Willamette Women’s Cross Country Team Moves Up to 11th, Men Move to 14th, in NCAA Division III National Rankings

SALEM, ORE. -- Both the Willamette University men’s and women’s cross country teams moved up in the latest in the NCAA Division III National Rankings conducted by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country. The women’s team moved up one spot to #11, while the men’s team moved up one spot to #14.

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 continues to be Calvin College (Mich.). The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse remained #2, while the University of Wisconson-Oshkosh remained #3. In the women’s rankings, the State University of New York at Geneseo retained the #1 spot. Amherst College (Mass.) and Washington University (Mo.) remained #2 and #3, respectively.

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, which dropped two spots to #27 this week.

The next competition for the Willamette cross country teams is set for Saturday, Oct. 14, at the Bob Hodges Invitational, hosted by Clackamas Community College. The cross country meet will be held in Oregon City, Ore.

Later in the season, Northwest Conference teams will meet at the Pacific Lutheran University Golf Course in Tacoma, Wash., for the NWC Championships on Saturday, Oct. 28. The 2006 NCAA Division III West Regional Championships 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 slated for Saturday, Nov. 18 at the Voice of America Park in West Chester, Ohio, and will be hosted by Wilmington College.