Joey Lashbrook’s junior season didn’t begin as planned.
But his mind was fixed on the state meet, and the junior knew he had time to get it together.
And at the Michigan Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association meet in February, the Waverly/Lansing Catholic swimmer found his groove. His time of 54.12 in the 100 backstroke set a new school record.
“It was a relief,” said Lashbrook, the LSJ swimmer of the year. “It was a great milestone for me. It was a confidence booster, and it told me that in four weeks I’d be ready for the state meet.”
Nearly two weeks later, Lashbrook had another strong outing. At the CAAC Red meet, Lashbrook placed first in the 200-yard individual medley and 100 backstroke. He was also a member of the 200-yard medley relay team that placed first.
Lashbrook was rolling, and his momentum carried into the Division 2 state meet. He broke his own record in the 100 backstroke with a time of 52.98 in the preliminary round and finished sixth in the event. Lashbrook also finished 11th in the 200-yard individual medley.
“The league meet is always a goal — it’s always on my mind, but my races are really at the state meet,” he said. “This year I really wanted to finish top-8 in the backstroke, and same with IM. But my field was so strong. I had a better time this year, but I placed lower.
“I wanted to get all-state and have coach walk out with that.”
Lashbrook’s preparation this season was different than previous years, and it may have played into his slow start. But as he progressed throughout the season, he grew into his role as a team leader and found ways to motivate himself.
“It was definitely a different training atmosphere this year,” Lashbrook said. “Last year, and the year before, we had kids that were older and faster than me and it was good to keep up with them.
“This year, we lost some seniors and it was on me and Mr. (David) Hill to motivate myself.”