Willamette Men's Cross Country Team Returns to National Rankings

Bearcats will Compete at Mike Hodges Invitational on Oct. 14

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

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University men's cross country team returned to the NCAA Division III National Poll this week as the #35-ranked team. The Bearcat men's team also maintained its #3 position in the West Region Rankings, while the WU women's team continued to hold the #5 spot in the West Region. All of the rankings were released by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Association (USTFCCCA).

The #1 team in the men's national poll continued to be North Central College (Ill.), which received five of eight first place votes and 277 points. Haverford College (Pa.) took the other three first place votes and was ranked #2 with 274 points. Calvin College (Mich.) followed at #3 with 265 points. The #4 team was Dickinson College (Del.) at 245 and the #5 team was Washington University (Mo.) at 242.

At the top of the West Region Men's Rankings the first five teams remained the same as last week. The #1 team was Pomona-Pitzer (Calif.) with Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Calif.) at #2 and Willamette at #3. Occidental College retained the #4 spot and Whitworth University stayed at #5.

Other men's teams from the Northwest Conference included in the Top 10 were Linfield College at #7, Lewis & Clark College at #9 and George Fox University at #10.

Williams College (Mass.) moved up four spots to take over the #1 ranking in the women's national poll. Williams received five first place votes and 277 points. Middlebury College (Vt.) dropped from the top ranking into a tie for #2 with 264 points. Also receiving 264 points to tie for #2 was Washington University (Mo.). Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Calif.) was ranked #4 with 262 points, while Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Mass.) was #5 at 248.

Claremont-Mudd Scripps was ranked #1 in the West Region Women's Rankings. Lewis & Clark College continued to be listed at #2, with Whitman College at #3 and Whittier college (Calif.) at #4. Willamette owned the #5 position.

Two other NWC teams were ranked in the top 10 of the West Region. They were Linfield at #6 and Whitworth at #9.

Willamette will compete at the Mike Hodges Invitational this afternoon (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).

Leo Castillo placed 11th against strong competition at the Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational on Oct. 1.

Leo Castillo placed 11th against strong competition at the Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational on Oct. 1.