Lexington high school freshman sets Rubik’s Cube world record

Lucas Etter
Lucas Etter Fayette County Public Schools

Lucas Etter, a ninth-grade student at Henry Clay High School, set a world record Saturday in a Rubik’s Cube competition.

A video of Lucas’ single solve of the Rubik’s cube 3x3 in 4.90 seconds at a World Cube Association-sponsored competition at a Maryland high school had been posted on national news media websites by Tuesday .

“It was a shock,” Lucas said Tuesday in a telephone interview with the Herald-Leader. “I really couldn’t believe it. A bunch of people just rushed around me.”

Guinness World Records confirmed Tuesday on its website that Lucas, 14, set a new world record, becoming the first person to break the 5-second barrier for unmixing a standard 3x3x3 puzzle.

Lucas beat a record set earlier in the day at the same event by a fellow speed cuber from Maryland, according to the Guinness Report. That record was 5.09 seconds.

The Guiness Report said just two months ago, Lucas set a new record for the fastest average time to solve a 2x2x2 Rubik's Cube, registering a time of 1.51 seconds at a competition in Nashville.

“Lucas' world-record feat has been the culmination of four-plus years of dedicated practice and determination,” said Lucas’ mother, Dana Mendenhall-Etter, a LAN/WAN technician for the Fayette County school district. “His cubing career has not only been a victory for personal achievement but a way for him to develop friendships…Cubing is his passion.”

At competitions, Lucas said, “I get to do something I enjoy and talk with like-minded people.”

Lucas said he started playing with the Rubik’s Cube when he was about 8, after seeing someone break a world record on You Tube.

His father Paul Etter recalls that Lucas’ introduction to the cube was at Paul Etter’s parents’ house, where Lucas found a Rubik’s Cube that Paul Etter had when he was young.

“I wasn’t looking for speed at first,” Lucas said. “Within several months, I got into it seriously.”

Lucas’ said he practices about an hour each day and memorizes algorithms, which he said are sequences of moves.

“It’s practicing them over and over until you don’t even have to think about it,” he said.

Valarie Honeycutt Spears: 859-231-3409, @vhspears