Head cross country coach breaks American record
The record attempt was to mark Mitchell’s 40th birthday, which moved him into the age 40-44 competition division. A crowd of
Linfield students and Mitchell’s family and friends totalled nearly 100 out at the Linfield track to cheer Mitchell on and to celebrate his
Mitchell began the race with four other runners. They ran as a unit for much of the race, but three of the four fell off the group pace
before finishing. Cameron Chester, an alum of Linfield’s track and field team, and Chris McIsaac, assistant coach of Linfield cross
country, were among them.
At the 10,000 meter halfway point, Mitchell’s time was 32 minutes 48 seconds, well under the previous record holder’s time of 34
minutes 11 seconds.
The previous 20,000 meter record was set in Jacksonville, Florida in 2005 by John Metzgar, age 42.
Mitchell’s lap times hovered around 78-79 seconds for much of the first 10,000 meters (25 laps). For the second half of the race, his
pace increased and his lap times dropped to around 76 seconds.
With each pass around the track, the crowd cheered Mitchell on, making good use of commemorative cowbells distributed in honor of
Mitchell’s birthday. Mitchell’s final time was
64 minutes 47 seconds, shattering Metzgar’s previous record of 68 minutes 21 seconds.
Mitchell has been involved with the Linfield cross country team for eight years now. Previous to his involvement with the Wildcats, he
served as assistant coach in several high school track and field and cross country programs, including McMinville high school.
Mitchell is also a Linfield alum, part of the class of 1995. He was a four-year letter-winner on both the Linfield track and field and
cross country teams.
His Linfield track and field career included two conference crowns and two second place finishes in the 10,000 meters event.
He also placed second in two separate cross country
Ryan Morgan / Senior reporter
Greg Mitchell wraps himself with an American flag after finishing his run. Mitchell finished the 50 laps in 64 minutes and 47 seconds.
Photos: Rosa Johnson/Copy editor