Lucas King recently took first place in the “Superhero 5K” hosted by Fayette Victim Witness and then took 53rd place at the Ohio Cross Country Middle School and Elementary State Championships.
Lucas is a sixth grader at Miami Trace Elementary.
During the Superhero 5K, Lucas stayed at the front of the pack and kept a steady but fast pace. As other participants ran near him when their paths connected, they tossed out compliments.
During the championship, results show that Lucas competed against 230 kids (boys in sixth grade and under). It was open to any participants regardless of what size school they attended. Lucas’ time for two miles was 13 minutes and 29 seconds.
“I’m pretty happy because when I run beside (dad) for two miles, like around the cemetery, it’s more like 15ish to 14ish minutes,” he explained.
According to Lucas’ dad, Brian King, the goal Lucas had set prior to the event was to run each mile in six minutes and 15 seconds. Lucas was able to complete the first mile in six minutes and 20 seconds.
“That was a good first mile,” said his dad. “The second mile was obviously a little bit longer so he’s learning how to keep pace at that level of competition with both miles back-to-back.”
“It went pretty good,” said Lucas. “A lot of divisions, a lot of kids.”
When asked about role models, Lucas mentioned his dad.
“I work with him a lot,” his father said. “When we train I ride a bicycle because I can’t keep up with him anymore when running. We train around Court House. We’ll run the parks, the cemeteries and sometimes do track workouts. We’re just trying to get in as many running practices as we can, and we’re still learning different ways to get better.”
Lucas’ face and eyes lit up when talking about running.
“It’s a stress reliever,” explained Lucas. “When you’ve got music, it’s just you and the music—you don’t really think about anything else.”
Lucas said his favorite place to run is Eyman Park.
“Everytime I run it I have headphones in,” he said. “It’s more like a straight line than a circle. So, you’re just running straight and you don’t see the same things over and over again.”
“I’m really on a different mindset when I run. To the second I hear the beat to the second I have fifty meters to go,” he explained. “I’m one of those type of kids that literally—I run five miles at a fast pace but no matter what, I’m sprinting at the end.”
“After I finish I feel like I can’t stop walking but I don’t want to run,” he said. “My legs feel more energized at the end of the race than the beginning of the race most of the time.”
Lucas also has interests in basketball and baseball.
He previously played on a travel baseball team, The Columbus Sharks.
“For baseball, we play at the highest level that he can play for his age group in the state of Ohio,” his dad said.
Lucas has played on a school basketball team at Miami Trace since his third grade year. This year will be the last one on that same team.
Also for basketball, Lucas has worked for a couple of years with Adrian “Spanky” Parks. Parks is a basketball coach and trainer as well as the founder of Future Prospects Basketball. He has been working with the local YMCA to provide basketball training on Wednesday nights along with an upcoming project: Super Saturday Basketball Academy.
When asked about his experience with Parks, Lucas explained, “he’s very supportive, he’s a good coach, he really breaks down the fundamentals and he teaches me a lot of moves. He definitely helps me out a lot. He really motivates me, because he played (professionally) overseas.”
When asked about Lucas, Parks said, “He’s a very self-motivated kid, mentally tough, very coachable and a great listener. He challenges me too as a trainer and coach. He trains with older kids also because of his skill and talent levels.”
Parks explained that he has a travel basketball team, the Future Prospects, that competes across the country and gets scouted. If Lucas continues at his current pace, Parks has a goal to get him on the team and to have that lead to scholarships.
“He’s one of the first kids I started training (in Fayette County),” explained Parks. “He’s like the little brother I never had.”
When asked if Parks could be his big brother, Lucas said, “Yes. He acts like it.”
“I stay on him, too,” said Parks. “It ain’t all fun and games. We basically just try to push him. His parents do a heck of a job of keeping him involved with his talent level and work ethic.”
Outside of playing sports, Lucas collects football cards and plays the French horn in the Miami Trace sixth grade band.
According to Lucas, his mother played the French horn when she was in the band, and his older sister, Lorelei King, helps him as she is a sophomore who plays tuba in the marching band.
According to his father, Lucas has more interests beyond sports. Lucas’ favorite subject in school is math, and according to Lucas, his GPA is approximately a 3.8.
Lucas plans to try out for the Miami Trace basketball, cross country and track teams once he reaches seventh grade.
His goals for track are to be a 400, 800 and 200-meter runner with the potential of being able to do the one mile (1600-meters). His goals for cross county include getting two miles down to approximately 12 minutes and 30 seconds, while keeping his first mile steady at six minutes.
One of the topics brought up by Lucas and his father was Lucas’ interest in watching YouTube videos of runners, especially those in the Olympics.
Lucas was asked to provide a few tips for anyone new to the process or for those who want to improve: “Definitely think of a big goal and think that you can conquer it, because nine times out of 10 you will conquer it. Just because you think that you can’t make it doesn’t mean you can’t—you need to push yourself harder and harder everyday. If you run a seven minute mile one day, you need to run a six (minute) 55 (second) mile the next day and you just keep progressing everyday. That’s all you can do.”
Although he is still young, when asked about long-term goals he may have in mind, Lucas explained, “I hope to be something professional, like higher level. Anything sports—that’s pretty much my way to go.”
The most challenging aspect to being involved in sports and running, according to Lucas, is the mental aspects to it.
“There’s always times when you’ll be like ‘I don’t want to do this,’” he said. “I think you have to overcome that. Practice does not make perfect, but it can make improvement.”
Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355 or on Twitter @JennMWoods.