Farmington HillsMarch 19, 2014
Lashok claims state title in final individual event with N. Farm.
By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer
FARMINGTON HILLS — He’d been a state finalist.
He’d stood on the podium as a state medalist.
He’d come so close, but Nick Leshok had never claimed an individual state title in the pool.
And at the Division 2 swim finals, he was down to his final shot when he unleashed a flurry of speed and power.
Exactly 46.03 seconds later, he was a state champ.
“It’s pretty great,” Leshok said of his title in the 100-yard freestyle event at last weekend’s Division 2 final at Eastern Michigan University. “To look up at the board and see first place was pretty special.”
“I’m so proud of him, especially to do it in his senior year,” coach Mike Harfoot said. “He’s been in the top three at states before, but never had that top finish. It was his last swim as an individual, and to out with bang like he did was awesome.”
Leshok, who also helped the Raiders finish second in the 200-free relay as the anchor and fifth in the 400-free relay, also placed second in the 50 free in 20.93 seconds.
He said at the time of his 100 free, he didn’t even realize it was his last individual event.
“I, honestly, hadn’t really thought about it,” he explained. “My only real focus was on racing as hard as I could.”
His victory was the first state title for a North Farmington swimmer since 1998.
“He’s a very persistent swimmer,” Harfoot said. “He has great top-end speed, and he can maintain that speed for a long, long time. He’s a kid that works so hard. He goes all out in practice. He’s earned everything he’s gotten.”
The state title was the exclamation point to a brilliant career for Leshok.
Aside from his finals accolades, he owns school records in the 50 and 100 free, and the 200 IM.
He’s also part of the 200- and 400-freestyle relay teams that set school records.
Harfoot also said Leshok owns seven pool records at North Farmington.
But nothing compares to being a state champ.
“To win a state title is pretty special,” said Leshok, who is headed to swim at Michigan State University next year. “It didn’t sink in right away what had happened, but now that it’s behind me, it’s something I truly appreciate.”