Third time is charm for Lucas at Penn Relays

By on May 11, 2016
Penn State freshman David Lucas, a 2015 Warwick grad, is shown with Nittany Lions’ throwers coach Patrick Ebel after taking first place in the men’s college discus throw with an effort of 180 feet, 6 inches at the 122nd Penn Relays on April 29.

Penn State freshman David Lucas, a 2015 Warwick grad, is shown with Nittany Lions’ throwers coach Patrick Ebel after taking first place in the men’s college discus throw with an effort of 180 feet, 6 inches at the 122nd Penn Relays on April 29.

David Lucas still recalls the first time he threw a college discus as being a “very humbling” experience.

Going from a 1.6 kilogram high school disc to one which which tips the scales at 2.0 kilograms in college was, in fact, an adjustment.

“It revealed a lot of bad habits of mine,” the 2015 Warwick grad said.

Clearly, however, Lucas has made the necessary tweaks.

On Friday, April 29, the Penn State University true freshman took first-place honors at the 122nd Penn Relays in the college men’s discus, heaving a winning throw of 55.03 meters (180 feet, 6 inches) in the shadow of historic Franklin Field. Basil Bingham, of the University of West Indies at Mona, Jamaica, was second with a throw of 53.89 meters (176 feet, 9 inches).

“It was a very fun meet,” Lucas remarked. “I thought it was a pretty good mark.”

It marked his third time competing at the Penn Relays, but his first win, having placed fourth and second in his junior and senior seasons, respectively, at Warwick.

“It was certainly very exciting,” Lucas said. “It was a great pleasure to finally win Penn Relays.”

With the Big Ten Track and Field Championships on tap this week, it was also exciting for Lucas to build off of his PR of 185-4 (56.48 meters) at the Bucknell Team Challenge just a week earlier.

“I’ve been working with coach (Patrick) Ebel, and especially of recent, we’ve made a lot of very good progress in my throws,” Lucas said. “We’ve had some large fouls and large throws in practice, but it’s a matter of really keeping my head on straight and putting that together in a meet and then we’ll see some larger numbers that we’ve been looking for.”

Lucas’ effort of 180-6 at the Penn Relays came on his first throw of the trials. Although he was unable to top that mark on his next five throws, Lucas was nonetheless a model of consistency, reaching at least 177 feet on every attempt.

“It was a little frustrating that I was not able to keep building off of that and just put some throws out there further,” Lucas said. “But I can’t walk away upset because I had a very consistent series. For me to come off of Bucknell throwing a very nice PR and to come out here and have throws that were all 54 meters and up, it showed that I was in a very good spot with my form technically.”

Certainly, Lucas is in a much better place than when he first threw the college discus. In fact, the former Warrior star actually prefers the 2.0 KG weight to that of the high school model.

“What you want to be able to do in your throws is apply force to the implement for a longer period of time,” Lucas said. “When I’m throwing the disc or shot put, it kinda sits back behind my hip a little better when I’m throwing, which allows me to be able to work the crown better and utilize my strength better than I did with the high school implement. It teaches me to be a better technician when I’m throwing.”

This week, Lucas is looking to be in top technical form for the Big Ten Championships, to be held in Lincoln, Neb. from Friday to Sunday, May 13-15.

“I think as of right now, I’m sitting fourth in the Big Ten,” he said. “There’s very, very good competition in the Big Ten in throws. But on the day of the meet, it’s all about how compete on that day. Anything can happen, and while on paper there are favorites for that meet, I think when it comes down to the competition, it could be anyone’s game.”

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