The University of Saint Mary cross country and track and field teams consistently perform well at the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships. The 2020 and 2021 seasons were no different.
The men’s and women’s cross country teams swept the KCAC Championships in November, and both outdoor track and field teams took home the conference crowns in May.
The Spires have now won eight straight men’s cross country championships, and the women have won three of the last four KCAC cross country titles. Both teams then went on to earn top 10 finishes at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Cross Country Championships in April.
Head Coach Alstin Benton also earned a Regional Coach of the Year award from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
“Anytime a coach receives a coach of the year award, it’s a direct reflection of their athletes,” Benton said. “Thank you to our men and women for giving me an opportunity to coach them.”
The USM track and field teams also dominated the outdoor KCAC Championships May 6-7 in Ottawa, Kan. The men’s squad claimed a first-place finish for the second time in program history.
The women’s team earned its first-ever conference crown, finishing 62.5 points ahead of the second-place team.
The Spires earned 39 individual All-Conference honors at the track and field championships, and they broke multiple school and conference records.
On May 26-28, the Spires competed at the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships in Gulf Shores, Ala. The men’s team earned a sixth place finish – its best showing at outdoor nationals. Eleven individuals also earned NAIA All-America honors.