Paul Lucas is no longer just creating a buzz. He is on his way to establishing a legacy.
The Mountain Pointe sophomore posted some early numbers in sprints that were eye-popping. He backed them up Saturday in the state’s biggest event, which pulls in programs from eight other states, and threw in the long jump just to tease the track community in what this young man can accomplish.
Lucas didn’t even run in what might be his best event — the 400-meter dash where he owns the school record — at the 73rd Annual Chandler Rotary, but still impressed with his win in the 100 (10.66 seconds, closing in on the school record of 10.60) with the fastest time in Arizona this year and setting a new standard for himself.
“I ran a good race,” he said. “I was worried about Trevon Myles of Mesquite. He was my biggest competition, but I got out of the blocks and finished strong.”
Lucas had a right to be worried about Myles, although the latter finished third in the event as the Mesquite junior won the 200 with a time of 21.68 to edge Lucas by one-tenth of a second.
To finish off his night, Lucas won the long jump with a leap of 22-feet, 7-inches despite the fact that he just started competing in the event just a few weeks ago.
That gave a glimpse of what Lucas can do, but it is clear he feels that his career is just getting started.
“I have two more years of coming back here,” said Lucas, who also ran anchor on the Pride’s fifth-place 4x400-meter relay team. “I know I have bigger things ahead of me like making the U.S. Worlds team (this summer). Then I want to try and compete at the 2016 Olympics right out of high school.”
While others from Ahwatukee might have more modest goals, they still held their own against one of the nation’s top fields.
Desert Vista showed some top performance from some of its younger athletes, as well at Chandler High.
Desert Vista freshman Shannon Fritz finished third in the high jump, clearing 5-2 but unable to clear 5-4.
Thunder sophomore Vanessa Davis finished tied for second in the pole vault at 12-1, while freshman Aliya Simpson, the third of three pole vaulting sisters, finished sixth after clearing 11-1.
“Aliya might end up being the best of three (sisters) when all is said and done,” said Thunder pole vault coach Jeff Guy.
Desert Vista sophomore Dani Jones finished second in the 800 (2:18.65, more than 4 seconds off her seeded time) after struggling in the 1600 (5:21.54, more than 18 seconds off her seeded time), although both of her times weren’t close to what she is used to when she is at her best.
Thunder senior Scott Marshall upped the ante even more, clearing 17-0 feet in the pole vault after setting the school record two weeks ago at 16-9. The Wake Forest commit edged ever so close to the state record of 17-04 with the third best effort in the nation this season.
Other Desert Vista performers included: senior Kylie Butler who finished fifth in the long jump at 16-09.5; junior Sarah Dennard who finished fourth in the triple jump at 35-09.75; senior Victoria Wadsworth who was fifth in the discus at 114-11; junior Jacob Walimaa who was seventh in 800 at 1:59.33 to crack 2 minutes for the first time this year; and Thunder junior Nicole Hicks who was ninth in the mile, 15th in the 800 and 10th in 1600.
Mountain Pointe didn’t have as many entrants in the Elite Division of the three-meet event, but still had some impressive showings.
Mountain Pointe’s Kevina Godfrey finished third in the long jump (17-03.5), eighth in the 200 at 25.52, 10th in the 100 at 12.46, and anchored the Pride’s fifth-place 4x400 relay squad.
Pride senior Kejavon Moore tied for eighth at 11.01 in the 100.
The area’s best event came in the boys discus as Ahwatukee athletes took the top three spots.
Desert Vista senior Dylan Fischer won it as expected with a throw of 176-04, while Mountain Pointe’s Ryan Green was second at 157-1, and the Thunder’s Jordan Rezac was third at 150-10.
“Those guys push me to get better,” said Green, who finished sixth (50-03) in the shot put, which was won by Fischer (59-8). “I am just working hard every day and it is paying off. I got more to come. When Dylan throws big I know I have to throw big.”
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