PREVIEW: @UTT_TF headed to Commerce for East Texas Invite
Photo: Wes Bloomquist
Photo: Wes Bloomquist

Friday, April 13, 2018
by Wes Bloomquist |

TYLER – The UT Tyler Track & Field programs will compete at Texas A&M-Commerce’s East Texas Invitational on Saturday with the 5,000 meters beginning the running events at 9 a.m. and the long jump starting at 10 a.m. to begin the field events at Memorial Stadium.

The Patriots will be competing against athletes from A&M-Commerce, Austin College, Dallas, Dallas Baptist, ETBU, Hardin-Simmons, Huston-Tillotson, Jarvis Christian, LeTourneau, McMurry, Midwestern State, Oklahoma Christian, Range, Southern Nazarene, Southwest Christian, Southwestern, Southwestern Assemblies of God, Tarleton State, UT Arlington and Wiley.

“Our athletes are ready for personal bests across the board,” UT Tyler coach Bob Hepler said. “The athletes will have to use their strong minds to overcome the wind and cold in order to make that happen. We love competing this time of year against the DI and DII athletes.  The situation often pushes Patriot Track & Field to achieve unimaginable feats of physical phenomena.”


UT Tyler is among the NCAA Division III national leaders in multiple events, led by Zach Richardson on the track and in jumps by senior Kaylee Prather and freshman Cody Benton. Prather is currently second nationally in the long jump at 5.80 meters, while on the men’s side Benton is fourth in the nation with a mark of 7.19 meters. In the javelin, Matthew Godwin is 12th with a top mark of 58.38 meters and Lexie Petty is currently 31st with a hammer throw of 46.80 meters. Richardson ran a 48.34 in Arkansas for a UT Tyler 400-meter record which is sixth nationally while he is also 15th nationally in the 200 with a time of 21.79. Matthew Cecotti won two events at the SAU meet, including the 1,500 where he ran a personal-best 3:59.71. His time is currently the 44th best in the nation.

UT Tyler will return to competition next Friday and Saturday at the American Southwest Conference Championships which will be hosted by McMurry at Wilford Moore Stadium in Abilene. The Patriot men’s program has won four ASC titles (2013, 14, 15, 16), while the women are two-time ASC champions (2014, 15).