EIU's Hatfield, Carlson Sweep OVC Runner Of Year Awards


Published on November 3 2021 9:25 am
Last Updated on November 3 2021 9:25 am
Written by Millie Lange

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – Much as they have done during the regular season, Eastern Illinois distance runners Dustin Hatfield and Lindsey Carlson swept the Ohio Valley Conference Runner of the Year Awards released by the conference office on Friday (Oct. 29).

The Panthers will compete in the 2021 OVC Cross Country Championships on Saturday at the Percy Werner State Park in Nashville. The men’s 8K race begins at 9 am followed by the women’s event at 10 am.  The EIU men won last year’s OVC Championship which was contested in the spring as the Panthers claimed their 8th OVC title.  The EIU women have won two previous OVC titles with the last coming in 2011.  The EIU women placed third in the spring as the top three finishing teams were separated by just eight points.

Hatfield was named the OVC Male Runner of the Year after a dominating fall semester. He set the EIU school record in the 8K with a time of 23:28.2 and has posted two sub-24 minute 8K races this season. He currently ranks first in the OVC in the 8K with teammates Jaime Marcos and Franky Romano following him with the second and third best OVC times this fall. Hatfield has been named the OVC Runner of the Week three times this season. During his cross country career he has been named the OVC Freshman of the Year in 2017, twice a first-team All-OVC finisher, once a second team All-OVC finisher and once a All-Midwest Region finisher. Hatfield is the fourth EIU men’s runner to be named the OVC Male Runner of the Year joining Jason Bialka (2000 & 2001), Kyle O’Brien (2002) and Jeff Jonaitis (2003).

Carlson was named the OVC Female Runner of the Year as the graduate student is competing in her first season of collegiate cross country.  A former All-OVC women’s soccer player at EIU, Carlson has been named the OVC Female Runner of the Week four times this season as she has rocketed up the EIU record book. In her first collegiate race she won the EIU Walt Crawford Open setting an EIU record on the Tom Woodall Panther Trail.  She has posted the top 5K and 6K times in the OVC this season with teammate Kate Bushue second in the OVC in both distances this season.  Carlson’s top 5K time of 17:25.1 ranks second all-time at EIU while she set the school record in the 6K with a time of 21:03.5. Carlson is the first EIU women’s runner to win this award.