Willamette Cross Country Teams are Ranked in West Region of NCAA Division III

Hannah Swanson (Sr., Seattle, WA/Roosevelt HS)
Hannah Swanson (Sr., Seattle, WA/Roosevelt HS)

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

SALEM, Ore. -- The Willamette University cross country teams are ranked in the West Region of NCAA Division III this week in the latest rankings released by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). The Bearcat men's team is ranked #6, while the Willamette women's team is ranked #8.

This past weekend, the Willamette men placed sixth out of 17 teams from NCAA Division I, II and III in the Men's Cardinal 8-kilometer race at the Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational. In separate results for NCAA Division III teams only, the Bearcats finished in first place, while Pacific Lutheran University was second. In the overall standings, PLU edged out Willamette for fifth place. Michael Montague (So., San Diego, CA/Canyon Crest Academy) led WU by taking 14th place in 25:28.3.

Runners for the Bearcat women's team combined for a 10th place finish in the overall standings. In the results for NCAA Division III, Willamette took fourth place. Hannah Swanson (Sr., Seattle, WA/Roosevelt HS) of Willamette placed sixth overall in the women's individual standings. She moved into ninth place all-time for the Bearcats by completing the race in 17:56.5.

In this weeks West Region men's rankings, Pomona-Pitzer (Calif.) continued to hold the #1 spot. Occidental College (Calif.) went up one position to claim the #2 ranking. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Calif.) was #3 after holding the #2 spots a week ago. Lewis & Clark College advanced one position to #4 and Pacific Lutheran jumped five spots to #5. Willamette fell from #4 to #6.

University of California, Santa Cruz dropped one spot to #7. Whittier College (Calif.) also slipped one spot to #8, as did University of Redlands (Calif.), which changed to #9 this week. Whitworth University fell from #9 to #10.

The women's West Region rankings were led by Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, which continued to hold the top spot. Whitworth stayed at #2, while Linfield College changed two spots, moving up from #5 to #3. Occidental continued at #4, with University of Puget Sound advancing two positions to #5. Pomona-Pitzer fell three spots to #6 and Redlands dropped one spot to #7. Willamette, which was not ranked a week ago, returned to the rankings at #8. George Fox University was #9 and Whitman College was #10.

Willamette will run at the UW-Oshkosh Meet at the Lake Breeze Golf Course in Winneconne, Wisconsin, on Saturday, Oct. 14 The Bearcats also will compete on Oct. 14 at the Lewis & Clark Invitational at McIver Park in Estacada, Oregon.