

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