August 8, 2023 at 10:20 a.m.

Former River Valley athlete named EIUā€ˆMale Athlete of the Year

Eastern Illinois University (EIU) fifth-year distance runner Dustin Hatfield was recently named the Panthers 2022-23 Male Athletic Director's Award Winner after wrapping up award-winning careers in cross country and track.

Hatfield, a graduate of River Valley High School, was named the 2022 Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) Runner of the Year in cross country for the second consecutive year.

He led the Panthers to their third consecutive OVC Championship after finishing runner up in the meet.

Hatfield was looking for similar success on the track last season, but an injury cut short the season.

During the 2021-22 school year, he had one of the best overall distance running seasons in school history as he was named the OVC Male Athlete of the Year following his OVC cross country Runner of the Year selection and being tabbed Male Track Athlete of the Year for both indoor and outdoor track.

As a cross country runner, the Spring Green native was a four-time OVC first-team selection and earned second-team honors once.

Hatfield was the OVC Freshman of the Year in 2017 and twice earned all-Region honors.

In 2021 he advanced to the NCAA cross country national championships becoming just the third runner in EIU program history to accomplish that feat at the NCAA Division Ievel.

On the oval, Hatfield was a seven-time distance event champion between the indoor and outdoor seasons.

He advanced to the NCAA West Regional twice to compete in the 10,000-meter run.

Hatfield closed his career setting four school records in cross country and track, and was part of six OVC championship teams.

Hatfield was one of three candidates for the award joining fellow runner Riley Baker and Ryan Ignoffo from the baseball team.