AMHERST, Massachusetts -- Rob Mitchell (Worcester, VT), a junior co-captain of the Amherst College men's track team, has been named the NCAA National Athlete of the Year by a vote of New England indoor track coaches. This is the first time that an Amherst College student-athlete has earned this honor.
Mitchell is a three-time All-American, and the junior is a part of eleven indoor and outdoor track records, including three set this season. His 1:50.19 clocking in the 800 at the Commonwealth Elite Invitational at Harvard University took over two seconds off his best from last season, while a 4:03.30 performance in the Terrier Classic Mile at Boston University shaved four seconds off his sophomore best. A 1:19.85 finish in the 600 claimed Mitchell's fifth individual indoor track record after beginning his junior season with school bests in the 800, 1500, Mile and 3000.
Mitchell has been undefeated against Division III competition this season as he has claimed first place in all but three races: his record-breaking 800 and 1500, 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 New England Open 4x800 Relay 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.
Mitchell will be competing in the 800 and 1500 at the NCAA Indoor Track Championships, held this weekend at Brandeis University. Seeded first in both events, the junior also claims the top time in New England in every event from the 600 to the Mile, along with regional bests in the 4x800 and Distance Medley Relays.
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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