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

Michael Montague (So., San Diego, CA/Canyon Crest Academy)
Michael Montague (So., San Diego, CA/Canyon Crest Academy)

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

SALEM, Ore. -- The Willamette University men's cross country and women's cross country teams are ranked in the West Region of NCAA Division III this week according to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). The Bearcat men's team is ranked #7 and the Willamette women's team is ranked #9.

In the case of the Willamette men's team, the Bearcats fell from #5 to #7 despite placing fourth out of 26 teams at the UW-Oshkosh Kollege Town Sports Invitational in Winneconne, Wisconsin, on Saturday, Oct. 14.

Keith Carlson (Jr., Bainbridge Island, WA//Bainbridge HS) of WU took fifth place out of 351 runners in the men's 8-kilometer race with a time of 25:39.9. Michael Montague (So., San Diego, CA/Canyon Crest Academy) placed eighth in 25:54.2. Ross Enlow (So., Unalaska, AK/Unalaska HS) was 28th in 26:38.5.

Pomona-Pitzer (Calif.) continued to lead the West Region men's rankings, while Occidental College (Calif.) held at #2 and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Calif.) stayed at #3. Lewis & Clark College moved up from #6 to #4, just one week after falling from #4 to #6.

Pacific Lutheran University fell one spot to #5 this week, with University of California, Santa Cruz advancing one spot to #6. Willamette was next at #7. Whittier College (Calif.) remained at #8, University of Redlands (Calif.) continued at #9, and Whitworth University kept its hold on the #10 spot.

The Bearcat women's team slipped one spot from #8 to #9, although four Willamette runners placed in the top 40 at the UW-Oshkosh Meet. Hannah Swanson (Sr., Seattle, WA/Roosevelt HS) placed second out of 353 runners and achieved a time of 22:25.69. Kyla Shade (So., Snohomish, WA/Snohomish HS) finished 28th overall 24:02.39, Hazel Carr (Jr., Seattle, WA/The Northwest School) took 32nd in 24:09.16, and Emily Evans (Jr., Anchorage, AK/South Anchorage HS) was 37th after finishing the race in 24:17.89. Willamette did not receive a team score because there were not five Bearcat runners.

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps remained the #1 team in the West Region women's rankings. The #2 through #4 teams also stayed the same, with Whitworth continuing at #2, Linfield College keeping the #3 spot, and Occidental repeating at #4. Colorado College jumped from outside the top 10 into the #5 position. The move by the Tigers bumped University of Puget Sound from #5 to #6. Likewise, Pomona-Pitzer slipped one spot to #7, Redlands dropped one position to #8, Willamette fell one place to #9, and George Fox University moved down a spot to #10. Whitman College, which was #10 a week ago, dropped out of the rankings.

Willamette will be in action on Saturday, Oct. 28 at the 2017 Northwest Conference Cross Country Championships at Veterans Memorial Golf Course in Walla Walla, Washington. The first race will begin at 10 a.m. (PDT).