Hatfield headed to Nationals for cross country

Hatfield+headed+to+Nationals+for+cross+country

Adam Tumino, Sports Editor

Dustin Hatfield’s record-setting season for the men’s cross country team is not over just yet. 

It was announced Saturday that Hatfield was selected for the NCAA Cross Country National Championships after his 18th-place finish in the NCAA Midwest Regional on Friday. 

Hatfield earned All-Region honors Friday for the second time in his career and was named the OVC Runner of the Year on Oct. 29. 

He became the fourth Eastern runner to be OVC Runner of the Year and the third to make it to Nationals in Eastern’s Division I era. 

Jason Bialka, who was named OVC Runner of the Year in 2000 and 2001, made it to Nationals in both of those seasons, coming in 99th in 2001. 

Newly-inducted EIU Athletics Hall of Famer Todd Maroney reached Nationals in 1997 and finished 159th. 

Regardless of the result at Nationals, Hatfield has put together perhaps the best single season in program history. 

Competing in the Louisville Cross Country Classic on Oct. 2, Hatfield set a new school record in the 8K with a time of 23:28.2, breaking the record set by Joe Sheeran in 1977 by nearly 18 seconds.

He also had a time of 23:51.9 in the 8K in the Bradley “Pink” Classic on Oct. 15, which is the fourth-best time in program history. 

There have only been seven instances in Eastern history where a runner completed an 8K in under 24 minutes, and Hatfield has done it twice this season alone. 

The National Championship will take place Nov. 20 in Tallahassee, Florida. 

 

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