AMHERST, Massachusetts -- Rob Mitchell (Worcester, VT), a junior co-captain of the Amherst College men's track team, has been named an NCAA Regional Athlete of the Year by a vote of New England coaches. Mitchell is one of eight student-athletes to receive this honor, and he is now eligible for National Athlete of the Year recognition, to be announced this weekend at the NCAA Indoor Track Championships, held at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts.
Mitchell has led Amherst men's track and cross country to success since his arrival in 1995. He began his junior indoor track season as the college record-holder in the 800, 1500, Mile and 3000 before he proceeded to add the 600 (1:19.85) to his list while shattering his bests in the 800 and Mile. A 1:50.19 clocking in the 800 at the Commonwealth Elite Invitational at Harvard took over two seconds off his best from last season while a 4:03.30 performance at Boston University in the Terrier Classic shaved four seconds off his sophomore best.
Mitchell has been undefeated against Division III competition this season as he has claimed first place in all but three races: his two record-breaking runs and a second place finish by merely 0.09 seconds in the Mile at the elite Millrose Games, an invitation-only event at Madison Square Garden in New York. Most recently Mitchell repeated as the New England Open Mile Champion with a 4:06.88 finish. In addition to helping the Distance Medley Relay to a school record 10:13.72 finish, Mitchell powered Amherst to the first 4x800 relay New England Open Championship ever won by a Division III school. If his 1:48.61 split were taken as a flat time, Mitchell's leg would be the fastest Division III indoor time ever clocked in the 800.
The junior is also a co-captain of the cross country team. Until the NESCAC Championship late in the season, Mitchell had been undefeated against Division III competition. In addition to a pair of course records, his season was highlighted by a third place finish at New Englands where his 24:05 clocking on the five-mile course was just 27 seconds off the Division I champion's time.
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