WINCHESTER, Va. - UT Tyler’s Matthew Markert helped lead the Patriots to a 15th-place finish on Saturday in the NCAA Division III South/Southeast Men’s Cross Country Championships at the Kernstown Battlefield.

Markert, a senior from Lucas, ran to a time of 26 minutes and 41 seconds to place 14th individually.

Markert, who won the American Southwest Conference Championship title, did not qualify for the national meet but finished in the top-20 for the second consecutive season.

Lukas Mees of Emory won the individual title with a time of 25:46 with Harrison Toney (Roanoke) finishing second (25:55) on the 8K (4.97 mile) course.

UT Tyler’s Conner Benson ran a 28:04 and was the second Patriot to cross the line, placing 61st. Teammate Justin Tokuz ran a 28:53 to finish in the top-100 for the Patriots, while Gerardo Viera ran a 29:06 for 102nd in his senior season’s final race. Miles Zeolrlin (29:49), Steven Harvey (30:54) and Andrew Hernandez (31:42) rounded out the UT Tyler field on Saturday on the Kernstown Course.

“Matt was in the mix all day,” UT Tyler coach Bob Hepler said. “He was so tough today. I’m very proud of him and all the team. They are good students, athletes and people.

“Of course I would have loved to have seen both teams in the top-10, but being part of the lives of these great guys and ladies has truly been a blessing. I looked forward to virtually every practice because the cross country team is simply full of high quality people. They are easy to coach and to love. I can’t wait for track season and next cross country season.”

Christopher Newport (Virginia) won the team championship, finishing just ahead of Trinity (Texas) and Emory (Georgia).

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