By Mike DeVader, Communications and Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Biola (Calif.) remains the No. 1-ranked team in the first 2014 NAIA Women’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll of the regular season, the national office announced Wednesday. It’s the ninth time in Eagles’ history that they find themselves in the top-spot.
Biola – who received 607 points and nine first-place votes – has claimed No.1 two weeks in-a-row, a feat the school had not previously accomplished since being first overall in seven-consecutive polls in 2010 (Aug. 25-Oct. 20).
The Eagles ran out of the gate quick this year, claiming victory on Aug. 30 in the season-opening NCAA Division III Redlands Invitational in Redlands, Calif. Senior All-American Carrie Soholt led the attack by winning the 4,500 meter race in 17:02.50. Biola runners finished in seven of the first eight positions on the day.
No. 2 Dordt (Iowa), who received one first-place vote for the second poll in a row and 578 points, moves up one spot from the preseason Top 25. Since 1999, this is the school’s highest ranking in program history, with the previous best regular season ranking occurring Oct. 30, 2013 – when the Defenders were No. 5.
British Columbia made the biggest leap from being unranked to No. 3 in the Top 25. The Thunderbirds racked up 566 points and the most first-place votes (12) as well. Coming in fourth is Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) with 541 points. No. 5 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) with 538 points rounds out the top five.
Four additional teams join British Columbia as newcomers to the Top 25 – No. 9 Oklahoma Baptist, No. 11 Cal State San Marcos, No. 19 Texas Wesleyan and No. 23 Tennessee Wesleyan.
No. 14 Aquinas (Mich.) made the largest jump within the Top 25, moving up eight spots, while defending national runner-up College of Idaho moved up seven places to No. 16. Concordia (Ore.) fell the furthest of any school, dropping from No. 17 to No. 24.
Twelve conferences, independents and unaffiliated groups are represented in the poll, led by four teams from the Cascade Collegiate Conference – No. 6 Northwest Christian (Ore.), No. 15 Southern Oregon, College of Idaho and Concordia (Ore.). The Golden State Athletic Conference and the Sooner Athletic Conference are second with three programs each.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of coaches representing each of the conferences, independents and unaffiliated groups. For the entire 2014 Coaches’ Top 25 Poll schedule, click here.
The second regular season Top 25 poll will be Sept. 24.
Notes: (all information dates back to 1999) No. 1 Biola is receiving its second-consecutive No.1 ranking… The Eagles own nine all-time No. 1s, with seven of the nine mentions coming during the 2010 season … Biola has been rated in the top 15 for 75-consecutive ratings going back to Aug. 22, 2007… Former-member Simon Fraser (B.C.) has the most all-time No. 1 rankings with 40 … Following Simon Fraser are former-members Azusa Pacific (Calif.) and Cedarville (Ohio) with 18 each … Overall, 11 different programs have claimed the No. 1 spot in the poll … No. 4 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) has been ranked among the Top 25 for an active 126-consecutive polls, dating back to Sept. 21, 2001 … This is third top- five ranking for the Warriors during that streak.
2014 NAIA Women’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll (Sept. 17)
|RANK||LAST^||SCHOOL (1st PLACE VOTES)||FINAL POINTS|
|1||1||Biola (Calif.) (9)||607|
|2||3||Dordt (Iowa) (1)||578|
|3||NR||British Columbia (12)||566|
|4||2||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||541|
|5||4||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||538|
|6||5||Northwest Christian (Ore.)||530|
|10||8||Shawnee State (Ohio)||440|
|11||NR||Cal State San Marcos||438|
|12||9||St. Francis (Ill.)||406|
|13||10||The Master's (Calif.)||399|
|16||23||College of Idaho||261|
|22||19||St. Ambrose (Iowa)||206|
|25||14||Wayland Baptist (Texas)||110|
Others Receiving Votes: Judson (Ill.) 106; SCAD Savannah (Ga.) 103; Columbia (Mo.) 97; Milligan (Tenn.) 92; Jamestown (N.D.) 82; Cumberlands (Ky.) 73; Benedictine (Kan.) 26; Embry-Riddle (Fla.) 15; Marian (Ind.) 10; William Woods (Mo.) 9; Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 8; Concordia (Neb.) 6; Siena Heights (Mich.) 5; Point (Ga.) 5; Trinity Christian (Ill.) 4.
^ 2014 NAIA Women’s Cross Country Preseason Top 25 Poll on Aug. 27