Sports

Running, Cycling, & Swimming the Extra Mile

TAZIM HOQUE

     Some high school students have a difficult time walking without tripping over themselves. Meanwhile, Sophomore Luke Anthony does it all as a nationally ranked triathlete at only 15 years of age. Swimming, biking, and running are all equally difficult skills to maintain at a high pace. Sophomore Luke Anthony does it all as a nationally ranked triathlete at only 15 years of age. 

     Before triathlons, Anthony wasn’t always big on running or swimming. His first step into triathlons was on two wheels-competitive cycling.

     “I started cycling when I was 10 and had been competitively riding for four years. I had the opportunity to race in nine national championships throughout those years and it provided a great base for triathlons,” said Anthony. 

     Cycling isn’t one of the usual sports high school teenagers partake in, but Anthony was inspired to fall into his father’s footsteps. Luke’s father, John Anthony, ran on a full scholarship in college and qualified twice for the Half Ironman Triathlon, one of the most difficult competitions in the world.

     Anthony has run in four official triathlons and five practice courses. In his first triathlon in Richmond, Virginia, he managed to qualify for states, competing against racers three times his age. 

     After the swimming portion, Anthony fell back to 60th place, but ended in 10th place by the end of the run.

     “Luke is an incredible cyclist and runner at his age. We’ve mainly been focusing on improving his swimming ability to tie it all together. It’s insane to think that at only age 15 he is reaching top 5 or top 10 in every race against heavily experienced runners in their 20s or 30s,” said Anthony’s coach Wesley Johnson.

     Johnson is the founder of Balanced Art Multisport, a personal athlete training program in Uah. Anthony had the opportunity to work with Johnson over the summer and performs his exercises at home.

     During the peak season of triathlons, usually in the  spring, Anthony trains anywhere from around 12 to 14 hours a week. Anthony usually focuses on each of the three components of races during different seasons-cycling in the spring, swimming in the winter, and running (cross country) in the fall.

     In Anthony’s first cross country meet of the season, he placed 13th with a time of 16:41 on the three mile course.

     “Cross country wasn’t exactly something Luke was on board with, but I think he realizes now how beneficial it will be for him to stay fit. Although it’s not his primary commitment, there’s no doubt he’s a good runner,” said Luke’s father John Anthony.

     Outside of athletics, Anthony enjoys spending time with his family and hunting.

     “I don’t have firm expectations at this point. I am still relatively new to the sport and intrigued to see how far I can go with it. There are definitely some bigger dreams ahead, but I am focusing on things I can control to maximize my training. Setting small goals keeps me focused on working hard since these bigger goals are potentially years ahead,” said Anthony.

     The most astounding part of Anthony’s races is the fact that he is racing, and beating nationally ranked adults with no issues whatsoever.

     With hours of intense training, commitments to sports to improve fitness and a well balanced-daily diet, Anthony has a bright track ahead of him.

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