News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports

December 11, 2012

Iron Woman

Former Indiana State University ‘princess’ finishes her first Ironman Triathlon World Championships

TERRE HAUTE — Known as Laurie Stovall in her pre-marriage life, Laurie Lukanich had no idea she possessed any athletic ability in the early 1980s when she was an Indiana State University student and cheerleader “princess” for football and men’s basketball games.

And she definitely would not have predicted that she’d someday compete in a sport that requires swimming.

“I was afraid of the water,” the 1978 Brazil High School graduate recalled with a chuckle.

Fast forward to Oct. 13: Married to college sweetheart and longtime triathlete Jim Lukanich, Laurie Lukanich competed in and finished her first Ironman Triathlon World Championships in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Her time was 13 hours, 57 minutes and 41 seconds.

Amazingly, she completed a course that consisted of a 2.4-mile swim in the Pacific Ocean (starting at 7 a.m.), a 112-mile bicycle ride through sun-baked lava fields along the Kona coastline and a 26.2-mile run through scenic streets and highways.

That’s a total of 140.6 miles.

Laurie Lukanich is 53, far removed from her princess days, so the fact that she did not place in the top 10 or top 50 means nothing.

She finished under the stars of Hawaii and she’s understandably proud of that.

“The ultimate goal of every long-distance triathlete is to compete in Kona,” Laurie told the Tribune-Star. “My husband Jim competed there for the first time in 1997 by winning a lottery slot. He has qualified twice since, so I have watched him race Kona three times and I knew what I was in for. But you can never fully prepare for the intense tradewinds.”

Looking back, she described her performance as “average.”

“My swim was good,” Laurie assessed. “My bike [ride] was poor, but they had up to 60-mph wind gusts that day.”

Residing in Grapevine, Texas, the active Mrs. Lukanich said she enjoyed her time in Brazil and Terre Haute — where she received a bachelor of science degree in social work from ISU in 1982 — before she and her husband moved out of the Wabash Valley. Her parents, Robert and Judy Stovall, still live in Brazil, where Laurie visits on occasion.

“I found out I had the ability to run after I got out of school,” Laurie reflected. “I probably didn’t start serious running until 1990.”

That’s when she competed in her first sprint/distance triathlon while she lived in Memphis, Tenn.

At that time, the swimming part still didn’t come easily for Mrs. Lukanich. “I didn’t become a comfortable swimmer until about four years ago,” she admitted.

Nowadays, she’s comfortable with all aspects of triathlons, although the preparation remains difficult.

The 5-foot-8, 125-pound Laurie Lukanich estimated that at the peak of her training for the recent Ironman, she’d spend “massive amounts of time” trying to improve each week — approximately 12,000 meters of swimming, 150 miles of bike riding and 35 miles of running.

She acknowledged that other triathletes go longer distances in weekly training, but the above-mentioned numbers work for her.

Proper nutrition also is important to her performance.

“It’s about eating what your body needs over eating what your body wants,” explained Laurie, who allows herself to have pizza maybe four times a year when she’s not in serious training mode.

She also said she drinks an occasional Diet Coke and coffee, “but not in excess.”

Laurie Lukanich advised any aspiring 50-plus athletes to start slow before trying out a new sport. Remember, she started serious running in 1990, roughly 22 years before she qualified for her first Ironman Triathlon.

“Get a physical from your doctor first,” she stressed. “Then hook up with a masters group [with other 50-plus athletes] in your area. It’s easier for most people to work out with other people. Also, don’t be intimidated by others.”

For those who want to start running, for example, Laurie suggested finding a good shoe store to get fitted for the proper footwear.

And, above all, once you start training, be consistent. Barring an injury or a genuine emergency, she discourages working out hard for a month and stopping completely for the following six months.

“It’s all about the lifestyle,” Laurie emphasized. “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

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Sports
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A.J. Reed The University of Kentucky baseball team falls to Missouri 8-7 on Friday, April 11, 2014, at Cliff Hagan Stadium in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics

  • Immense power: A leaner A.J. Reed making play as elite prospect

    Reed took his talents to Kentucky and the Southeastern Conference in 2011 and hasn’t looked back in the baseball sense. After a standout career at Terre Haute South — he was Indiana’s Player of the Year in 2011 — area fans had an idea of the wind Kentucky was sowing when it coaxed Reed to Lexington, Ky.

