PITTSBURGH – Lake Superior State men's cross country runner David Mitter finished 121st out of 261 finishers at the 2018 NCAA Division II Cross Country National Championships on Saturday at the Bob O'Connor Golf Course at Schenley Park.
"We are all very proud of David," Lake Superior State Track and Field and Cross Country head coach Rob Gallinger said. "He has shown that he can compete at the highest level, and we are very fortunate to take this into the indoor and outdoor track seasons."
A sophomore from Howell, Michigan who is majoring in mechanical engineering, Mitter completed the 10,000-meter course in 34:51.5 to become the first Laker men's cross country runner to compete at the national championships since 1993 when Gary Loubert finished in 50th place. The last Laker men's team to compete at the national championships was the 1991 squad that finished 14th.
Mitter's performance caps off a year where he improved his cross country personal bests at the 8,000 meter and 10,000 meter distances by about 45 seconds and two minutes, respectively. He ran a 10,000-meter personal best time of 31:56.6 to finish eighth overall and lead the Lakers to a 20th-place team finish at the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Cross Country Championships on Nov. 17 at Hayden Park in Hillsdale, Michigan.
Gallinger sees more success coming for Mitter and the team in the future.
"Getting David to the national championships shows we are going to be a contender," Gallinger said. "We are going to be at a place where we can compete at the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Conference level, the regional level, and hopefully at the national level in a few years."
The individual winner was Marcelo Laguera of Colorado State University-Pueblo with a time of 31:46.4. The team champion was fellow GLIAC member Grand Valley State with 89 points.