Bearcat Cross Country Teams are Ranked in the West Region

After Strong Effort at Willamette Invitational, Men are #3, Women are #5

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

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University men's cross country team moved up to #3 in the NCAA Division III West Region rankings this week following a strong effort at the 37th Annual Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 1. The WU women's team also moved up, advancing into the #5 spot this week. The rankings were released by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Association (USTFCCCA).

In addition, the Bearcat men's squad narrowly missed receiving a spot in the NCAA Division III National Poll conducted by the USTFCCCA. Willamette was the top team to receive votes but not make it into the Top 35. WU received 16 points, just three points out of the 35th spot, held by Brandeis University (Mass.).

The #1 team in the men's national poll was North Central College (Ill.), which received seven of eight first place votes and 279 points. Haverford College (Pa.) claimed the other first place vote and was #2 overall with 272 points. Calvin College (Mich.) held the #3 position with 264 points.

Leading the men's West Region Rankings was Pomona-Pitzer (Calif.). Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Calif.) held the #2 spot. Willamette, which did not compete with a full team until this past weekend, moved up four spots to #3. Occidental College (Calif.) moved up two positions into #4. Whitworth University slipped one spot to #5.

Other men's teams from the Northwest Conference included in the Top 10 were Linfield College at #6, Lewis & Clark College at #9 and George Fox University at #10.

Middlebury College (Vt.) sat atop the women's national poll with all eight first place votes and 289 points. Washington University (Mo.) was #2 with 270 points and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was #3 with 262 points

The women's West Region Rankings were headed by Claremont-Mudd Scripps. Lewis & Clark College was listed #2, while Whitman College was #3. Whittier College (Calif.) was ranked #4 and Willamette followed at #5. Additional NWC teams in the women's rankings were Linfield at #6 and Whitworth at #9.

Willamette will compete at the Mike Hodges Invitational on Friday, Oct. 14 on the campus of Clackamas Community College in Oregon City, Ore. The first race is set for 3:30 p.m. (PDT).

Ben Donovan completed the 8-kilometer course in 25:26.96 at the Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational.

Ben Donovan completed the 8-kilometer course in 25:26.96 at the Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational.