Willamette Cross Country Teams Remain Ranked in the West Region

Maya McFaddin

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University men's cross country team is #4 in the NCAA Division III West Region rankings this week after a solid performance at the Mike Hodges Invitational on Friday, Oct. 14. The WU women's team maintained their #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 received 13 votes, but were four points short of making it into the Top 35.

The #1 team in the men's national poll was North Central College (Ill.), which received all eight of the first place votes and 280 points. Haverford College (Pa.) held the #2 overall ranking with 272 points. Washington University (Mo.) moved up two positions to claim the #3 position with 262 points.

Leading the men's West Region Rankings was Occidental (Calif.), which moved up three spots from last week. Pomona-Pitzer (Calif.) and Claremont-Mudd-Scrips each dropped one ranking to move into the #2 and #3 spots. Willamette, which had three finishers in the top 10 during last weekend's race, moved to the #4 position. Whitworth University kept its spot at #5 this week.

Other men's teams from the Northwest Conference included in the Top 10 were Linfield College at #6, Lewis & Clark College at #8 and Whitman College at #9.

Williams College (Mass.) led the women's national poll with six of the eight first place votes and 278 points. Washington University (Mo.) improved to #2 with 266 points. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Calif.) moved up one place to tie for the #3 position with Middlebury College (Vt.) with 264 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. The NWC made a strong presence in the women's rankings with Linfield at #6 and Whitworth at #8.

Willamette will compete at the Northwest Conference Championships on Saturday, Oct. 29 at the Willamette Mission in Wheatland, Ore. The first race is set for 10 a.m. (PDT).

Michaela Freeby claimed 6th place at the Mike Hodges Invitational

Michaela Freeby claimed 6th place at the Mike Hodges Invitational