NEW ORLEANS, La. (Nov. 3, 2015) – The Caltech men's cross country team has earned its first-ever regional ranking, placing ninth in the season's final USTFCCCA NCAA Division III West Regional Team Rankings.
Caltech shocked the conference with a fifth-place finish at the SCIAC Championships this past weekend – the team's best finish since 2004 and a three-place improvement on the Multi-Duals just two weeks prior.
The Beavers will compete at the NCAA West Regional in Claremont, Calif. on Saturday, Nov. 14. Caltech's best finish came in 1998, when the Beavers beat out four teams in a 15-team field to place 11th. The highest place Caltech has achieved at the Regional meet is sixth, which came on three occasions – in 1994 (eight teams), 1995 (nine teams) and 1984 (six teams).
"This is a nice acknowledgement of our program's improvement, but when the gun goes off next Saturday, rankings go out the window," Head Coach Ben Raphelson said. "We have our work cut out for us."
Caltech has beaten three teams in each of the previous two seasons, placing 14th last Fall – the Beavers' highest since 2009, when they finished 13th out of 16 teams – and recording their best point total (312) since 2002 (310), when they placed 11th out of 13 teams.
As part of a possible 21-team field which would comprise the largest in regional history (no more than 18 teams have ever competed), the Beavers will look to justify their ranking with the first top-half finish in program history next week.