WU Women's Cross Country Team is Ranked #28 in the Nation

In West Region Rankings, Women are #3 and Men are #4

By Maya McFaddin

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University women's cross country team grasped its first spot in the NCAA Division III National Poll this week by surpassing seven teams to claim the #28 ranking. The Bearcat women also moved up to the #3 spot in the West Region Rankings this week, after three WU runners finished in the top 10 at the NWC Championships on Oct. 29.

In addition, the Willamette men's cross country team maintained its #4 spot in this week's West Region Rankings. The national and regional rankings were released by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Association (USTFCCCA).

Williams College (Mass.) still maintains the lead in the women's national poll with six of the eight first place votes.  Washington University (Mo.) follows closely behind, holding onto their #2 ranking after receiving one of the eight first place votes.  This week signaled the end of a third place tie in the poll, as Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Calif.) fell to #4 in the rankings, allowing Middlebury College (Vt.) to seize the #3 spot.

After a slight fall in the national rankings, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps maintained its lead in the women's West Region Rankings this week.  Lewis & Clark College maintained its #2 spot in the West. Willamette improved by two spots to claim the #3 ranking. The Bearcats are trailed by three other NWC teams, including Linfield College at #5, Whitman College at #6, and University of Puget Sound at #9.

North Central College (Ill.) continued to lead the NCAA Division III men's poll with all eight of the first place votes and 280 points. Haverford College (Pa.) maintained the #2 overall ranking with 272 points. Washington University (Mo.) held the #3 position with 261 points.

The #1 men's team in the West Region Rankings was Occidental College (Calif.) for the second week in a row. Whitworth University, which won the NWC men's title, moved up three positions to claim the #2 spot this week.  Claremont-Mudd-Scripps held onto its #3 ranking . Willamette, which had three finishers in the top 10 at last weekend's NWC Championships, kept its #4 position.

Other men's teams from the Northwest Conference included in the top 10 in the Regional Rankings were Linfield at #6, Lewis & Clark at #7 and Pacific University at #10.

Willamette will compete at the NCAA West Regional on Saturday, Nov. 12 at the Pomona-Pitzer campus in Claremont, Calif. The first race is set for 9 a.m. (PDT).

Michaela Freeby placed fifth at the Northwest Conference championships.

Michaela Freeby placed fifth at the Northwest Conference championships.