Lasecki commits to Wisconsin
By Rich Palzewic
SUAMICO – Bay Port girls’ swimmer Emma Lasecki had her choice of where she wanted to continue her academic and athletic career in college.
In the end, the three-time WIAA state qualifier chose to stay close to home and attend Division I UW-Madison.
“At first, I thought I wanted to go to a bigger school in another part of the country where it was warmer,” said Lasecki, who is the daughter of Elise and Brad Lasecki and has a younger brother named Logan. “I’m not the most decisive person, but after thinking about things, I knew it was best for me to attend Wisconsin and stay closer to home. I didn’t want to be away from family and take a flight every time I wanted to come home. It would have been scary going to a school such a long way from home.”
Lasecki, a junior, also looked at Ohio State, Minnesota, Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA, San Diego, Vanderbilt, Akron, Florida Gulf Coast, Miami, Alabama and Notre Dame.
“I liked the recruiting process, but I am glad it’s over,” she said. “It was a lot to manage with going to school and swimming here at Bay Port. I got to visit a lot of colleges, and I liked that. There were lots of colleges I didn’t even get to look at.”
Lasecki said the text messages and emails she received from coaches were “too many to count,” but she knows she is going to the right place in Wisconsin.
Lasecki, who began swimming at about the age of 7 and is a multiple-time state champ at the club level, knew early on if she worked hard, she could eventually make a splash in the sport.
“My mom can swim a little, but my dad can’t swim,” laughed Lasecki, who tried a lot of sports when she was younger, including t-ball, dance, gymnastics and soccer. “When I started focusing solely on swimming, I started to improve a lot when I was 9 or 10.”
Lasecki’s high school career has put her among the elite swimmers in the state, but she laughed that she couldn’t dive very well.
“I can do a front flip, and that’s about it,” Lasecki giggled. “I love watching our divers. I could never do that.”
Her time of 2:02.10 in the 200 individual medley at the 2018 WIAA state meet placed her second, while her 100 butterfly time (54:86) gave her a third-place finish.
“I was always looking forward to swimming at the high school level,” said Lasecki. “The atmosphere is more team-oriented, but the events are shorter as compared to the club level. Club swimming is more about your individual performance. In high school, you want to swim fast for personal reasons, but you also want to score points for your team – I like that.”
Lasecki has yet to win that elusive state title but will have another crack at it her senior year this fall before heading to Madison.
“I really wanted to win last season, but I didn’t,” Lasecki smiled. “I bettered my teams, so I was happy about that. If I could close it out by getting one next season, that would be great. If I don’t win, I want to at least improve.”
Lasecki said she is more suited to race the 200 butterfly and 400 IM races like she does at the club level, so she feels when she gets to college and can swim those events, she can excel even more.
“My 200 IM and 100 butterfly times are good, but the longer distances in those events are better for me,” she said. “I wish they had those longer events in high school – they are much harder. I feel college will be the best of both worlds. I’ll have the team aspect and the longer events. I don’t have too many goals, but I would like to eventually swim at the NCAA meet, get into the A-final at the Big 10 meet and improve. I look forward to being there.”
Despite starting at an early age and having a good portion of her life consumed by swimming, Lasecki hasn’t given it a thought to not swim in college.
“Maybe if I didn’t have the opportunities I’ve had, I wouldn’t continue in college, but I love the sport,” she added. “I know it’s going to be a lot to handle, but I’m ready for it.”