Credit: Courtesy | Raymond Tran, Cal Poly Athletics

The final race for the Cal Poly track and field star graduate Jake Ritter saw him place 90th overall at the NCAA National Championship Race on Saturday, Nov. 19 in Stillwater, Okla. 

Ritter capped off his incredible career as a Mustang with the highest Cal Poly finish at the National Championships since Phillip Reid in 2007, clocking in with a time of 30:09.7. 

This season, Ritter was named Big West Men’s Athlete of the Year for the third time in his career, something no other Cal Poly male cross-country runner has accomplished. On top of that, he earned USTFCCCA All-Region honors and a Mechanics Bank Cal-Poly Student-Athlete of the Week. 

On the track, Ritter did nothing more than make history. At the Big West Championships, Ritter ran a Big West meet record of 23:27.4 en route to his third Big West title (2018, 2019 and 2022), becoming the first-ever runner in conference history to claim three individual cross-country titles.

The following week, Ritter woke up and ran his all-time best 10k at the NCAA West Regionals, posting an outstanding 28:43.3, solidifying his ticket to the NCAA Championships for the first time. 

The sixth-year graduate student has had a long journey to be able to run this year after suffering a stress reaction in his right hip, which forced his season to be cut short just two meets into the 2021 season, on top of being entirely sidelined from all competitions in 2020 because of the pandemic.

Ritter ends his career as one of the greatest runners in Cal Poly cross-country history.