Bearcats Ranked in Top 10 of West Region in Men's and Women's Cross Country

Molly Murphy-Brown (So., Sandy, OR/Sandy HS)
Molly Murphy-Brown (So., Sandy, OR/Sandy HS)

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

SALEM, Ore. -- The Willamette University cross country teams are both ranked in the top 10 of the NCAA Division III West Region, according to this week's rankings released by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). The Bearcat women's team is ranked #8 in the West Region, while the Willamette men's team is ranked #10.

In the West Region women's rankings, eight teams maintained their previous ranking. Heading the list was Pomona-Pitzer (Calif.), which stayed in the #1 spot. The teams from #2 through #5 also remained the same, with Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Calif.) at #2, University of California, Santa Cruz at #3, Occidental College (Calif.) at #4 and Whitman College at #5.

The two changes in the women's rankings were at #6 and #7, where University of Redlands (Calif.) moved up one spot to #6 and California Institute of Technology fell one spot to #7. Willamette continued to hold the #8 ranking, with Pacific University still at #9 and Whitworth University staying at #10.

The West Region men's rankings were topped by Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, which retained the #1 spot. Another eight teams also kept their rankings from the week before, with the only changes at #2 and #8.

Pomona-Pitzer was #2, with UC Santa Cruz at #3, Colorado College at #4 and Occidental College at #5. George Fox University owned the #6 ranking. Redlands jumped one spot up to #7, while Lewis & Clark College slipped one spot to #8. Whitman College continued at #9 and Willamette remained #10.

The top five in the NCAA Division III Women's Cross Country Coaches' Poll stayed the same, with Johns Hopkins University (Md.) hanging onto the top spot with 280 points and all eight first place votes. The University of Chicago was #2 with 272 points, and Washington University (Mo.) was #3 with 264 points. Tufts University (Mass.) remained at #4 with 256 points and Wiliams College (Mass.) was #5 at 248 points.

In the NCAA Division III Men's Cross Country Coaches' Poll, North Central College (Ill.) and Williams were tied for the #1 ranking with 276 points each, as they split the eight first place votes. Wartburg College (Iowa) was #3 with 263 points and Washington (Mo.) was #4 at 253. SUNY Geneseo (N.Y.) followed at #5 with 251 points.

Willamette will run at two cross country meets on Saturday, Oct. 19. A group of Bearcats will compete at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Kollege Town Sports Invitational at Lake Breeze Golf Course in Winneconne, Wisconsin, starting at 10:30 a.m. (CDT)/8:30 a.m. (PDT). Another group of Willamette runners will participate in the Warner Pacific Classic at Lents Park in Portland, Oregon, with the first race set for 9 a.m. (PDT).