Willamette's Cross Country Teams are Both Ranked #5 in NCAA Division III

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

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University men's and women's cross country teams are both ranked #5 this week in the NCAA Division III National Rankings released by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Wednesday, Oct. 31. Willamette's men retained their #5 ranking from a week ago, while the women's team moved up two spots from #7.

The Bearcats swept the men's and women's team and individual titles at the Northwest Conference Championships this past weekend (Oct. 27). Head Coach Matt McGuirk was named NWC Coach-of-the-Year in both men's cross country and women's cross country. He has been chosen NWC men's cross country Coach of the Year six times (2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007) and has been named NWC women's cross country Coach of the Year twice (2004 and 2007).

Willamette's next event will be the NCAA Division III West Regional on Saturday, Nov. 10. The Regional meet will be held at McIver Park in Estacada, Ore. Race time is set for 11 a.m.

Calvin continued its hold on the #1 spot in the men's rankings and received all eight first place votes. New York University remained #2 and the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse stayed #3. Haverford College (Pa.) at #4, Willamette at #5, and SUNY Cortland at #6 all remained the same as s week ago. North Central College (Ill.) moved up one spot to #7, St. John's University (Minn.) moved up a spot to #8 and the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point jumped two spots to #9. The University of Wisconsin-Platteville fell four spots to #10.

In the women's rankings, Amherst College kept its #1 ranking, while holding onto all eight first place votes. Calvin remained #2, with Washington University (Mo.) continuing at #3 and SUNY Geneseo still at #4. Willamette's leap of two spots put the Bearcats at #5, followed by SUNY Plattsburgh holding at #6 and Case Western Reserve University (Ohio) moving up one spot to #7. Williams College (Mass.) dropped three spots to #8, with the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire remaining #9 and UW-Platteville still at #10.

Willamette was the only NCAA Division III university on the West Coast with both of its teams ranked in the Top 10. Nationally, the only other Division III members with both teams ranked in the Top 10 were Calvin College, Mich. (men #1, women #2), and the University of Wisconsin-Platteville (men #10, women #10).

USTFCCCA Rankings - NCAA Division III Men's Cross Country (Oct. 31 2007)
USTFCCCA Rankings - NCAA Division III Women's Cross Country (Oct. 31, 2007)