By Mike DeVader, Communications and Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Oklahoma City, the defending national champion, has cemented itself in the top spot of the NAIA Men’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the NAIA national office announced Wednesday.
The Stars’ No.1 ranking marks the ninth-consecutive week that Oklahoma City is atop the standings. The top-ranked team has held the same position since the 2013 postseason rankings, earning its ninth No. 1 rating in program history.
The Stars earned 591 points and 20-of-21 first-place votes. The star-studded squad continues to slaughter the competition, and the NAIA Mid-States Classic on Oct. 25 in Winfield, Kan., proved to be no different. David Mountford, a sophomore from Shotton, Wales, finished first for Oklahoma City. Mountford was joined by five teammates near the top, as six Stars finished in the top 10.
Mountford finished the 8-kilometer race with a time of 24:44. Oklahoma City now turns its attention to the Sooner Athletic Conference Championships in Shawnee, Okla., on Nov. 8.
For the 38th-straight edition of the Top 25 – dating back to Aug. 22, 2012 – Southern Oregon is ranked in the top-two of the release, coming in at No. 2 with 571 points.
The Raiders continue to roll through their schedule in 2014, coming out on top yet again in the Oregon State Beaver Classic on Oct. 24 in Corvallis, Ore. A trio of Southern Oregon runners – Max Runia, Jared Hixon and Cary Dunagan – finished third through fifth, respectively. Runia crossed the finish line in 25:31, helping the Raiders cruise to victory.
Next up on the slate for the Raiders is the Cascade Conference Championships on Nov. 8 in Portland, Ore.
There was a shakeup in the rest of the top five, as No. 3 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) earned 552 points and the final first-place vote. Fourth-ranked Tennessee Wesleyan jumped up from No. 8 by grabbing 528 points, and Indiana Wesleyan is No. 5 with 508 points, moving up from No. 11 in last week’s poll.
No. 15 Marian (Ind.) was the biggest riser of any school this week, jumping back into the rankings after falling out of the Top 25 in the Oct. 22 release. No. 24 Indiana Tech fell six positions from No. 18, the biggest drop within the poll.
Twenty-second-ranked Wayland Baptist (Texas) and No. 25 Dalton State (Ga.) join Marian as the other newcomers in the rankings. Oregon Tech, Shawnee State (Ohio) and Vanguard (Calif.) all dropped out of the poll and are now on the outside looking in.
Thirteen conferences/association of independent institutions/unaffiliated groups are represented in the poll, led by four schools from both the Cascade Collegiate Conference and Crossroads League. Five conferences are tied for second with two teams ranked apiece.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of coaches representing each of the conferences, association of independent institutions and unaffiliated groups. For the entire 2014 Coaches’ Top 25 Poll schedule, click here. The eighth and final regular season Top 25 poll will be revealed Nov. 9.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 1999) For Oklahoma City, today’s top spot marks the ninth No. 1 ranking in school history and ninth edition in-a-row of being the top-team… Since 1999, only one program has been ranked No. 1 for an entire season: former member Malone (Ohio) in 2007 and 08… No. 11 Aquinas (Mich.) has been ranked among the Top 25 in an NAIA-best 143-consecutive polls, dating back to Aug. 22, 2000… Following Aquinas are No. 10 Cal State San Marcos with 68 and No. 2 Southern Oregon with 66… 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. 7 (Oct. 29)
|RANK||LAST^||SCHOOL (1st PLACE VOTES)||FINAL POINTS|
|1||1||Oklahoma City (20)||591|
|3||3||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) (1)||552|
|8||5||St. Francis (Ill.)||468|
|10||10||Cal State San Marcos||425|
|13||13||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||365|
|16||16||College of Idaho||305|
|18||17||Saint Mary (Kan.)||263|
|19||15||The Master's (Calif.)||254|
|20||21||Northwest Christian (Ore.)||200|
|22||RV||Wayland Baptist (Texas)||176|
|25||NR||Dalton State (Ga.)||134|
Others Receiving Votes: Oregon Tech, 133; Shawnee State (Ohio), 74; SCAD Savannah (Ga.), 72; Dordt (Iowa), 55; Oklahoma Baptist, 41; Vanguard (Calif.), 31; William Carey (Miss.), 29; Concordia (Ore.), 19; Concordia (Neb.), 18; Milligan (Tenn.), 16; Westmont (Calif.), 7.
^ 2014 NAIA Men’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 6 (Oct. 22)