MESA – Paul Lucas still won the race, but not the event.
The Mountain Pointe junior star sprinter with national draw felt a tweak in the right hamstring after winning the long jump, but felt good enough after warm ups to give the 100 meter dash a shot with the 400 and 200 looming later in the evening Saturday.
The draw of pulling off the rare feat of winning all four events may have won out over taking a cautious approach as Lucas won the 100 in 10.66 seconds but ended up sprawled out on the track at Riggs Stadium afterward.
“I felt it, but thought I could go after warming up,” he said. “I’m not disappointed. I have other races I have to think about this summer like the Great Southwest (June 7).”
He had a great start out of the block that looked to put Lucas in a great position to go for the gold quartet, but when he started to transition and lengthen his stride the twinge became a strain of the right hamstring.
“Got out extremely was but started over striding,” Pride assistant coach Larry Todd said. “He started pulling rather than pushing. It bit him and we knew it was going to be hard to continue after that.”
Lucas, who won the 100 and 400 as a sophomore, iced and stretched it, but was never able to get comfortable enough to attempt the 400 before withdrawing completely.
“I couldn’t sprint if I wanted to,” said Lucas after watching the 400 from the finish line. “It’s part of God’s plan. It happened for a reason. I have more to look forward to and that’s all I can focus on now.”
Lucas, who has 10 football scholarship offers, may have over extended himself, but he is confident all will be well soon enough with the Great Southwest, New Balance National and the USATF Junior Nationals out there this summer.
“I’m only a junior so I have next year,” said Lucas, who had the state’s top efforts in all four events coming into the meet. “There are bigger things ahead. I just have to be smart about it.”
Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or JSkoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.