Willamette Women's Cross Country Holds #27 in NCAA Division III Poll

Bearcat Women's Team is #2 and Men's Team is #4 in West Region

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- The women's cross country team at Willamette University is ranked #27 in this week's NCAA Division III Poll released by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). In the West Region, the Bearcat women's team is ranked #2, while the Willamette men's team is listed at #4.

Defending national champion John's Hopkins University (Md.) was the #1 women's team in this week's National Poll. The Blue Jays received all eight first place votes and 280 points.

Wartburg College (Iowa) followed at #2 with 271 points in the poll. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Mass.) was #3 at 265 points, Williams College (Mass.) held the #4 spot at 255 points, and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Calif.) was #5 at 246 points.

In the West Region women's rankings, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps owned the #1 spot, with Willamette at the #2 position, as the Bearcats moved up one spot from the preseason.

Whitworth University jumped three positions into the #3 ranking. Lewis & Clark College dropped two spots to #4, while California Lutheran University (Calif.) advanced five spots from #10 to #5.

Willamette, Whitworth and Lewis & Clark were three of the four NWC women's teams included in the West Region Rankings. Also ranked was Linfield College at #7. The Wildcats fell three spots from their #4 position in the preseason.

At the top of the men's National Poll was North Central College (Ill.) with all eight first place votes and 280 points. North Central won the NCAA Division III national championship last season.

Haverford College (Pa.) and the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse were tied for #2 with 268 points. Haverford was #2 and UW-La Crosse was #3 in the Preseason Poll. Washington University (Mo.) was listed at #4 with 251 points, just a single point in front of Bowdoin College (Maine) at #5 with 250 points.

Pomona-Pitzer held the #1 spot in the men's West Region Rankings, as the Sagehens moved past Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Calif.), which fell from #1 to #2. Occidental College (Calif.) advanced one spot to #3 and Willamette dropped one spot to #4. The University of La Verne (Calif.) followed at #5.

Willamette was the only NWC men's team ranked in the Regional top five, but three other NWC squads were listed in the top 10. The University of Puget Sound was #6, Lewis & Clark was #7, and Whitworth held the #8 position.

The Bearcats will host the Oak Knoll Loop Run on Saturday, Sept. 21. The event will be held at the Oak Knoll Golf Course, located between Salem and Independence, Ore. Action is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. (PDT).

USTFCCCA Cross Country Polls/Rankings

National Polls
NCAA Division III

Regional Rankings

NCAA Division III

Michaela Freeby placed third at the 2012 Northwest Conference Championships to help WU take second place in the women's team standings.

Michaela Freeby placed third at the 2012 Northwest Conference Championships to help WU take second place in the women's team standings.