Lucas wins PIAA silver medal

By on May 28, 2014
After twice breaking Warwick's school record in the discus, junior David Lucas (far left), with the silver medal around his neck, takes his place on the podium alongside gold medalist Max Adams (center), of Hempfield Area, and bronze medalist Alec Rideout, of Canon McMillan.

After twice breaking Warwick’s school record in the discus, junior David Lucas (far left), with the silver medal around his neck, takes his place on the podium alongside gold medalist Max Adams (center), of Hempfield Area, and bronze medalist Alec Rideout, of Canon McMillan.

Warwick's David Lucas releases his silver medal-winning throw of 187 feet, 3 inches in the State Triple-A boys discus finals last Friday.

Warwick’s David Lucas releases his silver medal-winning throw of 187 feet, 3 inches in the State Triple-A boys discus finals last Friday.

The smile that David Lucas wore as he stepped into the discus circle last Saturday for his third and final Flight throw at States hid his true feelings.

“I was so scared,” the Warwick junior said.

Following a foul and a 126-1 heave on his first two attempts, the newly-crowned L-L League and District Three champion Lucas had just one more chance to get himself into the finals.

He did so with flying colors, launching a school-record throw of 182-6 in the clutch.

With new life, Lucas then answered the bell again, shattering his own school mark one more time with a heave of 187 feet, 3 inches, which stood up for him to bring home the silver medal from the PIAA State Triple-A Track and Field Championships at Shippensburg University.

“I was excited,” Lucas said of his big throw. “I was watching the disc and I was like, ‘Keep going, keep going, keep going.’ This is something I want to do in college, so I’m really excited to PR by seven feet today.”

Warwick’s Ian Harpel made his debut at States last Friday in the 400-meter dash and fell a little bit short of his PR, crossing the finish line in 50.74 seconds in the fourth of preliminary heats. The Warrior sophomore was unable to advance to Saturday’s finals.

For Lucas, his PR was still a good distance away from the throw of 126-1 that he uncorked in Flight competition. Admittedly, Lucas had the 2013 State Championships in the back of his mind, when he finished 17th with a throw of 132 feet, 1 inch. But as he prepared for his next throw, he simply told himself to relax.

“I didn’t have a good year at States last year, so I had some nerves from that a little bit,” Lucas said. “I just thought, ‘I need to relax and do what I’ve been working hard for this entire season.’”

It didn’t hurt having someone with the pedigree of Hempfield Area senior Max Adams, a Wake Forest University recruit, to speak with during the competition. Adams, who went on to capture the gold medal with a throw of 198 feet, 3 inches, Lucas and the other throwers chatted about their craft, shared advice and just tried to keep things loose.

“I knew what I was doing wrong on my first two throws. We didn’t really specifically talk about what I was doing or what he was doing,” Lucas said. “It was sort of, ‘Go out and get a throw.’

“No one’s out to get anyone in throwing,” he added. “We’re friendly because you can’t stop anyone else from throwing. It’s very individual when you get up to this level. We were just keeping everyone relaxed because the more relaxed you stay, the further you can throw.”

Apparently, it worked.

With a berth in the finals at stake, Lucas put everything together and PR’d by exactly two feet.

That was just the tip of the iceberg. Seeded second heading into the championship round, Lucas caught a brief wind of idle wind and took advantage, shattering the school mark once again with his throw of 187-3.

“It kept going but then I saw it hit wind and then it just started to die,” he recalled.

His next heave appeared to be going even further, but proving that track and field is a sport of inches, Lucas’ throw landed wide right of the sector, barely foul.

“That throw was moving,” Lucas smiled. “Who knows, but I think it was further than my best today, for sure. I was really excited to throw against those guys. There’s just something about having that level of competition that brings out the best in throwers.”

Confident that his 187-3 would hold up for no worse than the silver medal, Lucas had nothing to lose on his final two attempts. Canon McMillan senior Alec Rideout took the bronze with a throw of 181-3.

“I was just trying to have fun and hopefully catch a big throw,” he said. “I’m happy with how I finished (getting) the silver medal.”

Distance-wise, Lucas is not satisfied, however.

“I’m still looking for more,” he said. “I want to keep going and I want to keep throwing further.”

Lucas will get an opportunity to do just that in mid-June when he travels to Greensboro, N.C. to compete in the New Balance Nationals. Could a run at 200 feet be within his grasp?

“I think 200 is in the back of every thrower’s mind. It’s been in my mind before,” Lucas acknowledged. “I’m just looking to throw far. That’s all I want to do. So if throwing far is 199 (feet) and 11 inches, or if throwing far is far over 200, I don’t know. But I’m going to do the best I can do.”

Bruce Morgan is the sports editor for the Lititz Record and can be reached at bmorgan.eph@lnpnews.com or at 721-4451.

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