Tag: Lukas Verzbicas
Joaquim Cruz won the 800 meter gold medal at the 1984 Olympics and followed that up with a silver in 1988. He came on with us to chat about his career, the Paralympic track athletes he works with now, plus he shared his thoughts on the young triathlete he also coaches, Lukas Verzbicas.
Lukas Verzbicas is one of five U.S. high school runners in history to run a sub 4:00 minute mile. Out of high school he became a professional triathlete and won his first two races before breaking his back in a bike crash in July of 2012. This year has been all about recovery. Next up is Richard Muscio’s 5 miler on Thanksgiving morning November 28th in Oceanside. Lukas and Richard came in studio and the conversation was about Lukas’ career, his Olympic goals, and the upcoming race.
Before Lukas Verzbicas, the fifth high school runner to break the 4:00 minute mile and two-time Footlocker Cross Country National Champion, was wheeled into surgery after a horrific bike crash late last summer, his parents were told that there was a good chance he would never walk again. Lukas came in studio to go through his early days of running and triathlon, his accident, his comeback and his plans for 2013 and beyond.
The bike crash was a bad one. Lukas Verzbicas, fresh off two big ITU wins, broke his back, 5 ribs, and his collarbone, plus had fluid in his lungs. He came on with us from the hospital to fill in the blanks around his injuries and his future.
Lukas Verzbicas is a very special 18 year old. Who else has run a sub 4:00 mile in high school and won the Junior World Triathlon Championship in the same year? He was enrolled at the University of Oregon this fall, but left after deciding that triathlon was his true calling. We had Lukas on to go through his plans to, hopefully, qualify for the 2012 Olympic Trials in San Diego in May.
Back in 1990 Lance Armstrong left the sport of triathlon to focus on cycling and became the most important athlete in his sport. In a little bit of a Déjà vu 21 years later, Lukas Verzbicas burst onto the junior scene as a triathlete, but it’s his running skills that make him really special. He has not only won the prestigious Footlocker National Cross Country Championship back to back in 2009 and 2010, he also became the fifth high school runner to break the four minute mile (3:59.71), took five seconds off the high school record for the two mile (8:29) and is enrolled at the University of Oregon to follow in the hallowed spike marks of Steve Prefontaine and Alberto Salazar.
Lukas Verzbicas is a very special young man. He won the Footlocker Cross Country Championship as a sophomore and he broke the high school indoor record for 5,000 meters with a 14:18.42. But the best part? The 17 year old is actually a better triathlete than runner. The last time we had someone this special come into the multisport world, he was a 20-year old triathlete and cyclist by the name of Lance Armstrong.