STONINGTON – For Lucas Huesman, senior at Stonington High, athletics has always come naturally. From the time he was in elementary school, Huesman found success on the field with sports like football and soccer, gaining the attention of coaches across the community due to his talent.
But for 18-year-old Huesman, something was still missing. The SHS Class of 2021 said he felt pressure to be a leader and take charge of the games, a feeling that even with his talents he said he was never comfortable with. .
It was then that he found a home in the world of competitive cycling – and he didn’t regret his path to recognition as a nationally ranked rider as a junior competitor before moving on. make the jump to the Pro-Am circuit.
“It has been a unique experience with cycling; the cycling community was not as small as I would have thought, ”Huesman said this week. “I now have friends all over the state and even in other parts of the country. There was just something about the cycling community that made me feel welcome, like I was truly part of a family. “
It’s been a tough year for Huesman following a pandemic that sidelined him and nearly every other competitive cyclist, but he’s back on the road, and the future graduate has the ambition to continue to climb the ranks in the cycling world while pursuing a degree in environmental engineering at Colorado State University in the fall and continues to develop his talents as a musician.
SHS principal Mark Friese said this week that Huesman had been a shining example to his classmates during his time at the school, setting an example and showing what students can achieve if they think about it.
“Her success has been incredible and her growth has been a pleasure to watch,” said Friese. “It’s just the amount of personal dedication he has to his craft and his ability to motivate himself, that’s what makes him special. Most would need the roar of the crowd or a pat on the back, but he continues to work hard without it, day in and day out.
Huesman, the youngest of three children born to Chris and Julia Huesman, first entered the world of cycling at the age of 13 and almost immediately found a team after meeting Aiden Charles and joining the CT program Cycling Advancement from Charles, a training and networking company. based in Middletown, Connecticut, which aims to increase interest and provide opportunities for young cyclists. In his first year he managed to achieve early success and qualified for a berth at the national championships.
Over the next several years, Huesman found a connection with team coach Dave Hoyle, whom he described as “a second father”. He said Hoyle showed him the ropes and gave him the knowledge and skills to take the leap and become competitive quickly.
Before he knew it, Huesman was cruising the country and competing in states such as New York, Florida, Maryland and Arizona, on his way to achieving nationwide rank as fifth out of 3,000 cyclists. juniors qualified in 2019 and placed 11th overall during the national championship that year. Huesman’s success that year ultimately led to his selection to travel to Belgium at the age of 16, where he joined three other top junior cyclists who participated in a homestay in the town of Erpe-Mere, where they would go to events every day and come back to enjoy the local culture at night.
“It has all been such a great experience for me,” he said. “I am very grateful that cycling has allowed me to travel to different parts of the world and has helped me open my eyes to different cultures.”
Charles said Thursday that Huesman’s success at this point was the result of his determination and drive. He said that while Huesman has shown he has a competitive advantage that comes naturally, he also remained a level-headed, gentle and humble individual who led by example.
“When it comes to a sport like this, those with the right ride often have an aggressive nature because that’s what makes them successful. That wasn’t the case with Lucas,” he said. Charles said. “He came to us like a calm kid who could barely get a sentence out of, and although he has become a leader, he remains polite and gentle.”
While excellent in a race, Huesman’s success also extends well beyond his cycle.
Balancing travel with his academics, Friese reported that Huesman has remained in the top 10% of his class over the years. He is also a gifted musician, with a background that includes as a saxophonist in the school’s jazz band and choir member. He was also the School Chapter President of the Tri-M Music Honor Society for the past year.
When asked what the future holds, Huesman said he recently joined a New York-based national pro team led by Jamison Cannondale and plans to race in New York this summer, including traveling to Harlem for a competition almost immediately after graduating.
He said he wanted to see where the sport could take him, but also had ambitions to graduate and embark on a career in wastewater management.
“Although I am often very busy, I made sure to always make time for school. I know how important it is, ”Huesman said. “I know what I can do and I know what my limits are, and that’s not going to change in college.”