By Mike DeVader, Communications and Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the fourth edition in-a-row of the 2014 NAIA Women’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, British Columbia sits as the top-ranked team in the country, the national office announced Wednesday.
The Thunderbirds accrued 622 points and all 22 first-place votes. The defending national champions look to lock down the top spot just as they did in 2013, going wire-to-wire with 12-straight No. 1 rankings, and claiming the national title.
British Columbia continues to display its racing talents as the squad took fifth in the 41st Annual Viking Classic on Oct. 11 in Bellingham, Wash. Jackie Regan led the way for the Thunderbirds, placing ninth in the 6-kilometer event with a time of 21:42.
The Santa Clara University Bronco Invitational in Sunnyvale, Calif., is next up for British Columbia on Saturday.
Jumping up one spot to No. 2 is Dordt (Iowa) with 597 points. Dating back to 1999, this is the highest ranking in school history for the Defenders. The squad put together a steady performance in the NAIA National Preview at Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence, Kan., on Oct. 11, defending its team title.
Kayla Byl paced Dordt with a 14th-place time of 18:57 in the 312-woman race that featured eight of the 32 teams being represented in the Top 25 poll last week.
Rounding out the rest of the top five is third-ranked Northwest Christian (Ore.), collecting 576 points, followed by No. 4 Taylor (Ind.) with 538. Coming in at No. 5 is Westmont (Calif.) who earned 519 points and the title of biggest riser within the poll – moving up from No. 17 thanks to a victory in the Vanguard Invitational on Oct. 11.
No. 21 Benedictine (Kan.) headlines a trio of newcomers in this week’s poll, joined by No. 22 Wayland Baptist (Texas) and No. 25 Doane (Neb.). Within the rankings, No. 16 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) dropped the most of any team, falling from No. 5.
Thirteen conferences, independents and unaffiliated groups are represented in the poll, highlighted by four teams from the Cascade Collegiate Conference. The Golden State Athletic Conference and the Sooner 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 sixth regular season edition of the Top 25 poll will be Oct. 22.
Notes: (all information dates back to 1999) The Thunderbirds of British Columbia were ranked No.1 all season in 2013 on the way to the national championship… Dordt’s (Iowa) No. 2 rating is the highest in program history… No. 9 Biola (Calif.) has been ranked in the top 15 for 79-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. 10 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) has been ranked among the Top 25 for an active streak of 130-consecutive polls, dating back to Sept. 21, 2001.2014 NAIA Women’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No 5 (Oct. 15)
|RANK||LAST^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||FINAL POINTS|
|1||1||British Columbia (22)||622|
|3||4||Northwest Christian (Ore.)||576|
|8||10||Cal State San Marcos||491|
|10||11||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||444|
|11||13||St. Francis (Ill.)||394|
|13||12||The Master's (Calif.)||388|
|14||8||Shawnee State (Ohio)||370|
|15||15||College of Idaho||335|
|16||5||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||328|
|17||19||SCAD Savannah (Ga.)||321|
|22||RV||Wayland Baptist (Texas)||172|
|24||22||St. Ambrose (Iowa)||165|
Others Receiving Votes: Judson (Ill.) 118; Columbia (Mo.) 101; Tennessee Wesleyan 89; Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 45; Concordia (Ore.) 40; Cornerstone (Mich.) 32; Huntington (Ind.) 20; Cumberlands (Ky.) 13; Arizona Christian 10; Texas Wesleyan 8; Milligan (Tenn.) 5.
^ 2014 NAIA Women’s Cross Country Top 25 Poll – No 4 (Oct. 8)