Crittenden County’s Aaron Lucas continues to climb the ladder of success in the 3200-meter race. The sophomore finished sixth Memorial Day Weekend at Lexington in the KHSAA state meet, 11 rungs higher than his performance a year ago and good enough to earn a medal and a place on the winner’s platform with other top finishers.
The two-time regional champion finished the two-mile race in 10:25.44, about five seconds faster than his qualifying finish two weeks ago in the First Region Class A meet at Murray.
Lucas finished 17th last year in the state meet with a time of 11:01.47. He’s trimmed more than half of a minute off his time in the past year and has his sights set on the school record and perhaps a state championship, but the road will not be clear ahead as several underclassmen have proven themselves in the distance runs.
At Lexington, Lucas was 24 seconds behind the two-mile champion, Keeton Thornsberry, who is just a freshman at Louisville’s Holy Cross High School. Thornsberry’s time was 10:01.13. Also in front of Lucas in this particular race was a seventh grader, two sophomores and a junior. That means the CCHS harrier will have his work cut out for him moving forward if he wants to win a state championship.
Lucas’s coaches say the sky is the limit for the long, lean runner who is only just now learning how to pace himself against the course and his competition.
Lucas was 10 seconds off pace at the state meet to set a new Crittenden County school record. The Rockets’ all-time best time in the 3200 meters was more than 25 years ago by Claude Williams at 10:14.30.
Lucas was 11th in the 1600 meters, finishing about 20 seconds behind the winner, Dedrick Troxell at 4:26.87. Lucas was tripped while running in traffic during the crowded race, but recovered for a strong finish.
Troxell, like Lucas, is a sophomore. The Green County miler will be a real challenge for Lucas in years ahead. Thornsberry, the Holy Cross freshman, was second at 4:29.74. A couple more sophomores finished slightly ahead of Lucas, but the others were upperclassmen.
Crittenden County’s Dylan Hicks finished 19th in the state’s 300-meter hurdles. Hicks was third in the region and earned an at-large berth at Lexington. Murray’s Malik Britt-Taylor won the race at 39.92 and Hicks finished at 46.19. Livingston Central sophomore Chase Cooper was 14th.
The Rockets’ 1600-meter relay team captured 18th place at the state meet. Its anchor runner, junior Will Tolley, was a bit banged up from a car wreck a week earlier, but he was still able to close out the final 400 meters for the squad. The foursome of sophomore Jacob Russelburg, senior Dylan Hicks, freshman Devon Nesbitt and Tolley earned an at-large bid in the state meet. The boys finished at 3:43.73 in a very tight race that was won by Bishop Brossart at 3:29.83.
Crittenden County’s school record in the 4x400 was set in the 1970s at 3:29.00.