Few swimmers can qualify for the New York State Championships and then win a state title in their own home pool, but that’s just what Jason Louser did Saturday.
The Shoreham Wading River High School junior took the 200-yard individual medley at the Nassau Aquatic Center in East Meadow, clinching victory with a time of 1 minute, 48.20 seconds. The time he notched designates him as an All-American.
Even though it was one of Louser’s best times, he was cautious as to what he expected to achieve at the state level.
“It was definitely a best time for me,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting a state record because I do have another year to go for that but I knew that to win that event I had to go out faster because [Ward Melville’s David He is] a better back-stroker than I am. I’m a breast-stroker and that definitely helps so I had to take it out fast and make sure I stayed in first.”
Louser qualified for the state meet in December where he clocked 1:56.23.
His coach, Kate Canard, said the sky’s the limit for the Louser, who came within 33/1,000ths of a second of breaking the Section XI record set by Justin Plaschka in 2014.
Louser’s daily commute to East Meadow to train is a testament to his dedication and commitment.
“He has so much potential and he’s just a junior and what we’ve seen today is just the tip of the iceberg,” Canard said. “He’s so dedicated to the sport and so are his parents. He’s from out east and he travels here every day here for practice which speaks volumes to his dedication to the sport.”
Ward Melville’s He stayed within striking distance the entire way and Louser said he never lost sight of him.
“I could feel him on my feet but the IM really works for me so it’s never an issue to be a few lengths from the others as long as I’m at least within a body’s length,” he said. “I can and usually do catch up in the breast stroke.”
With his senior year ahead of him, more of the Louser iceberg may come into view.
Photo caption: Shoreham Wading River junior Jason Louser swam to a state title in the 200-yard individual medley Saturday at the Nassau Aquatic Center in East Meadow (Credit: Bill Landon)