Luke Skinner’s Leadership Reflects on Program Success

USM student-athlete Luke Skinner

University of Saint Mary student-athlete Luke Skinner has been a consistent standout on the cross country course and track for the Spires. The 2021 biology graduate has earned several national accolades based off dominant performances during his career.

In 2020, Skinner was the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics champion in the distance medley relay at the Indoor Track and Field National Championships in Brookings, S.D. One year later, he returned to the same track and won the 1,000-meter run event.

“Luke has been a leader in our program,” Head Cross Country and Track & Field Coach Alstin Benton said. “He is one of those guys that sets an example for everyone else in the program and makes me look like a great coach. He is one of those athletes that everyone knows because he works so hard and puts it on the line every time he races. He has made me a better coach and our program a better program.”

Skinner’s leadership also helped the men’s cross country team earn its eighth Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference title and the track and field team earn its second-ever conference title during the 2020-21 seasons.

“It is just fun to watch him race,” Benton said. “Every time Luke races and is nearing the finish, everyone stops and watches because they know what is coming. He puts on a devastating kick that is near impossible to match. Watching a great athlete compete is like witnessing a work of art.”

“The success I’ve been able to have at the national level is probably one of the highlights of my running career,” Skinner said. “It means a lot knowing how much work I’ve put into this sport and for all of that work to culminate in a national title.”

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