KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Southern Oregon claims the No. 1 position in the final regular-season NAIA Men’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Sunday. The national runner-up from a year ago compiled 17 first-place votes and 616 points to earn its 21st all-time No. 1 ranking, good for first among current NAIA institutions and second overall behind former-member Malone (Ohio) (38).
The Raiders, who had been No. 2 in every previous poll of the 2013 season, earn the top spot after winning the Cascade Collegiate Conference Meet on Nov. 9, with a combined 8-kilometer time of 2:10:12. The Raiders scoring five—who all finished among the top 10 individuals—were led by Eric Avila, who brought home the individual title by covering the 8k course in 25:32. With the victory, Southern Oregon secured an automatic bid to the NAIA National Championships.
Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) earned 594 points and three first-place votes to claim a season-high No. 2 ranking after unseating defending national champion, and previous No. 1, St. Francis (Ill.) to win the Chicagoland Collegiate Conference Meet on Nov. 9. The Tigers secured an automatic berth to the NAIA National Championships with a combined 8k time of 2:10:17.
St. Francis, who had been No. 1 in nine-straight polls after winning the 2012 national championship, accumulated 570 points en route to the No. 3 position. The Fighting Saints finished behind Olivet Nazarene at the Chicagoland Collegiate Conference Meet, despite running a faster combined time (2:09:46).
Rounding out the top five are No. 4 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho), with 568 points, and No. 5 Oklahoma City, with 550 points and one first-place vote. The Warriors, led by individual titlist Sam Atkin (23:53), won the Frontier Conference Meet, with a combined 8k time of 2:05:26, to earn an automatic bid to the NAIA National Championships. The Stars covered the 8k course at the Sooner Athletic Conference Meet in a combined 2:07:45 to earn the team title and an automatic berth to the NAIA National Championships. The scoring five for Oklahoma City each finished among the top 10 individuals.
No. 8 Bryan (Tenn.) claimed the final first-place vote after besting the field at the Appalachian Athletic Conference Meet on Nov. 9, with a combined 8k time of 2:03:18, earning an automatic bid to the NAIA National Championships.
There were five newcomers to this week’s Top 25: No. 18 Morningside (Iowa), No. 21 Rocky Mountain (Mont.), No. 22 Saint Mary (Kan.), No. 23 College of Idaho and No. 24 Arizona Christian. This is the first Top 25 appearance for Rocky Mountain since Sept. 21, 2011, when the Battlin’ Bears were ranked No. 25. All of the other newcomers were previously ranked during the 2013 season.
Dickinson State (N.D.), Biola (Calif.), Dordt (Iowa), Vanguard (Calif.) and Central Methodist (Mo.) dropped out of the Top 25.
Within the poll, No. 7 Cal State San Marcos made the largest jump, moving up five spots, while British Columbia fell five positions, landing at No. 11. The shifts came after Cal State San Marcos bested British Columbia for the Association of Independent Institutions Meet title on Nov. 9.
Thirteen conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups are represented in the final regular-season Top 25, led by three teams from the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference—Olivet Nazarene, St. Francis and No. 16 Saint Xavier (Ill.)—and the Cascade Conference—Southern Oregon, No. 9 Eastern Oregon and College of Idaho.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences, independents and unaffiliated groups. For the entire 2013 Coaches’ Top 25 Poll schedule, click here.
The complete NAIA Men’s Cross Country National Championships field will be announced on Monday, Nov. 11.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 1999) No. 1 Southern Oregon becomes the second team to be ranked No. 1 this season, after St. Francis (Ill.) held the top spot in nine-straight polls, dating back to the 2012 Postseason edition… No. 3 St. Francis (Ill.) is trying to become the fifth school in NAIA history to begin the season ranked No. 1 and go on to win the national championship… Life (Ga.) in 1999 and 2000, former-member Minot State (N.D.) in 2002, Virginia Intermont in 2005 and 06 and former-member Malone (Ohio) in 2007, 08 and 09 have all accomplished this… Since 1999, only one program has been ranked No. 1 for an entire season: Malone in 2007 and 08… No. 6 Aquinas (Mich.) has been ranked among the Top 25 in an NAIA-best 134 consecutive polls, dating back to Aug. 22, 2000… Following Aquinas are Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) with 81, Cal State San Marcos with 59 and Southern Oregon with 57… Former-member Malone has the most No. 1 rankings with 38… Following Malone are Southern Oregon with 21, Life (Ga.) with 18 and Virginia Intermont with 15… Overall, 16 different programs have claimed the No. 1 spot in the poll… Two teams held the No. 1 ranking in 2012: St. Francis and Southern Oregon… The same two teams have now been ranked No. 1 in 2013.
2013 NAIA Men’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – Final (Nov. 10)
|RANK||LAST TIME^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||2||Southern Oregon (17)||616|
|2||4||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) (3)||594|
|3||1||St. Francis (Ill.)||570|
|4||3||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||568|
|5||5||Oklahoma City (1)||550|
|7||12||Cal State San Marcos||479|
|8||10||Bryan (Tenn.) (1)||471|
|10||9||Shawnee State (Ohio)||439|
|15||17||The Master's (Calif.)||324|
|16||14||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||322|
|21||RV||Rocky Mountain (Mont.)||212|
|22||RV||Saint Mary (Kan.)||187|
|23||RV||College of Idaho||166|
Others Receiving Votes: Carroll (Mont.) 102; Dickinson State (N.D.) 94; Biola (Calif.) 68; Missouri Valley 63; Dordt (Iowa) 58, Cumberlands (Ky.) 39; Indiana Wesleyan 38; Vanguard (Calif.) 28; Oregon Tech 25; Central Methodist (Mo.) 14; Park (Mo.) 11; Webber International (Fla.) 4; Milligan (Tenn.) 4.
^ 2013 NAIA Men’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 7