For Ed Lukens, it all started in high school at Syracuse’s famed Central High. It was there Lukens discovered the thrill of victory competing in numerous track and field events. After graduating from Central the year World War II started, he enlisted in the Army. He served in Africa and Italy before coming home to resume his education at Syracuse University. As an impressive long jumper and javelin hurler at Central High, he had no problem earning a position on the SU track team, where he went undefeated for two years.
Lukens coached indoor track, outdoor track and basketball at Central and Westhill, winning numerous Section III titles. He also initiated summer track youth programs for the city, region and state and was instrumental in bringing high school track meets to Manley Field House. For decades, Lukens officiated at scholastic, collegiate and Syracuse Chargers track events.
Lukens began running and competing in adult programs when he was 55. He has set 48 records in six age divisions with the Syracuse Chargers and has established many national and world marks.
In 2002, Lukens set three world records in the men’s 80-84 age group at the USA Masters Track & Field Championships in Boston. He also won a fourth gold medal in the high jump, clearing 3'91/4". He won the 60-meter hurdles in 12.23 seconds, the long jump in 13'2" and the triple jump in 27'-2.45. In March of 2003 at the age of 81, Lukens bettered his triple jump mark with a 28'-41/2" leap.
Lukens has been inducted into the Masters National Track and Field Association Hall of Fame and was named the Outstanding Track & Field Athlete in his age category six times.
1950: Graduated SU a degree in Physical Education and Science and began his teaching career, which lasted over a quarter of a century
1998: Received SU’s Letterman of Distinction
2002: Set three world records in the men’s 80-84 division (60m hurdles, long jump and triple jump)
Other awards and honors:
Lukens was the recipient of the New York State Coaches Honor Award, the Onondaga High School League Coaches Award and the Y.M.C.A. Community Physical Fitness Award. The Big East recently honored Lukens for his contributions to the SU track program.