Bearcat Cross Country Teams earn National Rankings; Women are 13th, Men are 15th

SALEM, OR -- The men’s and women’s cross country teams at Willamette University are nationally ranked this week as they prepare to host the 32nd Annual Charles Bowles Invitational cross country meet on Saturday, Sept. 30 at Bush’s Pasture Park. The Willamette women’s team is ranked #13 in the NCAA Division III Rankings conducted by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). The Bearcat men’s team is ranked #15 in NCAA Division III.

Willamette has an outstanding history in men’s and women’s cross country. Last year, the Bearcats placed 14th in the women’s race and 16th in the men’s race at the NCAA Division III National Championships. Both Willamette teams won NCAA Division III West Region championships in 2005.

In this week’s rankings, the #1 men’s team is Calvin College (Mich.), which is followed by the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse at #2 and Haverford College (Pa.) at #3. In the women’s rankings, the State University of New York at Geneseo is ranked #1, followed by Amherst College (Mass.) at #2 and Washington University (Mo.) at #3.

Willamette is the only men’s team from the Northwest Conference listed in this week’s Top 35. In the women’s rankings, the NWC is represented by Willamette and the University of Puget Sound, ranked #26.

Northwest Conference teams will meet at the Pacific Lutheran University Golf Course in Tacoma, Wash., on Saturday, Oct. 28, for the NWC Championships. The 2006 NCAA Division III West Regional Championshps are set for Saturday, Nov. 11 at Prado Park in Chino, Calif., and will be hosted by Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. The 2006 NCAA Division III National Championships are scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 18 at the Voice of America Park in West Chester, Ohio, and will be hosted by Wilmington College.