Written by Greg Walker
Regarded as the premier harrier in the history of West Virginia cross country, Carl Hatfield was WVU's first-ever cross country All-American. As a junior, Hatfield won his first All-America honors by finishing 20th at the NCAA meet in Cheyenne, Wyo., in 1967. He followed that with a 10th-place finish during his senior season in New York City, to earn his second-straight All-America award.
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The Matewan, W.Va., native also won two NCAA district titles, the first in 1967 at Williamsburg, Va., and the second in 1968 at Atlanta, Ga. Including NCAA championships, Hatfield won 27 of 35 cross country races he entered during his time in Morgantown.
At the time he graduated, Hatfield held or shared Mountaineer records on five indoor events and nine outdoor events. He is one of only two WVU athletes who have won three distance track events in one meet and was named WVU's outstanding senior in academics and athletics in 1968.
Hatfield lettered from 1966-68 for Coach Stan Romanoski and was team captain as a senior. He also ran track for the Mountaineers and won several Eastern and Southern conference titles. After graduating in 1969 with a degree in biology and education, Hatfield founded the West Virginia Track Club, which has since become on of the best running clubs on the East Coast.
In 1972, he earned his master's degree from WVU in guidance and counseling, and then went on to lead the WVTC to the Boston Marathon team championship in 1974, and the AAU national team championship in 1978. Hatfield also won the AAU national marathon championship in 1978 and represented the United States at several meets around the world. A direct descendant of history's famed Hatfield (and McCoy) family, he ironically won the Ray McCoy Award as West Virginia's best amateur track athlete in 1976. Hatfield is also one of only a handful of distance runners who have qualified for four U.S. Olympics Trials.
He has competed in more than 700 races to date, including the Boston and New York marathons, and is still running strong today. On February 1 of this year, Hatfield marked his 30th anniversary of competitive running. Since his graduation from WVU, Hatfield has been involved professionally in teaching and coaching on the high school and collegiate levels. In fact, he has been involved with several universities throughout West Virginia, including Alderson-Broaddus, Salem and WVU. Currently, Hatfield is the director of the Adaptive Skills Center at William R. Sharpe Hospital in Weston.
Hatfield was born May 5, 1947, at Matewan, and is a graduate of Matewan High School. He has been a member of Mountain and Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity since 1968. Hatfield is married to the former Georgia Strum for 15 years, and the two reside in Clarksburg and have a daughter, Stephanie Lynn. Hatfield also has a son from a previous marriage, Bryan Carl, who is a graduate of Virginia Tech.