Luke Spitz: Learning the Ways of the Maverick

Luke Spitz came under the CMU fold after deciding he wasn't quite done yet with competitive running. Photo by Alan Versaw.


Luke Spitz's best marks

1600 meters - 4:36.89

3200 meters - 9:53.27

5K cross country - 16:19.0


You were on your way to leaving running behind, what changed all that?

As the track season was coming to a close I thought to myself that this was the last time I would run competitively. I realized that I wasn’t ready to give it up yet and I would miss running greatly. I want to give myself a chance to reach my full potential. I didn’t want to have any regrets. After visiting CMU, it made me very excited to run for a team like that.

How does Colorado Mesa fit into your academic plans?

I think Colorado Mesa is going to be a very good fit for me. I really like the campus and the area. It is a good size school. I didn’t want to go to a huge university with a ton of people. I like the small school feeling where the class sizes are smaller and you can really get to know your professors. Right now I’m keeping my options open and will be undeclared my first semester. Hopefully I will find something that interests me along the way.

In high school track, you ran almost entirely 1600s and 3200s. Do you expect to be going to the longer distances in college as well, or is it just too soon to tell on that?

Yes, I definitely plan on going to the longer distances in college. The races in college cross country are mostly 8K’s which is about 5 miles. I personally like the longer distances better. I’m looking forward to racing farther than 3 miles. It will be a new experience for me. I’ve never raced 5 miles before so it will be interesting. In track I would like to try the 5000 meters as well.

Which has a stronger hold on you--track or cross country?

Cross country easily has a stronger hold on me. Track isn’t bad, but there’s just something about cross country that I love. The team in cross country is like a family and you really get to know everyone. The whole team usually all gets along and we do so many fun activities together. I also like how small the team is compared to track. I prefer to run on trails, dirt, and roads rather than going in circles on a track. I like exploring on long runs and racing on uneven terrain. Cross country really is the sport that gets me excited and I’m looking forward to more good memories.

As you look back on your high school running experience, what was your most satisfying moment?

The most satisfying moment in my high school running career was probably during the 3200 meters at the Welco Track and Field Meet. It was one of the best races I’ve had so far. I got a PR of 9:53 which smashed my old time by about 18 seconds. I don’t know what came over me that race. I just gave it everything, and I felt great. That race was really a breakthrough that I needed mentally. I never thought I would break the 10 minute mark in high school. That time qualified me for state and I couldn’t have been happier.

What does the summer schedule of training look like for you?

Right now my summer workouts are all about building a base. I just have to run a certain amount of miles each week and slowly bump it up. Some days are higher intensity and some days are lower. I have a schedule from my coach on how many miles to hit per week and it’s going good so far. I just need to be smart and take care of myself so I do not get injured. I plan to be in good shape by August for the time trial at CMU.