Willamette Men's Cross Country Team Holds #22 National Ranking

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

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University men's cross country team remained #22 in the nation this week in the NCAA Division III Poll released by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). The Bearcat men's team also retained its #1 ranking in the West Region, while the WU women's team held its ground at #6 in the West Region.

Leading the men's national poll was North Central College (Ill.) with all eight first place votes and a perfect 280 points. NCC placed second at the 2010 NCAA Championships.

Haverford College (Pa.) moved up two spots from the Preseason Poll to take over the #2 spot in the men's rankings. Haverford received 270 points. St. Lawrence University (N.Y.) stayed at #3 with 264 points. Washington University (Mo.) advanced one spot to #4 with 256 points, while Calvin College (Mich.) fell from #2 to #5 with 243 points.

Following Calvin was Dickinson College (Del.) at #6 with 238 points. Williams College (Mass.) was #7 at 232 and SUNY Geneseo (N.Y.) was #8 at 229. The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse held #9 with 216 points and New York University was #10 with 195 points.

Willamette's men continued to be the highest ranked West Region team in the NCAA Division III Poll. Other West Region teams in the national rankings were Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Calif.) at #27 and Whitworth University at #34.

In the men's West Region Rankings, Willamette kept the #1 spot,while Claremont-Mudd-Scripps jumped over Whitworth into the #2 position. Whitworth fell to #3, with Colorado College at #4 and Occidental College (Calif.) at #5. Completing the Top 10 were Linfield College at #6, University of La Verne (Calif.) at #7, Pomona-Pitzer (Calif.) at #8, Pacific University at #9 and George Fox University at #10.

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps continued to own the top spot in the women's West Region Rankings. Lewis & Clark College remained at #2, while Linfield moved up three spots to #3. Whittier College (Calif.) was #4 and Pomona-Pitzer was #5, as both teams slipped one position. Willamette was next at #6. Other Top 10 teams were Whitworth at #7, Occidental at #8, Whitman College at #9 and the University of California-Santa Cruz at #10.

A group of Willamette cross country runners will compete at the Linfield Preview on Saturday, Sept. 24. The 37th Annual Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational will be hosted by the Bearcats on Saturday, Oct. 1.

Senior Ben Donovan is one of four returning men's cross country runners who competed at the NCAA Championships last year.

Senior Ben Donovan is one of four returning men's cross country runners who competed at the NCAA Championships last year.