LANSING - For anyone that has swam, you know the effort it takes just to doggy paddle around the kiddie pool, let alone swim competitively day in and day out. It is no question that swimmers are some of the best athletes on the planet.
The Lansing State Journal Swimmer of the year, Waverly junior Joey Lashbrook, made a name in the pool since he began swimming competitively nine years ago. This past season, Lashbrook won the IM and backstroke at the CAAC Red meet, and placed 11th at States in the IM. He has won all his dual meets, with his only individual loss was in the 50 freestyle. He also set a conference record in the 200 IM, and broke his own varsity backstroke record time.
Lashbrook started swimming because of his older sister Frankie, as she also was a competitive swimmer.
When asked to spell out his success from this past season, Lashbrook paused. Being humble, something embedded from a young age, took over. He didn’t want to talk about himself until Coach Dave Hill gave him the go-ahead.
“I first want to thank my coaches,” said Lashbrook. “I also want to thank my parents for always being there for me at my meets, and always being willing to help with anything whether that’s with hiring a personal trainer, or getting me new gear.”
Lashbrook, who looks to have an even better senior campaign, is no stranger to hard work and dedication.
“Constant work, perfecting my strokes, and technique,” said Lashbrook. “Those are the three things I try and focus on each day”.
Hill describes Lashbrook as “naturally gifted”.
“Joey puts in time and effort day after day,” said Hill.
As undoubtedly the top swimmer at Waverly, Lashbrook could easily be distanced from his teammates.
“It’s not easy being the best, and it takes a high level of maturity, but Joey is just one of the guys. He’s always in the middle of all the fun,” said Hill.
Hill credited the entire Lashbrook family with a lot of success the program has had.
“We are lucky to have their family in our program; both mom and dad are active in the swim club,” said Hill.
Lashbrook’s mother, Kathy, has been the president of the swim club board at Waverly for the past 10 years, and father David, has been the treasurer for the past six.
“We got started with our involvement in the club because of our oldest daughter Frankie,” said Kathy.
Neither Kathy nor David were swimmers, but their family values created athletes out of their children which also include two other sons.
“We have always told our kids we’ll support you 100% in whatever you do but you have to do something,” said David. “He loves it. He really likes the sport - pushing himself to see what he can do. You have to be impressed with a kid willing to do two-a-days, Saturday practices, and after school practices as well.”
Maybe the most telling trait that Lashbrook exemplifies is his willingness to be a mentor to his teammates and two younger brothers.
“Joey gets this satisfaction out of inspiring,” said Kathy.
David added, “He loves to be able to support others.”
When asked about his younger brother Niel, who has really gravitated towards swimming as well, Lashbook said, “Niel is always asking for help, and no question he is going to break all my records”.
Lashbrook has put together quite the resume in and out of the pool, and no question the sky is the limit for the Waverly swimming star.