By Mike DeVader, Communications and Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the third-straight week, the Thunderbirds of British Columbia are No. 1 in the 2014 NAIA Women’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the national office announce Wednesday.
The defending national champions took home 622 points and all 22 first-place votes. The Thunderbirds sit comfortably in a familiar position, as the squad looks to duplicate their 2013 stretch of consecutive weeks being ranked No. 1. Last year, British Columbia claimed the top-spot in 12-consecutive rankings, en route to winning the national title.
The Thunderbirds continue to steamroll through the season, as the team took first in the 40th Annual Charles Bowles Invitational in Salem, Ore., on Oct. 4. The race was hosted by NCAA Division III Willamette University, and it was the fourth-straight year British Columbia captured the team title in the event.
NAIA All-American Maria Bernard continues to lead the Thunderbirds, finishing the race in second-place with a time of 17:18.
Biola (Calif.) is No. 2, totaling 598 votes. The Eagles are winning consistently – most recently in the Division I San Diego State Aztec Invitational in San Diego, Calif., on Sept. 20 – as the team took first in the race for the first time since 2011.
On deck for Biola is the Vanguard Invitational in Costa Mesa, Calif., on Saturday. The Eagles are striving to win three events in as many appearances.
Coming in at No. 3 is Dordt (Iowa) (583 points), who look ahead to the Pre-Nationals at Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence, Kan., on Saturday. Finishing up the top five is fourth-ranked Northwest Christian (Ore.) (563 points) and No. 5 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) (516).
No. 24 Southern Oregon and No. 25 Judson (Ill.) find themselves in the rankings this week. Texas Wesleyan and Tennessee Wesleyan dropped out of the poll and are now on the outside looking in.
There was subtle shuffling in this week’s Top 25, as several schools traded one spot in the poll. The biggest mover within the rankings was No. 16 Oklahoma City, who rose from No.18.
Thirteen conferences, independents and unaffiliated groups are represented in the poll, highlighted by four teams from the Cascade Collegiate Conference. The Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference and Golden State Athletic Conference are tied for second with three 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 fifth regular season edition of the Top 25 poll will be Oct. 15.
Notes: (all information dates back to 1999) The Thunderbirds were ranked No.1 all season in 2013 on the way to the national championship… No. 2 Biola has been ranked in the top 15 for 78-straight 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 streak of 129-consecutive polls, dating back to Sept. 21, 2001.
2014 NAIA Women’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No 4 (Oct. 8)
|RANK||LAST^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||FINAL POINTS|
|1||1||British Columbia (22)||622|
|4||4||Northwest Christian (Ore.)||563|
|5||6||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||516|
|8||9||Shawnee State (Ohio)||481|
|10||10||Cal State San Marcos||457|
|11||11||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||441|
|12||13||The Master's (Calif.)||377|
|13||12||St. Francis (Ill.)||361|
|15||15||College of Idaho||354|
|19||19||SCAD Savannah (Ga.)||274|
|22||22||St. Ambrose (Iowa)||193|
Others Receiving Votes: Wayland Baptist (Texas) 98; Tennessee Wesleyan 91; Benedictine (Kan.) 69; Doane (Neb.) 59; Concordia (Ore.) 52; Huntington (Ind.) 38; Texas Wesleyan 24; William Woods (Mo.) 19; Siena Heights (Mich.) 12; Milligan (Tenn.) 11; Concordia (Neb.) 7; Marian (Ind.) 7; Cumberlands (Ky.) 4; Indiana Tech 3.
^ 2014 NAIA Women’s Cross Country Top 25 Poll – No 3 (Oct. 1)