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Highland's Guerra chooses Georgetown

Picking a college site unseen is a hard reality of recruiting during the COVID-19 pandemic.

So when Highland's Lucas Guerra chose to continue his running career at Georgetown, the decision had nothing to do with what he thought of the campus or the athletic facilities and everything to do with gut feelings.

"I couldn't visit anywhere, which made it super hard to make a choice," Guerra said after announcing his pick Saturday. "My thought was, what else am I waiting for? I was ready. A lot of guys on the team told me you're going to think you made the wrong decision in the first month, but I'm really confident in my choice."

One of the swing points of the process for Guerra, the 2019 state runner-up, came when he talked to Hoyas runner Matt Rizzo, who switched coasts, transferring from Stanford to Georgetown.

"You're talking the No. 4 team in the nation and he was saying the one thing he saw (at Georgetown) that he didn't see at Stanford was kids who were young and hungry to get (personal bests)," Guerra said. "They have the same goals I do. They want to be successful."

Guerra first spoke to a coach at the Washington, D.C., school back in December. There was no immediate follow-up, so he checked back with them in the spring, when he began conversing with head coach Brandon Bonsey on a regular basis.

"We talked pretty frequently and I enjoyed talking to him," Guerra said. "He has a great mindset as a coach. He trains all his guys to continue to run after college, which is a level of running I've never thought about. He's helped guys become pros if they want. It's pretty cool to think that you can do that, still have a regular job, and make a good amount of money."

Unable to meet the runners in person, Guerra spoke to some team members on Zoom, though he didn't get the feel he was hoping for. He was waiting to see what might happen with some other schools before meeting the whole Georgetown team and other recruits via a group Face Time.

"School is all virtual, so they were doing alternate training in northern Arizona," Guerra said. "I enjoyed talking to them. I could see them living together. It was really awesome to meet them. I also spoke to a lot of alumni who reached out to me. It's so successful academically, it's one of the top schools in the nation. You have a ton of connections. With its location, it's an opportunity to go to a really good

State runner-up Lucas Guerra of Highland

verbally committed Saturday to run for


school and get a really good paying job."

Guerra, a 3.8 student who will major in computer science or business administration, was also considering Syracuse and Furman with Purdue and Michigan also in the picture earlier.

"I just saw a better fit," he said. "I was really hoping to go away. My uncles and grandma said if I had an opportunity to go somewhere, I should do it. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity."

Georgetown finished second in the Big East and in its regional last season, qualifying for nationals.

"They have a lot of young talent, so it was really a big no brainer," Guerra said. "They're on an upward trend of success, so they're going to get better and better."

After winning Saturday's Highland Sectional, Guerra is aiming for another strong post-season run.

"This is a huge weight off my shoulders," he said. "Now I can focus on training, making sure I stay healthy. I've only got three more races left. It's so sad, but I remember when stuff was getting cancelled, there was no classes and athletics, I thought it was over. We're super lucky we've been able to get to this point and continue at a strong level."

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