Your Prep Sports
DES MOINES – Eric Lucas admits he isn’t the best at getting out of the blocks.
“My starts have never been the best,” Lucas said with a shrug on Saturday afternoon.
The Liberty High junior hurdle standout showed on Saturday afternoon there is nothing wrong with how he finishes a race.
Lucas exploded past the field in the final 70 meters on his way to a dominating win in the Class 110 hurdles at the Class 4A State Track and Field Meet at Drake Stadium in Des Moines.
“By about hurdle two I knew I could catch up and pass them,” Lucas said. “My starts aren’t always the best but I know my finishes are strong.”
Lucas was a state qualifier last season for Class 4A team champion Cedar Falls.
In his first season at Liberty High Lucas gave the Lightning their first ever individual state champion.
“Coming off that championship team there were a lot of good role models and people that I looked up to,” Lucas said. “I wanted to be like them and compete as hard as I could and win.”
Lucas has been among the top hurdlers in the state all season.
He was third at the Drake Relays last month and entered the state meet with the top time in Class 4A this season at 14.43.
Lucas continued to assert himself as one of the best in the state this weekend in Des Moines.
He clocked the fastest time in the 4A prelims on Friday matching his career-best time of 14.43 before setting a new personal best of 14.25 in the finals on Saturday.
“I knew I had it,” Lucas said. “I hit a good time I am very happy with that and I’m ready for next year.”
As has been the case for Lucas at times his start wasn’t exceptional in the final.
At the second hurdle in the Saturday final Lucas trailed.
He didn’t stay behind for long, surging past the field and finishing .68 in front of runner-up William Bussey of West Des Moines Dowling.
Matt Schaeckenbach of City High was third in 14.98.
“I knew the wind was going to push so I had start a little slow,” Lucas said. “I knew with my form and my closes in previous races I was going to get it.”
The title for Lucas was part of a solid Saturday for the Lightning and another strong state meet appearance for Liberty High
Sprint standout Luke Meyers claimed a pair of top-five finishes on Saturday placing fourth in the 100 in a career-best time of 10.74 and adding a fifth-place finish in the 200 in 21.85.
Senior Gavin Keeney finished sixth in the 800 in a time of 1:56.56.
A year after finishing eighth in 4A with 31 points the Lightning placed eighth again this season scoring 32 points.
“It’s pretty amazing honestly,” Keeney said. “Coming in as a freshman we had maybe a few guys that were able to qualify for state my freshman year and I can’t imagine what freshman year us would have thought looking at us today and what we’ve done this weekend.”
Class 4A State Track and Field Meet
At Drake Stadium
Team scores (Top 10; area teams) – 1. West Des Moines Dowling 93; 2. City High 63.5; 3. Ankeny 53; 4. Linn-Mar 51; 5. Sioux City North 40; 6. West Des Moines Valley 37; 7. Cedar Rapids Washington 35; 8. Liberty High 32; 8. Cedar Falls 32; 10. Indianola 27; 11. West High 26
State champions; area participants
100 – 1. Mikey McClain (West Des Moines Dowling) 10.33; 4. Luke Meyers (Liberty High) 10.74
200 – 1. 1. Mikey McClain (West Des Moines Dowling) 20.97; 5. Luke Meyers (Liberty High) 21.85
800 – 1. Gabe Nash (Sioux City North) 1:53.14; 6. Gavin Keeney (Liberty High) 1:56.56; 7. Truman Thompson (City High) 1:57; 8. Moustafa Tiea (West High) 1:57.06
1,600 – 1. Jackson Heidesch (West Des Moines Dowling) 4:07.3; 2. Ford Washburn (City High) 4:14.24; 5. Alex McKane (West High) 4:20.03; 20. Aidan Decker (Liberty High) 4:33.87; 22. Moustafa Tiea (West High) 4:39.81; 23. Parker Max (City High) 4:40.78
110 Hurdles – 1. Eric Lucas (Liberty High) 14.25; 3. Matt Schaeckenbach (City High) 14.98
Sprint medley relay – 1. Ankeny 1:31.46; 6. City High (Sam Rew, Mike Rew, Ronnie Major, Jovan Harris) 1:33.82
Shuttle hurdle relay – 1. Pleasant Valley 58.96
4×100 – 1. West Des Moines Dowling 41.76; 6. West High (Todd Rent, Izaiah Loveless, Nate Gudenkauf, Christian Janis) 42.79
4×400 – 1. Dubuque Senior 3:19.82; 8. City High (Jovan Harris, Truman Thompson, Juma Amisi, Isaiah Svoboda) 3:28.14