WU Men's Cross Country Team is Ranked #23, Women's Team is #28

Bearcats Prepare for West Regional after Winning NWC Championships

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

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University men's cross country team was ranked #23 and the Bearcat women's team was ranked #28 in the NCAA Division III Poll for each sport this week after the Bearcats swept the Northwest Conference team and individual titles last weekend.

Both polls were released by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

Prior to this week's poll, the Willamette men's team received votes but was not ranked in the Top 35 this season. The WU women's team fell from #26 a week ago to #28 this week despite winning the NWC Championship with four runners in the top 10.

In addition to the national rankings, both Willamette teams were ranked in the West Region. The men's team advanced two spots into the #1 position in the West Region Rankings, while the women's team remained at #2 in the West Region.

Leading the men's National Poll was North Central College (Ill.) which received all eight first place votes and 280 points. Washington University (Mo.) was second on all eight ballots for 272 points. St. Olaf College (Minn.) held the #3 position with 259 points, while the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse moved up one spot into fourth at 252.

Williams College (Mass.) also advanced one spot and was #5 with 250 points. New York University and Middlebury College (Vt.) were tied for #6 with 232 points. NYU was seventh a week ago, while Middlebury was #4 last week. Johns Hopkins University (Md.) jumped 24 spots from #32 to #8.

In addition to Willamette, other West Region teams in the men's National Poll were Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Calif.) at #29 and Pomona-Pitzer, which was one of three teams tied for #35.

Johns Hopkins continued at the top of the women's National Poll with 280 points and all eight first place votes. Middlebury was listed at #2 with 271 points, Wartburg College (Iowa) was #3 with 264 points, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology was #4 with 253 points.

Calvin College (Mich.) owned the #5 ranking with 249 points. Williams was sixth at 239 and the University of Chicago (Ill.) was seventh at 233, while Claremont-Mudd-Scripps was eighth at 222. Chicago was up two spots from #9 last week. CMS fell one spot from #7.

Joining CMS and Willamette in the women's National Poll was Whitworth University at #35 with 12 points. Whitworth placed second behind Willamette at the NWC Championships.

Following Willamette in the men's West Region Rankings were Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at #2 and Pomona-Pitzer at #3. The University of Puget Sound was #4 and the University of California-Santa Cruz was ranked #5. Other NWC teams in the rankings were Whitman College at #7, Lewis and Clark College at #8 and Linfield College at #9.

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps continued to top the women's West Region Rankings, with Willamette at #2 and Whitworth at #3. Occidental College (Calif.) was listed at #4 and California Lutheran University was #5. Whitman advanced four spots to #6. Also representing the NWC were Linfield at #8, Puget Sound at #9 and Lewis & Clark at #10.

Willamette does not compete this weekend, but the Bearcats will be back in action on Saturday, Nov. 16 at the NCAA West Regional in Claremont, Calif. Pomona-Pitzer is hosting the West Regional, which will start at 9 a.m. (PST).
USTFCCCA Cross Country Polls/Rankings

National Polls
NCAA Division III

Regional Rankings

NCAA Division III

Parker Bennett won his second straight NWC men's title. He took first place with a personal record time of 24:30.62.

Parker Bennett won his second straight NWC men's title. He took first place with a personal record time of 24:30.62.