“I’m looking forward to running for Dalton State and improving my times,” the newest Roadrunner signee said. “I look forward to challenging myself academically, doing bigtime meets and traveling,” he added.
Patterson’s best time for the 1,500-meter run is 4:11. He has posted a 2:02 in the 800 meter and booked a time of 15:55 in the 5K. He is the 2011 AAU National Intermediate Age Champion in the 5K. He was also sixth in the nation at the 2011 AAU National Jr. Olympics in the 1,500.
Locally, Patterson was the McCallie Mid South Track Classic 2012 champion and won the mile at the 2012 Vols Classic in the high school division. He was a finalist at the Footlocker South Region Championship. He qualified for the state finals in cross country and track every year of his high school career, starting as a freshman.
“Paul has been a joy to work with and seeing him win the AAU National title was very special,” said Bears coach Paul Cotton. “I wish I had several more like him.” Cotton has coached Patterson since middle school. He is also been the athlete’s AAU coach.
“Paul has shown immense talent and great heart in winning national championships,” said Meyer. “He comes from an outstanding family and is an exceptional student. Dalton State is very lucky to have an athlete of his caliber on campus.”
Patterson chose Dalton State among other suitors, including a number of schools in the SEC.
The runner said he wants to major in environmental engineering.
Dalton State Athletic Director Derek Waugh added, “We are very excited to add a person and runner of Paul’s caliber. Our cross country coaches have done an amazing job of assembling outstanding teams with great young runners. In a couple of seasons we should be a force on the trail and the track.”
Patterson is the son of Daryl and Susan Patterson of Cleveland. “I’m so proud of Paul,” his dad said, “qualifying for state track and cross country finals every year from his freshman to his senior year while maintaining high grades. He has also had a great camaraderie with his teammates, especially Harold Smith and Colin Gwaltney.”