Today: Jun 19, 2024

Laskoski brings leadership to the track team

photo courtesy | southernctowls.com Laskoski finished in first at the NE-10 Championships in Boston, Mass.

Jennifer Hoffer – Sports Writer

Connecticut resident Nelson Laskoski has created quite a resume for himself as a member of the Owls track and field team.

Laskoski attended Woodstock Academy where he said he was persuaded by a friend to join the track team.

“He told me the track team was in need of some numbers,” Laskoski said. “I thought it would be a good way to stay in shape for soccer.”

Laskoski’s forte has always been the pole vault. In high school, he was a two-time state champion and finished fourth at the New England’s in the pole vault.

Choosing Southern was a simple task for him, Laskoski said. He wanted to continue his love for the game of track and showcase his talents here at Southern.

“I loved the campus size and the track program reputation,” Laskoski said.

Carrying the joy and fun he had out of doing something he loved was one thing, he said, he wanted to bring over to Southern.

“My high school experience,” Laskoski said, “was simply fun. Two of my best friends and I were pole-vaulters and were good enough to travel to big competitions.”

Laskoski said he, along with his two friends and high school coach Dave Gibeault, would travel to these meets.

“We would all cram into a small Saab and travel to these competitions,” Laskoski said. “We had a good time to say the least.”

Organizational skills was something, Laskoski said, he needed to adjust to when making the transition from high school to college.

“While being here at Southern, between my fellow student athletes and coaches, I have become much more organized and with that less stressed,” Laskoski said.

Not only are the team’s success and camaraderie something he admires in the team, Laskoski said, but he also admires Southern’s pride. He said he thinks that it is a contributing factor to not only the track teams overall success, but also the overall success of all the athletic programs at Southern.

Of course, he said, credit has to be given to tremendous coaching staff.

“Head coach Wallin, coach Van-Gilder, and coach Sutherland, not only have the knowledge of track and field but they also have the experience of being a student athlete,” Laskoski said. “And in my opinion, you need to experience something to teach it.”

Laskoski said he credits much of his own individual success to coach David Van-Gilder.

“I wouldn’t be where I am at if it wasn’t for him,” Laskoski said.

photo courtesy | southernctowls.comLaskoski finished in first at the NE-10 Championships in Boston, Mass.
photo courtesy | southernctowls.com
Laskoski finished in first at the NE-10 Championships in Boston, Mass.

Not only have coaches like Van-Gilder and Wallin helped him improve his game remarkably, but fellow teammate Nick Lebron has also been by his side to guide him through the years.

“Nick Lebron was always there to get my mind right on the track, and also off the track,” Laskoski said. “I wouldn’t have been successful without having Nick here with me or having the knowledge of coach Wallin to teach me the methods of each event and just keep my motivation going.”

But honestly, Laskoski said, everyone on the entire track team has had a part to play for the entire time that he has been here.

Lebron and Laskoski both joined Southern’s team their freshman year.

Lebron said, personality-wise, they were very alike. Their quick bond would sometimes get them off-track quite a bit, literally.

“We had a little to much fun in practice and didn’t really take track as seriously as we could,” Lebron said. “But as the years went on, including the successful year we had last year, our mentalities started to change. Now, it’s about business from the minute we walk in the field house.”

Not only does Laskoski rely on Lebron, but Lebron said he also knows that he can rely on Laskoski to keep focus and dialed in to what ever session or workout we are doing.

“The guy doesn’t half-heart anything,” Lebron said. “With that guy its always 110% effort and he shows he really wants to get better. I love watching him compete for that reason. It’s something the younger guys should admire.”

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