He holds every school record in the freestyle events, the 100-yard backstroke and anchors a record-setting relay team, but Logan Lassley discovered early in his North High swimming career that a great team is just as pivotal in gaining individual accolades.
Lassley, a successful club swimmer for the Wichita Aqua Shocks, began recruiting athletes to join the swim team after a lackluster state meet experience as a sophomore.
“My sophomore year I came (to state), and it was just me and another kid,” Lassley, a senior, said. “We were both freaking out. It hurt us a lot and we didn’t do well. Last year the only reason why I didn’t freeze up at the hotel was because my friends were there. They were messing around. That’s what you need is something that keeps your mind off of the race until you really need to put your mind on it. “
With teammates there to support him, Lassley won the 50-yard freestyle in the Class 6A meet last season. So before the start of this year’s swim season, he scouted the halls of North, again looking for swimmers.
“You’ve got to look for people that are tall and lanky,” Lassley said. “You’ve got to look for people that look like swimmers and ask them, ‘Have you ever swam before? You look like you could be a good swimmer. You should go to our swim meeting and see what its all about.’æ”
But recruiting swimmers wasn’t enough. Lassley wanted his teammates to be good enough to compete at the state level. So he put in extra time to help out coach Megan Von Fange during practices to make the transition easier for swimmers who don’t swim year-round.
“I think that’s one of the reasons that North has really built its program is because our really strong swimmers like Logan are really focused on the team-building aspect,” Von Fange said. “He’s all about making them a part of the team and wanting them to do better so in turn he can do the relays and have the team succeed, not just him.”
Von Fange said Lassley often jumps out of his lane during practice to help guys with their starts and turns, and is always there when they need something explained to them. She said the team grew from six to 26 because of Lassley’s commitment. North has three state-qualifying relay teams, two of which (200 free and the 400 free) have shots at qualifying for the finals, which are Saturday in Topeka after today’s preliminaries.
With a solid team around him, Lassley has been able to focus more at meets, and it showed last week when he smashed the school’s 50-yard freestyle record and the 100-yard freestyle record.
“Right before you get on the blocks, you think about what you’re going to do in a race,” Lassley said. “Your heart just starts pumping so fast and you know that you’re going to get those records and you know its going to be an awesome night. That’s really what the key to a good race is, the concentration to know what you’re going to do before the race.”
STATE SWIMMING AND DIVING
Today — 6A swimming prelims, 10:30 a.m.; diving finals all classes, 2 p.m.; 5-1A swimming prelims, 4:30.
Saturday — 6A Swimming finals, 11 a.m.; 5-1A swimming finals 4:30 p.m.
2010 team champions
Class 6A—Shawnee Mission East
Class 5-1A—Salina South.