SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University women's track and field team is ranked #4 and in the West Region of NCAA Division III and the Bearcat men's team is ranked #5 in the West Region, in rankings released this week by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
Ranked #1 among women's teams in the West Region is George Fox University with 480.24 points. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Calif.) is #2 with 453.20 points and California Lutheran University is #3 with 395.25 points. Willamette is #4 at 372.61 and the University of La Verne (Calif.) is #5 at 320.96.
George Fox and Willamette are two of four Northwest Conference teams in the women's regional rankings. Linfield College is ranked #7 and Whitworth University is #8.
Leading the West Region men's rankings is Whitworth at 512.85 points. The University of Redlands (Calif.) is ranked #2 at 400.53, while La Verne is #3 at 373.15, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps is #4 at 343.46 and Willamette is #5 at 291.96.
Other NWC teams joining Whitworth and Willamette in the regional rankings are Pacific Lutheran University at #6 and Linfield at #10.
The West Region men's rankings start with Whitworth University at #1 with 515.65 points, the University of Redlands (Calif.) at #2 with 398.21 points and La Verne at #3 with 382.90 points. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps is #4 at 358.25 and Willamette is #5 at 277.34.
Northwest Conference teams in the men's regional rankings include Whitworth and Willamette, plus Pacific Lutheran University at #6 and Linfield at #10.
Listed at the top of the NCAA Division III women's national rankings is Wartburg College (Iowa) with a large lead at 319.62 points. The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh is ranked #2 with 173.95 points and Washington University (Mo.) is #3 at 127.12 points. Methodist College (N.C.) holds the #4 spot at 111.69 and McMurry University (Texas) is #5 at 107.96. McMurry moved up six spots in this week's rankings.
In the men's national rankings, the #1 team remained McMurry with 259.16 points. The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse is ranked #2 at 143.67 points. UW-Oshkosh is ranked #3 at 142.74, less than one point behind UW-La Crosse. North Central College (Ill.) is the #4 team at 136.44 and the University of Wisconsin-Stout is ranked #5 at 128.97.
Willamette will be sending select groups of athletes to compete at two meets this weekend. On Friday, May 4, the Bearcats will participate in the Linfield Twilight in McMinnville, Ore. Action is set to start at 3 p.m. (PDT) at Maxwell Field. On Saturday, May 5, WU will be represented at the Oregon Twilight, hosted by the University of Oregon at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., starting at 5 p.m. (PDT).