By Mike DeVader, Communications and Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The third regular-season 2014 NAIA Women’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll has been released, and British Columbia remains the top-ranked team for the second week in-a-row, the national office announced Wednesday.
The Thunderbirds – the defending national champions – look to continue another string of consecutive weeks being ranked No. 1 as the team did last year. In 2013, British Columbia claimed the top-spot 12-straight weeks en route to the title. British Columbia collected 589 points and 18 first-place votes.
The Thunderbirds have flown out of the gate in 2014, dominating the Sundodger Invitational in Seattle, Wash. On Sept. 20. NAIA All-American Maria Bernard paced British Columbia by winning the 6-kilometer race in a school-record 20:37.
Up next for the Thunderbirds is a trip to Salem, Ore., for the 40th Annual Charles Bowles Invitational. The event is being hosted by NCAA Division III Willamette (Ore.).
Biola (Calif.) is the No. 2 team. The Eagles received 570 points and three first-place votes. Despite losing the No. 1 spot in last week’s poll, Biola continues to be a force. On Sept. 20, the team took first out of eight teams in the Division I San Diego State Aztec Invitational in San Diego, Calif. It was the first time since 2011 the school won the event.
The Eagles look ahead to a possible third victory in as many meets when they travel to Costa Mesa, Calif., to test their skills in the Vanguard Invitational.
The rest of the top five includes No. 3 Dordt (Iowa) (555 points), who earned a seventh-place finish in the 33-team Roy Griak Invite in St. Paul, Minn., on Sept. 27. The Defenders were the top NAIA finisher out of the group. Fourth is Northwest Christian (Ore.) (532 points), and rounding out the top five is Carroll (Mont.) (499 points).
No. 19 SCAD Savannah (Ga.) and No. 24 Columbia (Mo.) are the Top 25 poll’s newcomers this week.
There was not a lot of movement among the ranked teams this week, as the top-16 institutions remained in the same slots from the Sept. 24 release. Within the poll, No. 23 Texas Wesleyan fell from No. 17, while Southern Oregon and Concordia (Neb.) fell out of the rankings.
Fourteen conferences, independents and unaffiliated groups are represented in the poll, highlighted by three teams from the Cascade Collegiate Conference, Golden State Athletic Conference and Sooner Athletic Conference. Five additional conferences are tied for second with two teams in the rankings.
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 fourth regular season edition of the Top 25 poll will be Oct. 8.
Notes: (all information dates back to 1999) British Columbia looks to begin another run of consecutive-No. 1s – just as the school did in 2013 – going wire-to-wire on the way to the national championship… Biola has been rated in the top 15 for 77-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. 11 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) has been ranked among the Top 25 for an active 128-consecutive polls, dating back to Sept. 21, 2001.
2014 NAIA Women’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No 3 (Oct. 1)
|RANK||LAST^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||FINAL POINTS|
|1||1||British Columbia (18)||589|
|2||2||Biola (Calif.) (3)||570|
|4||4||Northwest Christian (Ore.)||532|
|6||6||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||487|
|9||9||Shawnee State (Ohio)||448|
|10||10||Cal State San Marcos||434|
|11||11||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||400|
|12||12||St. Francis (Ill.)||377|
|13||13||The Master's (Calif.)||365|
|15||15||College of Idaho||322|
|19||RV||SCAD Savannah (Ga.)||255|
|22||23||St. Ambrose (Iowa)||198|
Others Receiving Votes: Judson (Ill.) 100; Southern Oregon 100; Doane (Neb.) 86; Benedictine (Kan.) 51; Wayland Baptist (Texas) 47; Concordia (Neb.) 29; Huntington (Ind.) 26; Milligan (Tenn.) 16; Marian (Ind.) 6; Jamestown (N.D.) 6; Siena Heights (Mich.) 5; William Woods (Mo.) 4; Cumberlands (Ky.) 4; Concordia (Ore.) 3; Embry-Riddle (Fla.) 3.
^ 2014 NAIA Women’s Cross Country Top 25 Poll – No 2 on Sept. 24