(Sports fans: Be sure to check out the related athletics feature in this issue of WU News for alumni-related events happening throughout the month of October.)
Willamette remains #17 in men's cross country national rankings
Following a solid performance at the Pier Park Invitational on Sept. 10, the Willamette University men's cross country team retained its #17 ranking in the NCAA Division III Men's Cross Country National Coaches' Poll. Willamette had held the #17 position in the pre-season poll.
The top four teams remained the same from the preseason poll. Washington University (Mo.), stayed at the top of the poll by the slimmest of margins with four first place votes and 273 points. North Central College (Illinois) continued to hold the #2 ranking, but pulled within a point of Washington. NCC received three first place votes and 272 points.
Allegheny College (Pa.) stayed #3 and received the final first place vote to go with 262 points. Haverford College (Pa.) continued at #4 with 257 points. SUNY Geneseo (N.Y.) advanced one spot to #5 in the poll with 253 points.
In the West Region rankings, the Willamette men's team is #2 behind Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. Colorado College is #3, Whitworth University is #4 and Pomona-Pitzer is #5.
Whitworth leads the West Region women's rankings. CMS is ranked #2, followed by Lewis & Clark College at #3 and Willamette at #4. Pomona-Pitzer holds the #5 ranking.
The Bearcats will host their first home meet of the season, the Willamette Grass Course, on Friday, Sept. 17 at 12 p.m. (PDT). The event will be held at Bush's Pasture Park in Salem, Ore.
Linfield defeats Willamette in battle of ranked teams; conference rivalry is rekindled
Despite the dependable support of visiting Bearcat fans, Linfield College scored two touchdowns in the third quarter to expand a 21-7 halftime lead, as the Wildcats defeated Willamette University 35-7. It was the Northwest Conference opener for both squads.
Linfield, ranked #16 in the D3football.com Top 25, improved to 2-1 overall, 1-0 in the Northwest Conference. Willamette, ranked #15, fell to 2-2 overall, 0-1 in the NWC. Both teams have vied each year for bragging rights in what probably remains the most heated rivalry in the Northwest Conference. In recent years, Willamette has held the edge over Linfield, so this win only kindles the competition further.
The Bearcats this year have faced an uncommonly tough schedule, opening the season with four consecutive games against nationally-ranked teams.
WU started the year with a 33-14 win at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, which was ranked #16. Willamette then lost 31-22 at Hardin-Simmons, which was ranked #14. WU’s third opponent, Southern Oregon University, was ranked #24 in the NAIA and lost to the Bearcats, 42-24.
The season continues this weekend against Pacific University's upstart team in Forest Grove.