Bobcats' Lassetter making mark in her third country
Already a star in three varsity sports, island-hopping Nicole Lassetter was looking for a new challenge.
So Lassetter decided to try her hand at track and field for the London Central Bobcats this spring.
In her first season of competitive track, Lassetter posted a DODDS-Europe season best discus throw — 116 feet, 1 inch — two weeks ago at Alconbury.
Lassetter’s throw is almost 5 feet farther than the next-best effort this season and more than a foot past the 115-0 that won last May’s European championship.
Lassetter already had an impressive résumé:
• All-Europe in basketball as a freshman in Iceland;• Member of Far East championship basketball and soccer teams in Okinawa as a sophomore;• European Division III volleyball tournament MVP and All-Europe in volleyball and basketball during this, her junior, year.
“Nicki played soccer her freshman and sophomore years,” said Lassetter’s father, Bill, “and if not for the fact her parents are the track coaches at London Central, she probably would have continued with soccer.”
“I miss soccer, but I love track,” she said. “The competition is great, and it’s an individual sport. It’s awesome.”
Despite her season-best discus mark, Lassetter “still has lots of room for improvement,” her father said.
Nicole has already put the shot 34-2 this season.
Not bad for a beginner.
“My mom and dad both threw,” Lassetter said of her early success in the throwing events. “They’re coaching me in the event.”
Both parents were on the track team at Oregon State, where mother Kim threw the javelin.
“I’ve been around it all my life,” she said.
That’s not to say that it’s come effortlessly.
Just as she did in basketball and volleyball, Lassetter, who even throws on her off days, has put in lots of work.
“After her freshman year in Iceland, we went to Kubasaki, where she was able to play at the large-school level,” Bill Lassetter said. “She worked with some good coaches — Jeff Pellaton in volleyball and Tim Smith in basketball. She went to volleyball and basketball camps last summer and has focused on improving her conditioning.”
The results speak for themselves.
Lassetter, who led Iceland to the European Division III title in basketball in 2000, was named tournament MVP after leading London Central to the 2002 volleyball title and all-tournament in basketball as London Central had its best finish, second place in the European championships.
This summer, Lassetter plans to take on a new challenge in summer-league basketball in Dallas, Ore.
“My brother has just been named coach at a school with an enrollment of 2,600,” said Lassetter. “They play 30-40 games during the summer, and he’s invited me to come over and play for him.
“It’ll be a great experience.”