Athletes of the Issue: Chris Lukens ’19

Chris Lukens ’19 is a four-year Senior and co-captain of the Varsity Sailing team. He led the Sailing team to an undefeated season this year, helping them win the New England Fleet Championship and place ninth at the National Fleet Championships in Seattle, WA. Teammate Alec Stern ’21 said, “Chris was an inspiring leader on the sailing team, and encouraged us all to work as hard as possible.” What were the team’s goals this season and how well do you think you accomplished them? We came into the season hoping to win both [portions of] New Englands. We met one goal, which was to win the fleet racing portion of New England’s. We also got second in team racing, which probably should have originally been our goal. We haven’t gotten top two since I’ve been here, so I think we met our goals pretty well and exceeded expectations people had for us. We had a really solid [group of returners] coming back who knew what to do and a good group of younger kids. How does this final season compare to your other seasons? Last year was awesome. I got to sail with Tommy Whittemore ’18, who was one of my best friends, who I sailed with outside of school. This year, I got to come in and be my own sailor. I got more responsibility and confidence, which let me go out and sail really well. What has been the highlight of your sports career here? It would be winning fleet race New Englands, something I’d wanted to do since the moment I [first] got to Hotchkiss. You always look up to the kids [who] are sailing in that regatta when you are younger. No one had won it in my division since my freshman year, so I always wanted to do that. Qualifying for team race nationals, even though I think we probably could have won, was [also] really cool. What are some things that you’ve learned from the sailing program? I think the biggest is that you can always learn more. We always have old sailors, who are really accomplished, and they just know so much, [yet they] bring [with them an] attitude of always trying to learn. So having that attitude “I don’t know everything, and I am just here trying to get better” is something that has really been taught. Another big thing is teamwork. Knowing that you can always get along with your teammates is really important. This year, we have been getting along really well, which I think has shown in our results. How does it feel now that your season is over and you’ve come full circle as a Senior? It’s starting to hit me that graduation is coming around. We had our final team dinner the other night, which was pretty special. It’s one of those things that you [anticipate] for a really long time. For four years, you picture yourself being that kid they give the Senior poster to. You always make one for the Seniors when you are younger, so getting there was something that I really looked forward to, but it was definitely a bittersweet moment. I feel like I’ve been here for a long time, but I am going to miss it.

Ed Guo ’19

Chris Lukens ’19 will be a big loss for the sailing team next Spring.