Bearcats Once Again Maintain Rankings in West Region of NCAA Division III

Women's Team Remains 4th, Men's Team is 5th

By Brandon Chinn, Student Assistant Athletics Communications Director

SALEM, ORE. -- The men's and women's track and field teams from Willamette University continue to hold their regional positions for the fourth consecutive week in the latest rankings for the West Region of NCAA Division III, as released by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

For Willamette, the women's team maintained its fourth place ranking in the West Region while the men's team remained at #5.

Having passed George Fox University for the #1 ranking in the West Region two weeks ago in the women's standings, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Calif.) continued to hold down its #1 ranking with a total of 475.07 points. After increasing its total from last week by 6.34 points, George Fox remained ranked #2 in a comfortable lead over #3 California Lutheran University, which totaled 388.96 points this week.

Despite remaining #4 in the rankings, Willamette's strong performance at the Gregory Invitational in Naperville, Ill., helped narrow its third place gap to just 1.08 points. The Bearcats have 387.88 points in the rankings.

In the men's standings for the West Region, #1 Whitworth University continued to distance itself from the rest of the pack, improving by 8.72 points from last week to 508.26 points. The increased point total for Whitworth served as the largest margin of change by any team in the top ten.

The University of Redlands (Calif.) remained #2 with 405.63 points, while La Verne ranked #3 with 365.47 points. Rounding out the top five were Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at #4 with 358.63 points and Willamette in fifth place with 294.27 points.

Pacific Lutheran University, ranked #6 with 262.99 points, joined Whitworth and Willamette as the only other Northwest Conference team in the top ten, despite dropping its total by 1.14 points.

Wartburg College (Iowa) continued to dominate the NCAA Division III women's national rankings. After accumulating 366.60 points last week, Wartburg increased its total by 46.91 points as it finished the week with 413.51 points.

The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh also improved its weekly score, remaining at #2 with 193.74 points. Washington University (Mo.) remained third at 128.04 while Illinois Wesleyan University (88.39 pts.) held the #4 ranking despite dropping 9.79 points from last week. Illinois College used a 13.9-point increase to jumped from #10 to #5 with a total of 83.59 points.

Perhaps the biggest surprise in this week's top 25 was the emergence of Buffalo State College (N.Y.). Ranked just outside the top 25 at #28 last week, Buffalo State used a 25.04 point increase on this week's total to rank #12 with 60.77 points.

McMurry University (Texas) remained the #1 team in the men's national rankings with 257.50 points. The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse managed to improve by 22.55 points in an effort to build a comfortable lead at #2 with a total of 173.46 points. 

Rounding out the top five for the men's standings were #3 University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh at 164.16 points, #4 North Central College (Ill.) at 141.75 and #5 University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire at 138.98.

Three new teams emerged in the top 25. University of Wisconsin-River Falls, previously ranked #30, produced a total of 59.44 this week which was good enough to move the team up to #13 in the nation. Hamline University (Minn.) moved up from #36 to #17 with 50.14 points, while the University of Mount Union (Ohio) moved up three spots to #24 with a total of 44.15 points.

Four members of the Willamette University Track and Field women's program and one member from the men's team have been selected to compete in the 2012 NCAA Division III Track and Field Championships, set for May 24-26 at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps College in Claremont, Calif.

Competing for the Bearcats will be Jaela Dinsmore (Sr., Hines, OR; Burns HS) in the women's 100-meter dash and 200-meter dash, Brandi Miller (Sr., Grants Pass, OR/North Valley HS) in the heptathlon, Theresa Edwards (Jr., Lake Tapps, WA/Bonney Lake HS) in the women's 1,500-meter run, Michaela Freeby (Fr., Milwaukie, OR/Rex Putnam HS) in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase and Kit Kingstad (So., Beaverton, OR/Beaverton HS) in the men's 1,500-meter run.

RANKINGS

NCAA Division III
National Computer Rankings
May 20, 2012

NCAA Division III
Regional Rankings
May 20, 2012

Freshman Michaela Freeby will compete in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase after qualifying for the 2012 Division III Track and Field Championships.

Freshman Michaela Freeby will compete in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase after qualifying for the 2012 Division III Track and Field Championships.