RECAP: Willis, Cecotti lead #UTTylerXC in Memphis

Saturday, September 16, 2017

MEMPHIS – UT Tyler freshman Matthew Cecotti led the men’s team and senior Rachel Willis the women on Saturday at the Rhodes College Cross Country Invitational at Shelby Farms Park where the men finished 10th overall and the women 14th in the team standings.  

A Lindale native, Cecotti ran a 27:45.4 in the 8,000-meter race (8K) and finished 31st overall and as the top Patriot for the first time in his career. Nathan Adams was just behind his teammate with a 27:49 run that put him 33rd. Willis, who led the women for the third straight week, ran a 20:25.1 in the 3.11-mile race. Willis also led UT Tyler in their two home events and finished 54th overall in Memphis.

On the men’s side, Justin Tokuz was third on the team and 55th overall with a run of 28:28.6 and Will McIlroy followed with a time of 28:52.2 for 67th overall. Charlie Quintero (29:18.8) and Jace Seymour (29:19.9) were 78th and 79th, respectively to lead the team.

Theresa Simmons was second for the Patriot women and 63rd overall after running a 20:38.7 in the third collegiate race, while Michaela Heys ran a 21:32 followed by Amy Wyatt’s time of 22:46.4 for the top team finishes.

“We came into the season behind in our conditioning so we haven’t had the luxury of being rested for races,” UT Tyler coach Bob Hepler said. “This last week was our toughest week of training. We have good talent, good work ethic and good looks. We should be ready for some good runs at ETBU. Rachel and Matt did a good job of digging deep and leading the team to a respectable finish.”

The Patriots will continue their cross country seasons in two weeks on Saturday, Oct. 7 when they travel to Marshall to compete at the East Texas Baptist Invitational.