Verzbicas seriously injured in bike accident

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – 2010-11 DyeStat Athlete of the Year Lukas Verzbicas, now a professional triathlete, was seriously hurt in a bike accident here Tuesday, according to stories today in the Denver Post and Triathlete.com.

The Triathlete.com story contained quotes from his mother, Rasa, who said her son is in intensive care with a broken collar bone, blood in his lungs and will need surgery on his back. The surgery is slated to take place today. Further details about the accident were not yet available.

Late last night, Verzbicas posted a tweet that said, “Just in case, I want everyone to know how grateful I am for every single one of you and all your support. Always remember to dream big!”

Verzbicas completed an incredible three-year prep career last June for Carl Sandberg in Orland Park, Ill. His senior year included Foot Locker and Nike Cross Nationals titles (the first ever to win both), a landmark mile/2 mile/5,000 meters triple at New Balance Nationals Indoor, and a sub-4:00 mile and 2-mile USR outdoors.

He went to University of Oregon to run XC and track, but left during his freshman year to pursue his triathlon career. Last fall, he won gold at the 2011 ITU Junior World Championships in Beijing, China, to honor friend and teammate Kevin McDowell, and this year had won his ITU World Cup debut in June.