By Mike DeVader, Communications and Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – British Columbia is the top-ranked squad of the 2014 NAIA Women’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll for the sixth unveiling in-a-row, the national office announced Wednesday. The Thunderbirds garnered 591 points and 20-of-21 first-place votes on their way to No. 1.
The defending national champions continue to be selfish with the No. 1 position in the polls, a position the team has held since Sept. 24. The team is one week closer to carrying the ranking through the end of the season just as it did in 2013.
Last year, British Columba recorded 12-straight No. 1 rankings and the national championship.
The top-ranked team finished fourth against prime NCAA competition on Oct. 18 in the Santa Clara University Bronco Invitational in Sunnyvale, Calif. The Thunderbirds were the top-scoring non-NCAA program in the race – led by NAIA All-American Maria Bernard – who finished the 6-kilometer track in 20:24.
Next up for the Thunderbirds is the Association of Independent Institutions Championships in Clinton, Iowa, on Nov. 8.
Dordt (Iowa) comes in at No. 2 is with 563 points and one first-place vote. The Defenders are in the second-slot for the third-consecutive release – the highest ranking in school history – dating back to 1999.
In the final competition before the Great Plains Athletic Conference Championships on Nov. 8, Dordt took care of business on Oct. 25 in the Mount Marty Invite in Yankton, S.D., taking first-place with a score of 23.
Kayla Byl ran an 18:13 on the 5-kilometer course to take the individual title. The Defenders also claimed spots four through seven as they all were within 11 seconds of each other at the finish line.
Making a move within the top five is Cal State San Marcos, who jumped up to No. 3 with 550 points, followed by No. 4 Northwest Christian (Ore.), amassing 543 points. Coming in at No. 5 is Carroll (Mont.), who moved up from No. 9 by collecting 494 points.
Only six schools held onto their same rating from last week’s Top 25.
No. 8 Shawnee State (Ohio) and No. 12 Indiana Wesleyan share the title of biggest risers within this week’s poll, both jumping up seven spots. No. 15 Taylor (Ind.) plummeted 11 positions from the Oct. 22nd release.
Three teams – No. 19 Texas Wesleyan, No. 21 Milligan (Tenn.) and No. 25 Indiana Tech – all jumped into the rankings in this edition.
Thirteen conferences, associations of independent institutions and unaffiliated groups are represented in the poll, highlighted by four teams from the Cascade Collegiate Conference and the Sooner Athletic Conference. The Golden State Athletic Conference is second with three teams in the rankings.
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 edition of the Top 25 poll will be revealed Nov. 9.
Notes: (all information dates back to 1999) British Columbia claimed No. 1 for the sixth-straight week today… The Thunderbirds were ranked No.1 all season in 2013 on the way to the national championship… Dordt (Iowa) is ranked No. 2 for the third-consecutive poll, the highest rating in school history… No. 13 Biola (Calif.) has been ranked in the top 15 for 81-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. 7 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) has been ranked among the Top 25 for an active streak of 132-consecutive polls, dating back to Sept. 21, 2001.
2014 NAIA Women’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No 7 (Oct. 29)
|RANK||LAST^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||FINAL POINTS|
|1||1||British Columbia (20)||591|
|2||2||Dordt (Iowa) (1)||563|
|3||5||Cal State San Marcos||550|
|4||3||Northwest Christian (Ore.)||543|
|7||6||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||481|
|8||15||Shawnee State (Ohio)||447|
|10||16||SCAD Savannah (Ga.)||415|
|14||14||College of Idaho||359|
|16||10||The Master's (Calif.)||309|
|17||22||Wayland Baptist (Texas)||288|
|18||12||St. Francis (Ill.)||286|
Others Receiving Votes: Olivet Nazarene (Ill.), 111; Doane (Neb.), 100; Columbia (Mo.), 83; Tennessee Wesleyan, 81; Huntington (Ind.), 41; Concordia (Ore.), 28; Cumberlands (Ky.), 23; Cornerstone (Mich.), 13; Rocky Mountain (Mont.), 10; Arizona Christian, 3.
^ 2014 NAIA Women’s Cross Country Top 25 Poll – No 6 (Oct. 22)