Willamette is Ranked #32 in NCAA Division III Men's Cross Country

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

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University men's cross country team is ranked #32 this week in the NCAA Division III National Coaches Poll, released by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Wednesday, Sept. 29. The Bearcat men's team also is ranked #3 in the West Region, while the Willamette women's team is listed at #5 in the West Region.

North Central College (Illinois) remained the #1 team in the men's cross country rankings. NCC received all eight first place votes and a total of 280 points. Washington University (Mo.) kept the #2 position with 269 points, while Allegheny College (Pa.) continued to hold the #3 spot with 261 points.

Haverford College (Pa.) was listed at #4 with 257 points. SUNY Geneseo (N.Y.) was ranked #5 and received 250 points.

Calvin College (Mich.) held the #6 position with 235 points and was followed by the University of Wisconsin-Platteville at #7 with 234 points, St. Lawrence University (N.Y.) at #8 with 22 points, and Brandeis University (Mass.) at #9 with 214 points. Carnegie Mellon University (Pa.) rounded out the Top 10 with 206 points.

Willamette was one of four West Region teams included in the men's national rankings. Claremont-Mudd Scripps (Calif.) was ranked #21, Whitworth University was ranked #28 and Colorado College was ranked #35.

The Bearcats will host the 36th Annual Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 1. The event, which will be one of the largest college meets on the West Coast this season, will feature a total of more than 1,140 athletes.

Action is set to get underway with the Cardinal Men's 8-kilometer race at 9:30 a.m. (PDT). The Cardinal Women's 5-kilometer race is set for 10:15 a.m. and will be followed by the Gold Men's 8-kilometer race at 10:50 a.m. The Gold Women's 5-kilometer race will start at 11:35 a.m.

The Cardinal races will include NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II and NCAA Division III runners. The Gold races will include NAIA, junior college and club team athletes as well as unattached runners.

Leo Castillo won the Willamette Grass Course individual title and placed second at the Pier Park Invitational.

Leo Castillo won the Willamette Grass Course individual title and placed second at the Pier Park Invitational.