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Dotson goes the distance

Versatile runner broke school records, won a CIF title and went all the way to state and a second-place finish.

July 28, 2010|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com
  • Burbank High senior Greg Dotson is the 2010 All-Area Boys' Track and Field Athlete of the Year.
Burbank High senior Greg Dotson is the 2010 All-Area Boys'… (Scott Smeltzer,…)

Being a celebrated middle-distance runner, one might think Greg Dotson would cringe at the mention of running long-distance races.

Moreover, it would be expected that the Burbank High standout would shudder at the suggestion of taking to the track as a sprinter.

However, Dotson, who just finished his senior season, is a rare breed. Not only does the champion 800-meter runner actually enjoy distance running, he also jumps at the chance to compete in the sprints.

"I really got more into the [1,600] this year," Dotson said. "I like the 800 more than anything, but I really tried to get into the [1,600] more. Being in cross-country, I also know that I have to run the distances to improve in my other races.

"It's also pretty cool to run in the sprints, and I really enjoyed doing that."

Dotson's versatility as an athlete was put on display at the Pacific League cross-town rivalry meet with Burroughs. Along with cruising to wins in the 800 (1 minute, 57.07 seconds) and the 1,600 (4:25.76), he also showed he has some speed by winning the 200 (23.32).

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Burbank Coach Trevor Marca said Dotson's willingness to run various races makes him an exceptional athlete.

"Unlike most 800 guys, he actually likes to run the longer distances," Marca said. "He looks forward to running over longer distances to improve his strength and his endurance. Also, the mile is an event he has become very good at, and the [4x400 relay] is an event he really loves.

"We had him run his share of 200 races this year to improve on his speed."

Dotson showed his prowess in the 1,600, running a 4:11 to put him fourth on a prestigious Burbank all-time list.

Although he has proven he can run a variety of events, Dotson's bread and butter is the 800. During his senior campaign, he emerged as one of the top competitors in the event in California, as well as the nation.

Dotson won the league 800 championship and went on to capture a CIF Southern Section title. That success led him all the way to the CIF-State Track and Field Championships, where he put on a gutsy performance to take the runner-up spot. In addition, he broke a longstanding Burbank school record in the 800.

With all that he was able to accomplish, Dotson was voted the 2010 Boys' Track and Field Athlete of the Year by the editors and sportswriters of the Burbank Leader, Glendale News-Press and La Cañada Valley Sun.

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