Willamette Men's Cross Country is Ranked #17 in National Rankings

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

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University men's cross country team, which took second place at the NCAA Division III West Regional to secure an automatic bid to the National Championships, is ranked #17 this week's National Rankings released by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). Willamette is also ranked #2 in the West Region. The WU women's team is ranked #7 in the Region.

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Calif.), which won the West Regional with a score of 50 to finish in front of Willamette by just 14 points, moved up nine spots in the rankings from #21 to #12. Willamette dropped four spots from #13.

Willamette will have another chance to take on Claremont-Mudd-Scripps this weekend at the NCAA Championships in Highland Hills, Ohio. The event will be held at the Highland Hills Golf Course, with the women's race starting at 11 a.m. (EST)/8 a.m. (PST) and the men's race set for 12 p.m. (EST)/9 a.m. (PST).

Also competing as a team at Nationals will be Colorado College, which placed third at the West Regional and received an at-large bid to advance to this weekend's men's race.

The men's National Rankings were topped by North Central College (Illinois) this week with 280 points. Cortland State (N.Y.) was #2 with 270 points and the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse was #3 with 26 points. Geneseo State (N.Y.) held the #4 spot with 257 points. The top four teams were the same as last week.

Allegheny College (Pa.) moved up one spot to #5 in the poll with 247 points. Williams College (Mass.), advanced nine positions and is #6 this week with 241 points. New York University stayed at #7 and received 237 points.

Carnegie-Mellon University (Pa.) made a sizable leap in the rankings, from #19 a week ago to #8 this week with 220 points. Also in the Top 10 were Haverford College (Pa.) at #9 with 196 points and Washington University (Mo.) at #10 with 195 points.

A total of 32 men's teams and 32 women's teams will compete for team National Championships. Each team will enter seven runners, with an additional 56 men and 56 women competing as individuals. The women's race and the men's race will include approximately 280 runners apiece.

Chris Platano earned All-West Region honors by placing 20th at the West Regional.

Chris Platano earned All-West Region honors by placing 20th at the West Regional.