Willett finishes third, Thornton seventh at Choctaw Open

Jessica Thornton & Robert Willett
Jessica Thornton & Robert Willett

CLINTON, Miss.—Junior Robert Willett placed third and junior Jessica Thornton was seventh at the Choctaw Cross Country Open, hosted by Mississippi College on Saturday.

Willett finished third in the field of 105 runners with a season-best 8K time of 26:23.28, placing behind runners from Division I programs South Alabama and Mississippi State. In fact, Willett was the only non-Division I runner among the top 22 finishers.

Thornton finished seventh with a career personal record time of 19:19.89 in the women's 5K race. She competed in a field of 110 also mostly Division I competitors, and was the only non-Division I finisher in the top 10.

In the team standings, the women placed seventh and the men were ninth.

"This was the perfect meet and atmosphere for us to be in during our final regular season meet," Head Coach Kenneth Cox said. "We had some amazing performances from our captains, as well as from our freshmen that are really coming into their own as the season progresses. We had at least three individuals that had career bests today, and I am proud of them.

"We are very excited about the two weeks that we have to prepare for conference," Cox continued. "With some of our guys unable to run today, we will be looking for them to take care of themselves and ready to help us race to our team ability."