Thursday, March 24, 2011

Warrior's Iron Man: Dustin Laucella

If you were to find Dustin Laucella at practice and wasn't sure who he was you wouldn't need to look very hard, you simply look for the kid without shoes.  A native Santa Cruzian he brigs his off the cuff ways to the track (he apparently once ran 5 miles through Henry Cowell barefoot...which for the record is quite dangerous) to become "one with nature."  If his shoes are on he doesn't "feel connected with the earth," so it's no wonder that between his races he's the kid doing his cool down barefoot.

This Wednesday Dustin was only entered in the 1600 and 800.  After having solid runs of 5:26 and 2:30 (again for the third straight week) he wasn't satisfied with the outcome of the day.  You see something special happened during the 800 meters, as the wind howled down the back stretch and a rain burst dumped on them, a double rainbow appeared.  Energized after "feeling the power of the double rainbow," Laucella somehow convinced his coach to let him try to pull off the Distance Iron Man (1600, 800, 3200, 400).

The 3200 began and Laucella did not back down from the challenge coming through the first lap in 80 seconds, which is right on his mile pace.  Battling fatigue, fierce competiton and the challenge of doing his 3rd event of the day he came through the mile in 5:45, well under his PR pace of 11:52 he set just the Saturday before at the Dublin Distance Fiesta.  As the fatigue set in Laucella pushed through and held on to finish in 11:46.04, a 6 second personal best.  And if that were not enough, Laucella still had one more event to overcome to pull off the Ironman.

The 4 x 400 is perhaps the most exciting race of the meet held at the end of the day.  For some reason it always seems like the stars align and the 4 x 400 produces one exciting finish after another.  Even when first place has long since crossed the line there is a battle for second or third that has the sidelines going crazy for the epic battle to the finish line.   The 4 x 400 team of Profio, Martinez, Kliensmith and Laucella were once again locked in a battle for the lead with two Sacred Heart teams.  Through rain and wind leg after leg it the team was in it and Laucella once again would be in a battle as he was in a diving finish at Bellarmine just the week before!  Just 10 minutes after his 3200 meter finish he came back and anchored the Distance Team's 4 x 400 to a dramatic finish with a 63 split as the team just missed their best time of the season!

At the end of the day Dustin was tired, barefoot and the Warrior's Iron Man for the day!

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