Bearcat Men's Team is Now Ranked #12 in NCAA Division III

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

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University men's cross country team, which won its eighth Northwest Conference title in the past nine years last weekend, has moved up one spot to #12 in the NCAA Division III National Poll released by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Wednesday, Nov. 4.

WU's men also are ranked #1 in the West Region. The Willamette women's team is ranked #8 in the West Region.

USTFCCCA Men's Cross Country National Poll
NCAA Division III
November 4, 2009

All 2009 USTFCCCA Division III Rankings

Willamette won the NWC title with a team score of 32 on the strength of top five results of 2-3-4-8-15. Whitworth University, which took second place at the NWC Meet with a score of 71, fell from #27 in the national poll a week ago to #34 this week.

Other West Region teams listed in the men's national rankings are Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Calif.) and Pomona-Pitzer (Calif.). Claremont-Mudd-Scripps is ranked #21 and Pomona-Pitzer is ranked #33.

The #1 team in the nation remained North Central College (Illinois) with 280 points in the poll. The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse moved up one spot to #2 with 270 points.

Geneseo State (N.Y.) also advanced one spot to #3 with 266 points, while Cortland State (N.Y.) fell two positions from #2 to #4 with 255 points. Rounding out the top 5 was the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with 246 points.

In the West Region, Willamette's men held the top ranking, with Claremont-Mudd-Scripps ranked #2 and Pomona-Pitzer ranked #3. Whitworth was #4 and Colorado College was #5.

The women's rankings in the West Region were led by Whitworth. Whitman College was #2 and Occidental College (Calif.) was #3. Pomona-Pitzer was ranked #4 and Linfield College was ranked #5.

Willamette will compete at the NCAA Division III West Regional on Saturday, Nov. 14. The Regional will be held at Prado Park in Claremont, Calif.

The top two men's teams and the top two women's teams at the Regional will receive automatic bids to the NCAA National Championships, set for Nov. 21 in Cleveland, Ohio. The third through fifth place teams in each race will be eligible for at-large berths to the National Championships.

Willamette junior Matt Parker finished in third place at the NWC Championships to help the Bearcats win the team title.

Willamette junior Matt Parker finished in third place at the NWC Championships to help the Bearcats win the team title.