By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The Brighton Cardinal senior earned his second and final trip to the State Division I Large School meet this past Saturday in Nashville.
But before the son of Kathy and David Lucius ran his final varsity race on the historic Iriquois Steeplechase course at Percy Warner Park, he reflected on his journey to becoming one of the best runners in Brighton High School history.
“I really dedicated myself after my sophomore year,” he recalled. “I was more into basketball and then I realized what was going to take me to college. So I focused more on running.”
The boy who grew up in Bartlett moved to Brighton about 8 years ago loving to play basketball. He played hoops until his sophomore year.
During that time he was on the Brighton Cross Country team under the guidance of Coach Brian Oswalt.
Oswalt saw the potential in Lucius and focused on getting him more exposure to difficult courses to improve his time. Last year Lucius finished in the pack at State with a time of 18:34. He was 136 out of 197.
“I think I’m going to have to come out a little different in this race,” Lucius said of his pre-race strategy. “I remember last everybody was in this really, really tight lane at State. Everybody has to merge into there. I remember last year getting stuck in the back. I wasn’t making any moves and eventually I got fatigue trying to catch up. So this year I’m coming with a different approach. I’m going to come out harder and try to get a good sprint in the first 400m.”
Before Saturday, Lucius clocked in a personal record of 17:38 during his junior season. His senior campaign wasn’t as fast but just as successful. During the 2018 season, Lucius has finished top 5 in all races expect one. He took first place at the Covington and Munford meets.
His goal at State was to be in the top 80.
Lucius finished outside of his goal Saturday in Nashville. The senior Cardinal finished 147 with the best time of any Tipton County runner at 18:24.17.
Now with two State appearance as a part of his legacy, Lucius said he is glad to conclude his career as the top cross country runner in T-County.
“It’s a pretty good feeling to hear that,” he concluded. “But I do know that I worked hard to be the best in Tipton County. That’s probably why.”
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