Men Receive Votes in NCAA Division III Cross Country Poll, Women Reach #25

WU Women Remain #2 in West Region, while Men's Team Moves Up to #3 in Region

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

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University men's cross country team received votes in this week's NCAA Division III Poll released by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), as WU moved close to the Top 35. The Bearcat women's cross country team improved by two positions to #25 in the women's National Poll.

In the West Region, the Bearcat women's team continued to hold the #2 ranking. The WU men's team moved up two spots to #3 in the West Region.

Both of Willamette's teams placed third at the 39th Annual Charles Bowles Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 5 at Bush' Pasture Park in Salem, Ore. Michaela Freeby (Jr., Milwaukie, OR/Rex Putnam HS) won the Women's Cardinal 5K race for the Bearcats. Willamette runner Parker Bennett (Sr., Sisters, OR/Sisters HS) took ninth place in the Men's Cardinal 8K race.

The #1 team in the women's National Poll was John's Hopkins University (Md.) with all eight first place votes and 280 points. Wartburg College (Iowa) was listed #2 with 270 points in the poll, while Middlebury College (Vt.) was #3 with 266 points.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology followed at #4 spot with 255 points. Williams College (Mass.) moved up one spot to #5 with 239 points.

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Calif.) remained #1 in the women's West Region Rankings, while Willamette stayed at #2 and Whitworth University held at #3. California Lutheran University advanced one position to take over the #4 spot, while the University of Puget Sound went from unranked in the West Region to #5.

In addition to Willamette, Whitworth and Puget Sound, other Northwest Conference teams in the women's West Region Rankings were Lewis & Clark College at #7, Linfield College at #8 and Whitman College at #9.

North Central College (Ill.) continued at the top of the men's National Poll with all eight first place votes and 280 points. The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse owned the #2 position with 272 points.

Washington University (Mo.) shifted up one spot to #3 with 261 points, while MIT (Mass.) also advanced one spot to #4 with 257 points. Williams jumped four positions from #9 up to #5 after receiving 246 points.

The top-ranked team in men's West Region Rankings remained Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, while Pomona-Pitzer (Calif.) continued at #2. Willamette rose two spots to #3, and the University of California-Santa Cruz climbed three positions to #5. The #5 team was the University of Puget Sound, which was #6 a week ago.

Willamette and Puget sound were joined in the men's West Region Rankings by NWC opponents Whitman College at #7 and Linfield College at #8.

A group of Bearcat cross country runners will compete at the Mike Hodges Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 12. The meet will be hosted by Clackamas Community College and will be held in Oregon City, Ore., starting at 10 a.m. (PDT).

USTFCCCA Cross Country Polls/Rankings

National Polls
NCAA Division III

Regional Rankings

NCAA Division III

Parker Bennett placed ninth at the 39th Annual Charles Bowles Invitational, helping the WU men's team move up to #3 in the West Region.

Parker Bennett placed ninth at the 39th Annual Charles Bowles Invitational, helping the WU men's team move up to #3 in the West Region.