Jason Louser had a sophomore campaign in the pool that any senior would see as a near-perfect send off, but the scary part for Long Island and New York State swimmers may be the potential for what could come next.
Louser, of Shoreham-Wading River, won the 100-yard breaststroke state championship in an All-American automatic time of 55.74 and placed second in the 200-yard individual medley at the state meet at the Nassau Aquatic Center in Eisenhower Park last March.
Two weeks prior at the Suffolk County championships, Louser set the 500-yard freestyle county record in 4:31.62, besting Chris Cremer of Sayville/Bayport-Blue Point (4:32.79 in 2007) and won the 100-yard breaststroke to be named the MVP of the meet at only 15 years old.
“It was a great sophomore year because a lot of people have that senior year and then the next year they are off at college and they don’t have the time to better those records that they made,” Louser said. “So I have two more years to try to make that time better and faster so it lasts longer.”
Louser isn’t limiting himself this season, and hasn’t decided which races he wants to compete in this year’s state championships. Since Shoreham-Wading River doesn’t have a team of its own, Louser competes at individual meets to post state-qualifying times in official state events with other swimmers without a school team.
“It’s a little different,” the junior said. “But I know I need to try either way no matter what the setting or situation. I have to try to dig down and try to go my best time and makes states. It’s pretty much 100 percent self motivation because you don’t want to swim a race and come out of it thinking you didn’t give it your best shot.”
Louser, who has been quite busy in the pool since March, has swum in many high-profiled races, including 2017 U.S. Open Swimming Championships at the Nassau Aquatic Center in August, which featured Olympian Ryan Lochte.
And with his club swim team practicing at the Nassau Aquatic Center, Louser has become efficient in time management. He brings his backpack in the car for the hour drive each direction to and from practice, knowing his grades will help him attract even more college interest. But for now, Louser’s focus remains on being in high school.
“I just need to enjoy it because it only lasts so long,” Louser said. “I only have two more years and I’ll never get it again so I just have to enjoy it.”