The Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) released its 2009 preseason rankings on August 19, and Whittier College came in at No. 4 in the Division III poll. The Poets were also one of only three Division III schools to earn a vote towards the Varsity Top 20 that includes all collegiate water polo programs.
For its part, the women's cross country team earned a preseason ranking of No. 6 in the West Region by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. The lady Poets are one of two programs in the Top 10 to have its top seven runners returning and is one of six schools with at least two all-region runners returning to the team.