Willamette Women's Cross Country Team Moves Up to 10th in NCAA Division III National Rankings, Men's Team is Ranked 15th

SALEM, ORE. -- In the latest NCAA Division III National Rankings compiled by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) and released on Oct. 17, the Willamette University women’s cross country team has moved up one spot to #10, while the men’s cross country team has dropped one spot to #15. It is the highest ranking for the Willamette women so far this season, while the men’s highest position was the #14 ranking they held last week.

Sarah Zerzan (Jr., San Carlos, CA/Notre Dame HS) took first place in the women’s 5-kilometer race this past Saturday (Oct. 14) at the Mike Hodges Invitational, hosted by Clackamas Community College. Zerzan won despite the presence of two quality NCAA Division I teams. Her individual victory helped the WU women’s team earn a second place finish in the team standings.

Zerzan won the race in 16:25.11 for a sizeable 22.45-second advantage over Dana Buchanan from the University of Oregon. Oregon won the team title with a score of 24, while the Bearcats finished in second with 50 points, well ahead of the University of Washington in third place with 76 points.

Ian Batch (Jr., Eagle, ID/Capital HS) took 16th place overall and ninth place among scorers at the Mike Hodges Invitational. Batch’s time for the 4-mile run was 19:47.65. He helped the Bearcat men’s team take third place with 89 points in the team standings behind the University of Oregon (15 points) and the University of Washington (67 points).

In this week’s women’s rankings, the State University of New York at Geneseo remained at #1. Amherst College (Mass.) stayed at #2 and Washington University (Mo.) continued to hold the #3 spot. In the men’s rankings, Calvin College (Mich.) retained the #1 position and was followed by the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse at #2 and New York University at #3.

The Northwest Conference is represented by Willamette and the University of Puget Sound (#25) in the women’s rankings this week. Willamette is the only NWC team listed in the men’s rankings.

Willamette will compete again on Saturday, Oct. 21, when the Bearcats travel to the Beaver Classic, hosted by Oregon State University. The Beaver Classic will be held at Avery Park in Corvallis, Ore.