GRANITE CITY - Senior D.J. Dutton is considered to be the top runner for the cross country team at Civic Memorial High and on Sept. 2 at the 50th running of the Pete Robinson/Harry Lang Granite City Invitational meet at Granite's Wilson Park, Dutton had a great time in helping the Eagles finish seventh in the team standings.
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Dutton had the second best time for CM with a 15:31.1 as the Eagles had six of their seven runners have times under 17 minutes, the first time in the school's history that it's ever happened.
Dutton is considered to be one of the area's top runners and is also a very hard worker who mentors the younger runners and provides leadership and inspiration to the entire team.
For his efforts both on and off the courses, Dutton has been named a Tom Lane State Farm Male Athlete of the Month.
"He's definitely the leader of the team this year, no doubt about it," said Dutton's and the Eagles' head coach, Jake Peal. "He's really taken his running this past spring and summer to the next level and it's really exciting to see him excel at a higher level."
Dutton finished 20th overall in the race, and Peal feels that he'll be among the Eagles' top two or three runners in each race and also has the potential to finish in the top 25 runners when the IHSA Class 2A state meet comes up in November at its traditional home of Detweiler Park in Peoria.
"He's really primed for a big season," Peal said.
Dutton has also enjoyed success on the CM boys track team, being a part of the 4x800 meter relay team that finished with a time of 7:57.54 in the final race, along with a best time of 4:33.20 in the 1,600 meters at the Class 2A sectional meet at East Alton-Wood River Memorial Stadium. He also ran a 2:04.63 in the 800 meters at the Triad Knight Invitational.
Dutton's best time last season in cross country was a 16:11.4 at the Peoria Invitational. He also had a 16.21.1 in the Class 2A regional at Chatham Glenwood.
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