Great post. I think it's often understated what a change it is from easily (and quickly) breaking most of the guys you run against to running at near red-line pace and having TONS of guys around you. For my n = 1 anecdotal contribution, I was an extremely average high school runner my sophomore year who became decent for his area junior year. In the bigger invitationals, I would generally be in the top 10 by the first mile or so and hold that pretty well. When I made my regional meet (something I had never done in years past), it was an absolute shock to be busting my ass as hard as I knew and still have 50 some guys around me. I got stomped, and learned a good lesson on what I needed to do for the next year.
Something tells me that Lukas, who is far superior to me (both in terms of mental toughness and physical ability) will learn far better than I did. He's got the ability, and now it's just a matter of learning how to put that ability together for a new level of racing.
Re: the actual topic of this thread, I can't believe how few people are here to praise Lutz's performance in comparison to how many are here to dump on Lukas. For shame. What a magnificent performance by Lutz, who was VERY underrated in high school and somehow continues to fly under the radar. A fantastic result for him, and it certainly indicates good things for his future. On that note, has there ever been such a deep year for NCAA cross country in the past 20 years?
This is a good assessment, and I hope you're right about Lukas' ability to adapt to collegiate running without getting burned out or injured, which hard, one-dimensional training can foster. And this thread most definitely detracts from Lutz, who should be lauded. What a fantastic debut, though I hope he's not in shape too early.
I still would be shocked if Lukas didn't find his way back to the triathlon ultimately though.