Willamette is Ranked #34 in NCAA Division III in Men's Cross Country

Keith Carlson (Jr., Bainbridge Island, WA//Bainbridge HS)
Keith Carlson (Jr., Bainbridge Island, WA//Bainbridge HS)

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

SALEM, Ore. -- The Willamette University men's cross country team moved down three spots to #34 in this week's NCAA Division III National Poll released by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). In addition, the Willamette men's and women's cross country teams were listed in the West Region Rankings, with the men's team ranked fourth and the women's team ranked sixth.

North Central College (Ill.) remained at #1 in the Men's National Poll with all eight first place votes and perfect score of 280 points. NCC is the defending NCAA Division III champion. The next three positions also remained the same, with SUNY Geneseo (N.Y.) at #2, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse at #3 and Williams College (Mass) at #4. SUNY Geneseo received 271 points, while UW-La Crosse earned 263 points and Williams had 258 points.

Johns Hopkins University (Md.) was ranked at #5 after moving up two spots from #7 a week ago. The Bluejays received 246 points in the poll. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) stayed at #6 with 236 points, while University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire slipped two spots to #7 with 226 points. Haverford College (Pa.) was eighth at 215, Christopher Newport University (Va.) followed in ninth at 212 and Loras College (Iowa) was #10 at 212.

Four West Region teams were ranked in the Men's National Poll. Pomona-Pitzer (Calif.) was #11, with Occidental College (Calif.) at #18, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Calif.) at #23 and Willamette at #34.

The Women's National Poll was topped by Johns Hopkins, which also held the #1 ranking in the preseason poll. John's Hopkins grabbed six of eight first place votes and 278 points. Washington University (Mo.) continued at #2 with two first place votes and 271 points. MIT also held onto its spot at #3 with 265 points. Williams advanced two positions to #4 with 250 points, while SUNY Geneseo stayed at #5 and received 248 points. University of Chicago (Ill.) was listed at #6 with 240 points after advancing an impressive seven spots in this week's poll.

Ithaca College (N.Y.) followed Chicago at #7 with 228 points. Middlebury College (Vt.) was #8 at 217, with UW-La Crosse in the #9 spot at 216 and Calvin College (Mich.) at #10 wth 213 points. Middlebury advanced one position and Calvin jumped two spots in this week's rankings, but UW-La Crosse fell five spots.

In the West Region men's rankings, Pomona-Pitzer continued as the #1 team. The top eight spots were unchanged from the preseason, including Occidental at #2, Claremon-Mudd-Scripps at #3 and Willamette at #4. University of California, Santa Cruz kept the #5 ranking, with Pacific Lutheran University at #6, Whittier College (Calif.) at #7 and Lewis & Clark College at #8. University of Redlands (Calif.) moved into the West Region rankings at #9, while George Fox University fell one spot to #10.

The West Region women's rankings were topped by Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, which advanced from #2 in the preseason. Whitworth University fell from #1 to #2, while Occidental remained at #3. The #4 spot was held by Linfield College following a jump of three spots in the rankings. Pomona-Pitzer slid down one position at #5 and Willamettte also dropped one position to #6. Redlands moved up two spots to #7 and George Fox moved into the rankings at #8. Whittier fell one spot to #9, and Colorado College stayed at #10.

Willamette will be competing at the St. Olaf Invitational in Northfield, Minnesota, on Saturday, Sept. 16. The action is set to begin at 10 a.m. CDT/8 a.m. PDT at the St. Olaf Cross Country Trails. The 8-kilometer men's race will be held first with the 6-kilometer women's race scheduled to start at 11 a.m. CDT/9 a.m. PDT.