Bearcats are Ranked #34 in Women's Cross Country for Second Consecutive Week

Men Receive National Votes; Both WU Teams Maintain #3 Ranking in West Region

By Brandon Chinn, Athletics Communications Writer

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University women's cross country team is once again ranked #34 this week in the NCAA Division III Poll released by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Wednesday, Oct. 10. Both the Willamette men's and women's cross country teams maintained their #3 rankings in the West Region.

Willamette achieved the top finish by an NCAA Division III team at the 38th Annual Charles Bowles Classic back on Sept. 28. The Bearcats took fifth place in the men's Cardinal 8K Race and achieved sixth place in the women's Cardinal 8K Race.

Leading the men's National Poll this week was North Central College (Illinois), which remained in the #1 spot and continued to receive all eight first place votes and 280 points. Haverford College (Pa.) held the #2 position with 272 points, while Washington University (Mo.) remained at #3 with 263 points.

Bates College (Maine) overtook SUNY Geneseo (N.Y.) for the # 4 ranking with 253 points, while #5 SUNY Geneseo fell one behind with 252 points. Having dropped out of the Top 35 two weeks ago, Willamette is now right back in the mix, receiving the most votes out of any unranked team.

There was a shift atop the women's National Poll as Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) moved up to #1 with 277 points and five first place votes. Johns Hopkins received three first place votes while moving up to #2 with 273 total points. Despite being ranked #1 for two consecutive weeks, Williams College (Mass.), dropped to #3 after a 17-point decrease to 263.

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Calif.), previously ranked sixth, moved up three spots to #4 with 254 points. Middlebury College (Vt.) rounded out the top five with 247 points.

Named the 34th ranked women's team last week, the Bearcats helped maintain that ranking with a 6-point increase to 31 points. They are now positioned only eight points behind St. Thomas (Minn.), which is ranked #33 with 39 points. Other than Willamette, Lewis & Clark College -- ranked #22 with 103 points -- is the only other Northwest Conference team within the Top 35.

The top five in the men's West Region rankings remained the same with Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in place as the #1 team. Pomona-Pitzer (Calif.) stayed at #2, and Willamette continued to maintain the #3 spot. After jumping one spot last week, the University of Puget Sound held its #4 ranking, while Whitworth University rounded out the top #5.

Willamette, Puget Sound and Whitworth represent the Northwest Conference as three members ranked in the top 5. Also ranked for the second consecutive week was George Fox University, which fell one spot to #9.

The CMS women's team retained the #1 spot in the West Region after jumping three spots in the National Poll. Lewis & Clark College stayed at #2 and Willamette remained at #3. Linfield College held onto its #4 ranking after jumping Pomona-Pitzer last week. Pomona-Pitzer also held its ground to remain in the top 5.

The NWC was well represented in the women's West Region rankings. In addition to Lewis & Clark, Willamette and Linfield, other NWC teams in the regional ranking were Whitworth at #6 and Whitman College at #8

After an off week, Willamette is set to participate in two events this upcoming weekend. On Friday, Oct. 12, the Bearcats will run at the Mike Hodges Invitational at Clackamas Community College in Oregon City, Ore. On Saturday, Oct. 13, Willamette will send eight men and eight women to compete at the Brooks Invitational in Winneconne, Wis. The event will be hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

USTFCCCA Cross Country Polls/Rankings

National Polls
NCAA Division III

Regional Rankings

NCAA Division III

The Willamette women's cross country team is ranked #34 in the nation in NCAA Division III.

The Willamette women's cross country team is ranked #34 in the nation in NCAA Division III.