Paul Lucas’ demeanor seems to match his running stride.
His unflappable nature was on display again Saturday night near Los Angeles when the Mountain Pointe junior took another step in cementing his place among Arizona’s all-time sprinters.
Lucas was unhappy with his time in the 100 (10.48 seconds) to finish second to Mater Dei’s Curtis Godin’s 10.36.
Instead of letting the defeat become a burden, Lucas posted the best time in the nation in the 200 when he clocked a blazing 20.84.
“I wasn’t happy with my time in the 100,” told Runnerspace.com afterward. “I just took some time to relax and got focused again. My time goal was 20.8 at (the Chandler Rotary) and I got 20.91 so I knew it was within reach. It was just a matter of practice and getting out of the blocks.”
It was the second best time in Arcadia history behind Henry Thomas of Hawthorne (Calif.) in 1985 and the fifth best time in Arizona history.
“I was very happy with his 100, but Paul was upset and felt he had to redeem himself in the 200,” Pride coach Larry Todd said. “He ran the best 200 turn that I have ever seen from a high school athlete.”
Lucas’ performance was one of many impressive showings over the weekend at Arcadia and Sun Angel Classic in Tempe.
The Pride finished third in the 4x100 in the open race at Arcadia with a time of 42.50 to finish just off the winning time of 42.12.
The area’s other high profile athlete — Desert Vista’s Dani Jones — finished the mile with a time of 4 minutes and 50.81 seconds to finish as runner-up to Herriman (Utah) junior Lucy Biles, who posted a time of 4:50.68.
The conversion to the 1,600 run gave Jones the school record of 40:49.12, surpassing Haley Paul’s mark of 4:50.14 at the Arcadia in 2005, and the second best time in Arizona history just off Mountain Pointe’s Sara Gorton (4:49.09).
Jones was also part of the 4x1,600 relay team that posted of 20:18.92 to finish third and set the school record as the combo of Baylee Jones, Amanda Davis, Mason Swenson and Dani Jones worked well together.
The Thunder definitely had the better overall weekend when looking at the two meets combined as Desert Vista’s boys coach Chris Hanson labeled it “another step in the process” of the season.
At the Sun Angel meet, sophomore Connor Watson was the standout as he won the triple jump in 45 feet and 11 inches and finished third in the long jump at 21-07.5.
The focus, however, was at Arcadia as it is considered one of the, if not the, best meets in the country. It has three tiers — invited, seeded and open — of competition with teams from all over the nation.
Other quality performance at Arcadia from the Thunder came from pole vaulter Aliya Simpson (11-04), thrower Makenzi Holmes-DiGiovine (season-best 140-0 discus, 39-05.75), thrower Jordan Rezac (season-best 171-05 discus) and distance runner Jacob Walimaa finished the mile in 4:23.27.
The Pride’s boys 4x100 group of Lucas, Isaiah Banks, Nicolas Sibley and AJ Davalos posted a time of 42.50, hurdler Trey Lauer posted a season-best 15.02 in the 110 meters as did Autumn Smith in the 300 hurdles at 45.08.
“I was worried about how we would perform as this was our first time at the Arcadia Invite in many years,” Todd said. “We had several lifetime and season best at the meet, but I was awed at how our kids cheered for all of the other Arizona athletes. It was good to hear Mountain Pointe being recognized throughout the meet and we hope to use this as a building block for the program.”
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