Luke Coffman displays competitiveness, sportsmanship

J. Patrick Eaken

Although eight of nine local athletes at the state meet were from Woodmore, the top placer at the state meet was Eastwood senior Luke Coffman.
        Coffman capped off a stellar cross-country career with a 43rd-place finish at the Division II state meet at National Trail Raceway in Hebron. He repeats as Alan Miller Jewelers All-Press Boys Runner of the Year.
        Coffman finished the state meet course in 16:41.2 after taking 34th (17:16) in the same event last season. He was a two-time NBC champion, a three-time district champion and a two-time academic All-Ohio performer during his career at Eastwood.
        Eastwood coach Stephanie Sims believes Coffman could run collegiately, although he has not made any decision yet.
        “Luke would be a great college runner. He takes pride in what he does and would put his all into it,” Sims said. “Luke will be greatly missed next year by our program.  You can coach a long time and not have an athlete like Luke come through your program.  His drive, integrity, and work ethic rank up there at the tops of all the athletes I have had the pleasure of coaching.”
        Sims says she doesn’t see a work ethic like Coffman’s every day.
        “Luke is very driven. He practices as hard as he can each and every day,” Sims said. “When we do speed workouts and he has certain times to make he will do everything in his power to make that time. If he misses it, he is very upset with himself.  
        He lifted in the offseason and during the season before school in the morning. He also did some Sunday runs which were suggested but never mandatory.”
        There is another element to Coffman’s style that Sims does not see every day — it’s his relationship with his competitors and involvement in other school activities that stand out.  
        “Luke is just a great kid,” Sims said. “He is very involved with the Eastwood band. He is dedicated to any activity he is a part of.  He rushed out of the NBC meet as a junior to make it to a band event even though it was not mandatory for him to go.
        “He also will shake hands with other runners in the chute after he finishes his race.  In our first NBC jamboree of the year Luke took second and it was the first time he had been beat in the NBC since his sophomore year.  He still stood in the chute and shook hands with all the kids who were finishing.”


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