    April 20, 2014 3 Photos

  • SPT041914track porter.jpg Terre Haute track and field athletes shine at Patriot Invitational

    The Terre Haute North and Brown County girls and boys came out winners Saturday in the Patriot Invitational Track and Field Meet at Terre Haute North High School.

    April 20, 2014 3 Photos

  • Metro roundup: Reed connects for 15th home run on four-hit day

    Terre Haute’s A.J. Reed and Kentucky baseball teammate Max Kuhn each had four hits and a home run to lead the No. 19-ranked Wildcats to a series-clinching 11-4 win at Southeastern Conference foe Texas A&M on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon in front of 5,311 fans at Blue Bell Park.
    Kentucky (26-13, 9-8 SEC) clinched the series victory at Texas A&M with the win, a day after posting a 6-3 victory in the opener Friday night.

    April 19, 2014

  • Prep roundup: North girls tennis beats ranked teams

    Terre Haute North knocked off two state-ranked teams — No. 12 Fort Wayne Canterbury and No. 13 Delta — on its way to capturing the Delta Invitational championship for girls high school tennis Saturday.

    April 19, 2014

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    April 19, 2014

  • Redneck Quaker: A young lady of the outdoors

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    “My name is Lilly Hutchison and this year when I was nine and again hunting with my Papaw, Mike Burch, we got up way before daylight on opening morning of youth deer season. I was watching a 6-pointer for several minutes until a larger buck appeared and chased him off, but not giving me a shot at him. Papaw and I were preparing a place for our evening hunt when a couple of does came across the field right to us. I carefully placed my shot and she ran around 8 yards. That evening, we decided to go to our neighbors’ woods. On the way in, we saw a large buck watering in one of the few puddles in the creek. Papaw said we would wait nearby to see if he would come back. To our amazement, he did! I was fortunate to take this 10-pointer, 250-pound buck. I have had many great hunts with Papaw.”

    April 19, 2014

  • SPT041814THS BB jenkins.jpg Herrin's pitching effort leads South to win over Northview

    When two good high school baseball teams get together, each using one of its better pitchers, the margin for error figures to be slim, and some defensive plays that weren’t made were the difference Friday evening as Terre Haute South beat Northview 7-1.

    April 19, 2014 3 Photos

  • METRO ROUNDUP: Odum shines in Portsmouth Invitational

    Former Indiana State guard Jake Odum had a productive first night at the Portsmouth Invitational late Thursday.
    The Terre Haute native scored 16 points, had six assists and three steals for the Portsmouth Partnership team in its 88-81 victory over Cherry Bekaert.

    April 19, 2014

  • Stout home run sparks South softball at Sullivan

    Terre Haute South junior Mariah Stout made her father proud and helped her team win its eighth game of the season at the same time Friday evening.
    With the previously flat-looking Braves trailing host Sullivan 1-0 with two outs and nobody on base in the top of the second inning, Stout woke up her dugout mates by hammering a McKenzie Pirtle pitch over the fence in left-center field for a score-tying home run.

    April 19, 2014

  • ISU falls to Canisius in first of three-game road series

    The Indiana State baseball team fell behind early and never could get the lead as host Canisius posted a 3-1 victory in the opener of a three-game series Friday at Demske Sports Complex.
    The Sycamores (24-11) and Griffins (21-13) will meet again at 2 p.m. today, but the venue will switch to Dwyer Stadium in Batavia, N.Y. The same two teams also will play Sunday back at Demske Sports Complex in a noon start.

    April 19, 2014

Local Interest
  • METRO ROUNDUP: Waltman's funeral Saturday at Indianapolis

    Royce Waltman’s visitation will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at St. Luke’s Methodist Church at 100 E. 86th Street, Indianapolis.

