Reschke is golden on the track

Amy Carton
Luke Reschke displays a large collection of trophies and awards he received during his track career at Monmouth College.

Geneseo’s Luke Reschke let his feet do the talking during his track career at Monmouth College. He is one of the most decorated track and field athletes in the school’s history.

Despite all of his accomplishments, one title eluded him, a national championship. But Reschke has no regrets.

“(Running track at Monmouth) was a great experience and being able to run relays with my older and younger brothers, Josh and Shane, was a unique and wonderful experience,” said Reschke. “Being able to work with and push each other was a lot of fun.”

Over the course of his career, Reschke has racked up the hardware on both the conference and national stage, including holding the nation’s fastest time in the 400-meter dash in Division III at 46.75 seconds.

“(Having the nation’s fastest time) felt really good, but I knew I would have to run faster to accomplish what I wanted to,” said Reschke. “I set the bar, and everyone would be shooting for me.”

“Luke is very dedicated to his training and is a hard worker and not everyone is willing to do that, which is the initial thing that sets him apart,” said Monmouth men’s track and field coach Roger Haynes. “I certainly knew he could be successful at the conference level, but for him to come in and break conference record and be a school record holder is something you can’t predict.”

“I had no idea what to expect going  into college, but I knew I would give 100 percent,” said Reschke. “I never fathomed this is how it would go. ?A lot of it has to do with the coaches and what they saw in me and thought I was capable of. The Monmouth coaches bring out the best in their athletes, and that is what they strive for.”

Among the honors Reschke has earned are nine All-American Awards in both indoor and outdoor track and field.

He received five indoor All-American awards beginning in 2007, placing fifth in the 4x400-m relay; two in 2008 in the 400-m dash in second and the 4x400-m relay in fourth, and two in 2009 in the 4x400-m relay in seventh place and the 400-m dash in fourth. In 2008, the men’s team also placed second as a team at the NCAA Division III National Championships.

Reschke earned four outdoor All-American awards, placing second in the 4x400-m relay and sixth in the 400-m dash in 2007; in 2008 took third in the 400-m dash and third in the 400-m dash in 2010. In 2007, Monmouth brought home third place as a team at the national championships.

Reschke was recognized as Men’s Track Athlete of the Year for the Midwest Conference for the 2008 Indoor and Outdoor seasons and this year for the 2010 outdoor season.

He also was named the 2010 NCAA’s Midwest Region Male Track Athlete of the Year.

“(The honor) means a lot, but honestly I wanted to be national champion,” said Reschke. “Ever since I saw I could do that, it was my goal. But to be noticed like this means a lot. It was hard not achieving a national championship, but they just don’t give it away. I always came close.”

During his career at Monmouth, Reschke accumulated 17 Midwest Conference Titles, which ranks him second among the Monmouth men’s track team.

Reschke concluded his college career at the 2010 NCAA Division III Track and Field National Championships where he competed in both the 400-m dash and the 200-m dash.

“Right when I got done, I realized it was the last race I would run as a college athlete,”?said Reschke. “I was upset it was over and that I was not going to have the opportunity again. You have to make the best of the opportunities when it is given to you and when it comes to an end it is kind of hard. If I had my way I would do it as long as I can.

“I am definitely happy with my college career. It was a great experience, and I don’t regret anything. Monmouth gave me the opportunity to do well.”

“Luke was very solid and a consistent contributor,” said Haynes. “He was consistent across the board and got better at his craft and training. He continued to improve. He got better and kept his strengths and worked on his weaknesses.”

Reschke said coming out of high school he never thought this was what his college years would be like.

“I just wanted someone to give me the opportunity to compete,” said Reschke.

“Luke had a really successful high school career, solid in football, basketball and track,” said Geneseo High School track coach Don Fredericks. “He brought enthusiasm for the sport, which is critical, and he always had a smile on his face and was ready to get after it. He was not afraid to work hard, and it was fun to watch him develop as an athlete.”

Not only did Reschke compete for the Monmouth men’s indoor and outdoor track and field teams, but he was a member of the men’s basketball team his freshman and sophomore years and joined the football team for the 2009 season, where he started every game.

The biggest hurdle Reschke had to overcome was a torn meniscus, which caused him to miss the 2009 outdoor track season.

“Being injured was hard because I was going to every meet and watching them compete and not knowing if I would run on the team again,” he said. “Instead of trying to push the issue, I took it easy and decided to come back for another year and end my career the way I?wanted to end it.”

Reschke had surgery in June 2009 and, with rehab, was back at Monmouth football camp in August.

Reschke said the biggest highlight of his years at Monmouth was his sophomore year in 2007 when the team took third at nationals and it came down to the final race, the 4x400-m relay, which included his brother, Josh.

“We were the fastest seed going into the finals, and we had to finish second or better to place as a team,” he said. “Josh got the stick and handed it off to me running anchor, and we finished second to place third at nationals.”

Reschke said racing with his brothers was an awesome experience and was something that was definitely unique. He also played basketball at Monmouth with Josh and was a member of the football team at Monmouth with Shane.

“It was nice to know someone has your back, and we looked out for each other,” said Reschke. “It was a lot of fun and is one of the reasons I don’t regret what happened and wouldn’t change a thing. We got to share a lot of goals and it definitely brought us closer as brothers.”

The biggest thing Reschke learned is you have to work hard.

“If you put in the work it will pay off,” said Reschke.

“I hope high school kids take the opportunity to do what they love to do and take the opportunity and make the best of it because you never may get the opportunity again. You have to make the best of the opportunities given to you.”

“It is a pleasure to work with all three guys, Josh, Luke and Shane. They are all very different,” said Haynes. “Luke knew what he wanted to achieve, and he accomplished pretty much everything he wanted to do.”

Reschke, a 2005 Geneseo graduate and a 2010 Monmouth College graduate, is the son of Al and Kathy Reschke of Geneseo and besides brothers Josh and Shane, he has two additional brothers, Ethan and Jordan.

Reschke hopes he has been a role model for his younger brothers.

“Hopefully what I did inspires them to be competitive and be the best person and athlete they can,” said Reschke. “But you have to work hard if you want to achieve anything.”