×

Dalton Mutz: Boys’ Track and Field Athlete of the Season

  • Concord High senior Dalton Mutz anchored the state champion 4x100 relay team that included Sam Orzechowski, Zackary Jenks and Nate Hillyer. Elizabeth Frantz / Monitor file



Monitor staff
Wednesday, June 27, 2018

After three years of ups and downs, Dalton Mutz wanted to end his track career on a high note.

After helping the Concord boys’ team win its first championship in 36 years at the 2016 Division I Championship, the senior sprinter literally limped through the end of his junior year in 2017, suffering a hamstring injury in the 100-meter dash finals. Mutz finished fourth in the 100 and had to pull out of the 4x100, Concord wound up in eighth place and Mutz’s season was cut short. He wasn’t sure he wanted to continue running after high school.

But with a 55-meter dash title from the past indoor track season under his belt and a refreshed mind set, Mutz ended his career by leading the Tide to another historic season, anchoring the Division I champion 4x100 relay to lead Concord to a second-place finish, its first since 1979.

Mutz also finished second in the 100 and 200 at the D-I Championships, won the 100 and 4x100 at the Meet of Champions, and capped his high school career with a third-place finish in the 200 at New Englands.

“Once I found the college I wanted to go to (Barton College in Wilson, N.C.) I knew that I had to stay healthy and just enjoy (my final season),” Mutz said. “That ended up being the biggest thing that I told myself going into the championship meets, to just enjoy the moments. I found that as I relaxed and began enjoying the running, I began to do better, too.”

Mutz finished second in both the prelims and finals of the 100 at the D-I Championships, clocking an 11.13 in the prelims and a personal-best time of 11.03 in the finals. Mutz also finished second in the 200 with a time of 22.37 .

“Those were the two most stressful races of the year because we wanted to win the championship again,” Mutz said. “In the end, we didn’t and I’m OK with that ... This year was the most special. We came together as a team in that sweaty locker room. We scored more points at the state meet across a wider array of events this year than we did two years ago when we won the championship.”

Mutz anchored the 4x100 to victory in D-I (in 43.53 seconds) and at MOC (43.67) to qualify for New Englands with teammates Sam Orzechowski, Zackary Jenks and Nate Hillyer. The 4x100 finished 14th out of 35 teams at New Englands.

Mutz also ran on the third-place 4x400 relay at the D-I Championships.

Thanks to Mutz’s win in the 100 (11.07) and runner-up finish in the 200 (22.45) at MOC, Mutz also qualified for New Englands individually, where he ran a personal-best time of 22.13 in the 200 to finish third.

Mutz finished sixth in the prelims of the 100 at New Englands, running an 11.30 before clocking an 11.24 in the finals to finish seventh.

This was Mutz’s third career appearance at New Englands. He competed in the 4x100 as a freshman and in the 100, 200, 4x100 and 4x400 as a sophomore.

Not only did Mutz set personal records, win titles and consistently score big points in meets, his relaxed, yet focused, attitude rubbed off on his teammates as well.

“Dalton’s mind set at meets was different this year,” Concord head coach Hayden Daly said. “He seemed more focused at the meets and was even mentoring younger athletes. That is something he told me he would like to do, coach ... Dalton has come a long way since his freshman year. I think this year he found his passion for track again and that helped him succeed.”