Lucas places seventh at Outdoor Nationals Track and Field
BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor
, Staff Writer
Warwick’s David Lucas couldn’t have asked for a better way to finish up his sophomore season in track and field.
Following a breakout season with the Warriors in the spring, in which he shattered the school’s 16-year-old discus record, captured L-L League (bronze) and District Three Triple-A (fourth-place) medals and qualified for States, Lucas took his talents to Greensboro, N.C. to compete in the New Balance Outdoor National Championships from June 14-16.
"It’s that experience that really helps you get comfortable with those larger meets," Lucas said, "which is what I feel that I need to work on a lot … It was a really big meet with a lot of depth in competition. They had, I would say, probably the best of the best."
Besides gaining some valuable experience, Lucas no doubt got a boost of confidence as well. Competing against other high school throwers from across the U.S, he returned home with a seventh-place medal in the Emerging Elite division with his discus throw of 155 feet, 10 inches. Athletes punched their ticket into the Emerging Elite class with a minimum throw of 150 feet, while those who competed in the Championship division needed a qualifying throw of at least 170 feet.
"I felt pretty good with (155-10)," Lucas said. "I thought that it would take me to finals, which it did. I was in the first flight of two, so the pressure was on. You’re just biting your nails waiting to see if the 155-10 would hold up in the second flight to make the finals. Luckily, it did."
That throw of 155-10 (47.49 meters) came on his first of three attempts in the trials. He followed that with a heave of 146 feet, 10 inches (44.76 meters) and then fouled on his final toss in his flight. But on the one that fouled, Lucas came within just a couple of inches of the left sector of landing a throw just shy of 164 feet.
"(It was foul) probably by half a foot," Lucas said. "It was a big throw, but sometimes it fouls. It’s just a matter of more repetitions and getting more consistent with those bigger throws."
Seeded fifth out of eight going into the finals, Lucas uncorked throws of 148 feet, 4 inches (45.22 meters) and 147 feet, 5 inches (44.95 meters) sandwiched around a foul. Although he was unable to improve on his initial throw of 155-10, Lucas did demonstrate consistency in the competition, with four throws traveling at least 146 feet.
"It was pretty consistent around the 150 (foot) range," Lucas said.
Egg Harbor Township’s James Plummer took top honors out of 22 competitors in the Championship division with a throw of 197-0, while Bauvier Jackson of Spartanburg, S.C. won the Emerging Elite division with a throw of 170-7, besting 34 other competitors.
Schuylkill Valley Class of 2013 Evan Arnott, who won the PIAA State Double-A discus championship this spring with a throw of 195-11, won bronze in the Championship division with a throw of 195-10.
"That speaks to how talented the athletes were there," Lucas said. "They were all absolutely fantastic."
With the New Balance Outdoor Nationals behind him, Lucas plans to continue throwing with his personal coach Glenn Thompson throughout the summer and off-season, although a little less frequently than his routine during the season, and working out at Power Train.
"I’m going to practice probably two or three times a week on my own, and then throw once on Sundays with (coach Thompson)," Lucas said. "That’s the goal (to have a big junior year)."
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