    April 10, 2014

  • METRO ROUNDUP: Burnham leads Woods softball to wins

    After dropping a pair of games to Missouri Baptist on Wednesday, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods beat Lindenwood-Belleville 9-7 and 1-0, both games in eight innings, on Thursday afternoon.
    Sarah Burnham’s seventh-inning homer in the first game tied the score 4-4, and the Pomeroys took a 5-4 lead later in the inning on an RBI double by Brooke Jordan before the Lynx tied the score in the bottom of the inning.

    March 21, 2014

  • METRO ROUNDUP: ISU softball splits pair in Florida

    Pitching dominated Tuesday’s opening day of play in the Rebel Spring Games for the Indiana State softball team, which defeated Bucknell 2-0 before falling 2-0 to Creighton.
    “The girls did a great job in the first game getting a couple runs,” ISU coach Shane Bouman said. “We leaned on [sophomore] Yvette Alvarez who pitched really well. We probably got as much as we could out of her and probably should have changed earlier so put that on me. We have a couple little things we can clean up and get a little better and we will be ready to go tomorrow.”

    March 11, 2014

  • Tony Dungy, wife Lauren signing books today in Terre Haute

    Former NFL coach Tony Dungy and his wife, Lauren, are at Sam’s Club in Terre Haute today, Feb. 12, signing books until about 1:30 p.m.

    February 12, 2014

  • Vigo County Jail Log: Feb. 7, 2014

    The following individuals were booked into the Vigo County Jail by area law enforcement on Thursday, based on jail records.

    February 7, 2014

High School
College
UK_Mizzou_4-11-14_27_cw.JPG

A.J. Reed The University of Kentucky baseball team falls to Missouri 8-7 on Friday, April 11, 2014, at Cliff Hagan Stadium in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics

  • Immense power: A leaner A.J. Reed making play as elite prospect

    Reed took his talents to Kentucky and the Southeastern Conference in 2011 and hasn’t looked back in the baseball sense. After a standout career at Terre Haute South — he was Indiana’s Player of the Year in 2011 — area fans had an idea of the wind Kentucky was sowing when it coaxed Reed to Lexington, Ky.

    April 20, 2014 3 Photos

  • METRO ROUNDUP: Odum shines in Portsmouth Invitational

    Former Indiana State guard Jake Odum had a productive first night at the Portsmouth Invitational late Thursday.
    The Terre Haute native scored 16 points, had six assists and three steals for the Portsmouth Partnership team in its 88-81 victory over Cherry Bekaert.

    April 19, 2014

  • ISU falls to Canisius in first of three-game road series

    The Indiana State baseball team fell behind early and never could get the lead as host Canisius posted a 3-1 victory in the opener of a three-game series Friday at Demske Sports Complex.
    The Sycamores (24-11) and Griffins (21-13) will meet again at 2 p.m. today, but the venue will switch to Dwyer Stadium in Batavia, N.Y. The same two teams also will play Sunday back at Demske Sports Complex in a noon start.

    April 19, 2014

  • SPT041614 SMWC jordan.jpg Saint Mary-of-the-Woods sweeps doubleheader over Rose-Hulman

    Over the years, defeating its crosstown rival has not usually been easy for Saint Mary-of-the-Woods or Rose-Hulman when they’ve met in college softball.
    But on Wednesday afternoon at The Woods, the home team made its doubleheader sweep look easy to first-year coach Mark Feller with five-inning decisions of 10-0 and 11-1.

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • SPT 030714 ODUM 02O'LEARY.jpg Terre Haute North grad O'Leary to transfer from Loyola

    Matt O’Leary is one of three men's basketball players at Loyola recently granted a release from his scholarship from the Missouri Valley Conference school.
    The former Terre Haute North standout told the Tribune-Star he doesn’t yet know his next move.

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

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SPT 041614 ROSSELLI REX.jpg

Tribune-Star/Joseph C. Garza Expanding the fan base: Bruce Rosselli, manager of the Terre Haute Rex, displays the team's new slogan, Wabash Valley's Own, during a press conference on Wednesday at Clabber Girl.

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