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Lucas shatters long-time discus record … twice
BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor
, Staff Writer
The seed was planted early for David Lucas.
Shortly after he stepped through the doors of Warwick High as a freshman, to be exact.
Lucas, now a Warwick sophomore, couldn’t help looking at the track and field record boards hanging on the wall outside of the gymnasium. The one mark that got his attention was Mike Goodhart’s school-best discus throw of 153-3 in 1997.
"I would see that 153-3 and I would always think of trying to get to that record," Lucas remarked.
He competed on the middle school team in his freshman season, but wasted little time putting his name on the record boards this spring as a sophomore.
In Warwick’s Section One meet against Cedar Crest on April 15, Lucas shattered Goodhart’s record by eight inches, unleashing a first-place throw of 153-11.
"It was a little bit of a relief to me because I knew that I could throw those 150 and 160-foot throws," Lucas said, "but I wasn’t able to get it done in a meet yet. So it was a big relief off my shoulders and I was very excited when I was able to get that throw off."
Knowing it was a 16-year school record that he broke added to the moment.
"It meant a lot," he admitted, "because I was just born in 1996 so it’s a record that’s almost as old as I am. Yeah, I was very, very happy to see that."
Exactly one week later, Lucas shattered his own record by more than two feet when he threw the discus 156-3 in Lancaster in a Section meet against McCaskey. He also has a toss of 156-10 to his credit this spring at the Hempfield Black Knight Invitational on April 13, but since he competed there unattached, his throw of 156-3 stands as the current mark.
"As with any athlete when they set their own personal record, it’s always a feeling of excitement that they can continue to improve as the season progresses," Lucas said. "And that’s something that I think all athletes strive to have is to continuously improve upon their records. So I was very excited when I could have that happen."
Warwick track and field fans got a glimpse of Lucas’ abilities last year when he uncorked a throw of 167-8 with the junior high squad. However, that came while using the middle school discus, which weighs one kilogram – slightly less than the high school discus (1.6 kilograms).
Considering he’s only been throwing since his seventh-grade year, it’s easy to see that he is a quick learner. It doesn’t hurt, though, that he’s also got good bloodlines. His mother, Susanne, previously threw the discus at Tyrone Area High School.
"It sort of came naturally," Lucas said.
Ditto for the shot put. He currently holds the Warriors’ top throw in that event this year as well with an effort of 43 feet, and he also competes in the 100 and 200.
"(David) is being coached privately, and when it’s just me and him, I tend to ask him what he wants me to look for," Warwick throwers coach Alex Daecher said. "I try my best to find flaws in his throwing that he needs to fix. He will tell me little things he has been working on with private coach and that is where I step into help. He is very coachable in that aspect. He wants to hear the criticism to make himself better. He doesn’t shy away from it … David was born to throw the shot put. Long, strong arms, quick feet, strong core. He fits the body type of a great discus thrower. His feet are really the key."
Nick Watt currently holds the school record in the shot put with a throw of 54-8.5. But don’t be surprised to see Lucas shatter that mark before his high school career ends.
"Definitely a very far mark right now," Lucas said of Watt’s record. "I’m hoping that by my senior year, I can break that. I’m a little skinnier than some of the other really big throwers. Hopefully putting on some more mass, I can get some big throws out there."
In the meantime, Lucas hopes to capitalize on his natural abilities to get a discus throw in the 170-foot range at some point this spring.
"That’s the goal," he said. "That would be what I’m looking for … I think right now what I need to continue working on is having more repetitions in the circle. The more solid my form is going to get as I get more repetitions. With better form, the throws are going to go further."
With the post-season getting underway this Friday and Saturday, May 10-11 with the Lancaster-Lebanon League Championships being held at Hempfield, Lucas would love to break the school record again this spring.
Lucas and Hempfield’s Tanner Unger tied at the Black Knight Invitational with a throw of 156-10, although Unger currently holds the top L-L throw this season at 170-6. Lucas ranked second on the League Honor Roll until recently, when Norlebco’s Marcus Disbrow stepped up with a throw of 164-6. Hempfield’s J.D. Aument (147-11) also figures to be in the mix in the post-season.
"League gold would be fantastic," Lucas said, "but I definitely know it’s going to be very close between Tanner Unger, myself and J.D. Aument who’s right behind me. I would like to get to States this year in discus."
"Keeping that good mental state during his throws (is key)," Daecher added. "Not worrying about what other people are doing. just worrying about himself. If he throws well, he can win medals. He can’t effect what others do in the circle, just himself."
The good news is that Lucas seems to be peeking at the right time, according to Daecher.
"He is putting it down the middle of the sector and has become very consistent these last three weeks," Daecher said. "I think he will throw 165 feet in Districts or States this year. Two hundred feet has got to be his goal for his senior year, if not further. He has the capabilities of doing it if he keeps training and getting better."
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