ELHS senior Luke Anthony breaks barriers this year on path to advance triathlon career
“What did you do this summer?” asked Sven.
“Not much,” replied Helga.
While many Vikings may have played this conversation out quite frequently, senior Luke Anthony’s summer was spent achieving 19th place in nationals, earning his pro-card, and spending two months training in Utah with other professionals this summer.
“I feel fortunate to have these opportunities, so I’m really, really giving it my all because I
love what I’m doing on a day-to-day basis,” Anthony said.
Back in mid-July of 2021, Anthony participated in and won a junior elite race, where the first place winner was awarded a “pro-card,” officially earning professional status in said sport. He went into the race not expecting to get first, but sure enough, he did. Now, he has earned the title of a professional triathlon runner. This essentially means that he is able to register in order to participate in races against other professionals worldwide that allow him to earn money if he places high. It was also around this time that Anthony participated in a different invitational race, which was his ticket to nationals.
Nationals didn’t exactly go as planned for Anthony. Unfortunately, as he approached the beginning of the running portion of the race closing in on third place, he experienced a side-stitch cramp that created a blockade in the way of his victory. However, he was still able to push through and achieve an incredible 19th place out of 70 participants.
“It’s tough to look back and realize that with some of the other runs I had done this year, I would have had the potential to hit first, second, or third place, but it’s all part of the process.”-Luke Anthony
Luke began to gain an appreciation for the triathlon racing in 2019 with his coach, Wes Johnson. Before that, he often cycled with his father and as a freshman ran cross country.
Then, after some swim training, he was ready to race. He competed in his first race in early
May of 2019, and from there it was nothing but improvement.
“Luke has made incredible progress in a short amount of time due to his relentless ability to focus on details. He is very intentional with every movement, and is willing to do whatever it takes on a daily basis to do his best.”-Wes Johnson
When Anthony spent two months living by himself in Utah, he went through extensive training in order to better his triathlon skills. He also trained with big-name runners such as Mary Cain. This was a monumental change for Anthony, as not only did he have to adjust to living on his own, but he had to do so in a way that complemented his training. For example, he had to not only cook his own food, but also cook food that would benefit him for his training (since he had to consume a high amount of calories).
“It was also a great learning experience,” Luke said, with regards to his Utah training. “If anything, I think I’ve grown more as a person than I even have as an athlete.”