RECAP: Willis, Cecotti lead #UTTylerXC in Mississippi

Saturday, October 14, 2017

CLINTON, Miss. – UT Tyler freshman Matthew Cecotti finished eighth overall and led the Patriot men’s cross country team to a third-place showing, while Rachel Willis finished 16th and the women’s team was seventh overall on Saturday at the Mississippi College Invitational on the Choctaw Trails.

Cecotti ran a 27:15 to lead the Patriots in the 8,000-meter race, while Nathan Adams finished 26th with a time of 28:19 and Shafen Borah was 30th after finishing the race in 28:29.87. Jace Seymour was next for the Patriots and 32nd overall with a time of 28:38 followed by Will McIlroy (29:24) and Justin Tokuz (29:35). Cecotti, a freshman from Lindale, had an average mile time of 5:29 in the final regular-season race of the year.

Willis has now led the women’s team in every race this season after running a 20:05.23 on Saturday in Mississippi. Theresa Simmons was second for the Patriots with a time of 21:08.86 which was 37th overall, while Michaela Heys ran a 21:34.25 for 46th overall and Paulina Rodriguez was 53rd with a time of 21:54 followed by Amy Wyatt (22:17) and Tristin Salem (22:30). The Patriots finished in an average time of 21:14 which topped ASC teams of LeTourneau and East Texas Baptist.

The men’s team was third behind Alabama-Huntsville and William Carey, while Alabama-Huntsville also won the women’s side and UT Dallas finishing fourth as the top ASC team in the event.

UT Tyler will now have two weeks to prepare for the American Southwest Conference Championships which will be on Saturday, Oct. 28 at Old Settler’s Park in Round Rock. The men’s team has won seven straight ASC titles and nine of the last 10, while the women’s program has won three of the past four titles.