Men’s cross country team wins OVC


File Photo | The Daily Eastern News

The Eastern men’s cross country team starts the race in the EIU Walt Crawford Open on Sept. 3 at the Tom Woodall Panther Trail. The team placed first overall in the event.

Adam Tumino, Sports Editor

It was quite the weekend for the Eastern cross country teams. 

The men’s team won the OVC Championship for the second-straight season, and ninth time overall, Saturday morning in Nashville. The women’s team finished third.

Both teams also had the top two individual finishers, with Dustin Hatfield and Jaime Marcos placing first and second in the 8K for the men and Lindsey Carlson and Kate Bushue doing the same for the women’s side. 

Hatfield and Carlson entered the race after having been named Male and Female Runners of the Year on Friday afternoon. 

The winning time for Hatfield was 24:31.5, 17.6 seconds ahead of Marcos. Rounding out the top five for Eastern was Trevor Murphy in ninth place, Franky Romano in 11th place and Richie Jacobo in 12th. 

They had 35 points, four ahead of second-place Belmont. 

Carlson placed first with a time of 17:47.9, 28 seconds ahead of Bushue in second. 

Eastern’s top five runners Saturday also included Avani Flanagan in 14th place, Mackenzie Aldridge in 21st place and Katie Springer in 22nd place. 

The women’s team had 60 points, placing behind second-place Tennessee Tech with 48 points and champions Belmont with 36 points. 

Hatfield became the fourth Eastern runner to win the OVC Runner of the Year award and the first since 2003. 

Previous Eastern athletes that were named Runner of the Year are Jason Bialka in 2000 and 2001, Kyle O’Brien in 2002 and Jeff Jonaitis in 2003.  

He was named Runner of the Week three times during the season.

He also set a new school record in the 8K with a time of 23:28.2 and also posted the fourth best time in school history later in the season. 

Carlson, in her first season running cross country at the college level, recorded the second-fastest 5K time in school history with a time of 17:25.1 in the Louisville Cross Country Classic on Oct. 2, which is also where Hatfield set the record. 

In addition to Hatfield, the men’s team had five other runners given All-OVC honors. 

Marcos was named first team All-OVC with Hatfield while Murphy, Romano, Jacobo and Adam Swanson were given second team honors. 

For the women’s team Bushue was named first team All-OVC along with Carlson. Flanagan was named second team All-OVC. 

The conference honors extended beyond the runners, as Eastern coach Erin Howarth was named Men’s Coach of the Year for the second straight season. 

She was also named Women’s Coach of the Year in 2019 and 2011. 


Adam Tumino can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].