Sports & Outdoors

Athlete of the Issue: Lucas De Dora

Lucas De Dora launching a javelin during a track & field meet. Photo via logger athletics

Congratulations to Athlete of the Issue, Lucas De Dora! De Dora, a sophomore, holds the school record in javelin, at 196 feet and 2 inches – for reference, a football field is 360 feet long. The 2024 track and field season is starting to wind down with Conference Championships scheduled for April 19-20 coming into sight. The Trail wishes De Dora the best of luck for the rest of his season. 

Q: Your javelin personal record of 196 feet and 2 inches is from the Ed Boitano Invitational on March 1 at Puget Sound, where you got first place. What was this day like for you?

A: Ed Boitano Invitational was the first meet of the season and it was important to start off strong. My goal for the season was to throw ≈200 feet early in the season so I put a lot of pressure on myself to perform. I have significant anxiety during competitions but this meet was different. I focused on staying calm and trusting in my abilities. This allowed me to throw a 14 foot PR and take home the win for UPS. I was very proud to break the school record as a Sophomore but was not satisfied. I believe in my potential and cannot wait to see how far the javelin will fly in the future. 

Q: How did you figure out that Javelin was your biggest area of strength within the throwing events?

A: Until my junior year of high school, I was an elite level soccer player (Division 1 prospect) with no intention of competing in collegiate track and field. I suffered a career ending concussion that stripped me of my previous identity as an “elite athlete”. After I recovered, my goal was to find a sport that I could compete in at the collegiate level and reach the same level that I had reached as a soccer player. This goal was achieved far faster than I could have ever imagined, in large part due to my high school track coach, Olympian Andy Bloom (2000 Olympic finalist/Shot Put). He realized my potential as an athlete and took me under his wing. During that time, I committed to UPS for Shot Put and Discus. I competed in track and field for 6 years before touching a javelin. It wasn’t until the summer after I had graduated from high school when Coach Bloom registered me for Junior Olympic Trials in the javelin. I had one day of training prior to the trails and ended up qualifying for Junior Olympics Nationals! Two weeks later, I got 9th in the nation and was 33cm away from All-American. Less than 2 years, a partially torn Acl, a broken leg, and a lot of hard work later…I broke the UPS school record by 10 feet. 

Q: What are your goals for the rest of the season, especially looking towards Northwest Conference championships April 19-20?

A: I recently re-injured a ligament in my left ankle which has taken me out of competition for an extended period of time. My rehab is scheduled to prepare me for Northwest Conference Championships where I plan to score as many points as possible and hope to break my record once again. This injury has allowed me to spend time prioritizing my mental and physical health and I feel confident moving forward towards the possibility of an NCAA National Championship appearance. 

Q: How would your coaches describe you?

A: My Coaches would describe me as stubborn and motivated to a fault. The same traits that allow me to excel in athletics also hinder my ability to stay healthy both mentally and physically. I often hold myself to unattainable standards which is good for physical progression until the rigorous training begins to take a toll. My Coaches would also note my positive relationship with my fellow teammates and my ability to motivate them to reach their potential without putting myself on a pedestal due to my success. 

Q: What is your favorite memory with logger track and field?

A: My favorite memory from UPS Track and Field would have to be last year’s Northwest Conference Championships. I had a 27 foot pr with the help of previous NCAA National qualifier Samantha Swartout. Scoring points at conference as a freshman felt great and set me up well for the next season where I continued my momentum.