Oct. 7, 2008
NEW ORLEANS - After a strong showing at last weekend's Bill Dellinger Invitational, the Portland men's cross country team matched its highest ranking in school history in the latest USTFCCCA NCAA Division I rankings, released on Tuesday. Portland is now No. 4, up three spots from last week's ranking. The ranking matched the Pilots' 1993 team that went through an undefeated regular season and won the NCAA West Regional before finishing 12th at the NCAA Championships.
Portland moved up courtesy of a second-place finish at Saturday's meet hosted by No. 1 Oregon at Springfield Country Club. The host Ducks barely clipped the Pilots by seven points, although Portland boasted the top two finishers as senior David Kinsella and newcomer Alfred Kipchumba paced the field. Junior Tommy Betterbed also placed sixth individually.
"I feel we have three legitimate All-America candidates on the team and I am willing to embrace the No. 4 national ranking," Portland head coach Rob Conner said. "It is something to be proud of and something to work toward."
A consistent national contender, Portland has qualified for the NCAA championship meet nine times since 1993. Six of those teams have earned top 20 finishes, including each of the last three seasons. The 2001 Pilots finished a program-best seventh at the NCAA meet.
Notable regular season rankings include No. 5 in 1996; No. 6 in 2001 and No. 7 in 2007. The squad opened the 2008 season ranked No. 7 despite losing All-Americans John Moore and Michael Kilburg to graduation.
Portland's varsity squad will next be in action at the NCAA Pre-National Meet on Oct. 18 in Terra Haute, Ind.
Top Portland Regular Season National Rankings: