By Mike DeVader, Communications and Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the sixth-straight week and the sixth time in school history, defending national champion Oklahoma City is the top-ranked program in the fourth regular-season NAIA Men’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the NAIA national office announced Wednesday.
Earning 560 points and 19-of-20 first-place votes, the Stars find themselves at the top once again – dating back to the 2013 postseason rankings.
NAIA All-American Peter Koskey, a junior from Keringet, Kenya, continues dominant for Oklahoma City. He was named Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC) Men's Cross Country Runner of the Week for the third time this season on Oct. 6. Koskey led the Stars to a first-place finish in the Chile Pepper Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark. on Oct. 4, which was hosted by NCAA Division I Arkansas. He finished the 429 runner, 8-kilomerter race in 17th-place, with a time of 24:34.
Next up for the top-ranked squad is the NAIA Mid-States Classic on Oct. 25 in Winfield, Kan.
The 2013 national runner-up – Southern Oregon – sits at No. 2. With 539 points, the Raiders have now been ranked in the top-2 spots for 35-consecutive weeks, dating back to Aug. 22, 2012. The team looks to ride the momentum from its stellar performance in the Cascade Collegiate Conference Preview on Sept. 19 in Portland, Ore., where Jared Hixon finished runner-up at the 8K course. He paced in a time of 25:14. The Raiders placed all five scorers among the top-10 finishers.
Southern Oregon awaits the Division II San Francisco State Invitational on Friday in San Francisco, Calif.
Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) (525) stays in third and claims the final first-place vote. At No. 4 is Embry-Riddle (Fla.) (500), who moved up from No. 10. Coming in at No. 5 is St. Francis (Ill.) (485).
Eighth-ranked Tennessee Wesleyan joins the top-three schools as the only teams to hold their spots from the Oct. 1 Coaches’ Poll. Embry-Riddle kick-started the poll shake-up as the biggest riser in the rankings.
No. 24 Northwest Christian (Ore.) dropped nine spots from No. 15. The sole newcomer in the rankings is No. 20 Oregon Tech.
Thirteen conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups are represented in the poll, led by five schools from the Cascade Collegiate Conference: Southern Oregon, No. 11 Eastern Oregon, No. 17 College of Idaho, Oregon Tech and Northwest Christian (Ore.). Eight conferences are tied for second with two schools each 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 Top 25 poll will be announced Oct. 15.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 1999) Today’s ranking is the sixth-consecutive and sixth No. 1 ranking in Oklahoma City history… Since 1999, only one program has been ranked No. 1 for an entire season: former member Malone (Ohio) in 2007 and 08… No. 7 Aquinas (Mich.) has been ranked among the Top 25 in an NAIA-best 140-consecutive polls, dating back to Aug. 22, 2000… Following Aquinas are Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) with 87, Cal State San Marcos with 65 and Southern Oregon with 63… 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, 17 different programs have claimed the No. 1 spot in the poll… Oklahoma City looks to become the second program in NAIA men’s cross country history to run the table being ranked No. 1 since Malone in 2008.
2014 NAIA Men’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 4 (Oct. 8)
|RANK||LAST^||SCHOOL (1st PLACE VOTES)||FINAL POINTS|
|1||1||Oklahoma City (19)||560|
|3||3||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) (1)||525|
|5||4||St. Francis (Ill.)||485|
|9||11||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||422|
|10||9||Cal State San Marcos||404|
|13||7||Shawnee State (Ohio)||348|
|16||17||Saint Mary (Kan.)||281|
|17||18||College of Idaho||269|
|21||14||The Master's (Calif.)||197|
|23||22||Wayland Baptist (Texas)||167|
|24||15||Northwest Christian (Ore.)||156|
Others Receiving Votes: Oklahoma Baptist 83; Baker (Kan.) 67; Concordia (Ore.) 53; Goshen (Ind.) 42; SCAD Savannah (Ga.) 34; Dordt (Iowa) 33; Milligan (Tenn.) 30; Arizona Christian 16; Columbia (Mo.) 13; St. Ambrose (Iowa) 5; Rio Grande (Ohio) 5; Westmont (Calif.) 4.
^ 2014 NAIA Men’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 3 (Oct. 1)