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NAIA Women’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 4

October 03, 2012
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By Travis Rae, Communications and Sports Information Intern

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - For the second time this season, British Columbia and Cal State San Marcos have swapped positions as Cal State San Marcos becomes the No. 1 in the fourth edition of the 2012 NAIA Women's Cross Country Coaches' Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Wednesday. Cal State San Marcos received 16-of-20 first place votes and 586 points to earn the top spot.

Kelly Thompson led the Cougars to a first place finish in the Pomona-Pitzer (Calif.) Invitational last weekend. It was Thompson's first individual victory at the collegiate level.

Falling back one spot to No. 2 is British Columbia, who spent the last two weeks at No. 1. The Thunderbirds garnered 565 points. Receiving one first-place vote and earning 550 points was No. 3 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.). Collecting the last four first-place votes was College of Idaho. The Yotes received 548 points to notch the No. 4 ranking, while Biola (Calif.) collected 515 points to round out the top five.

After rejoining the Top 25 last week, Indiana Wesleyan (No. 25) is on the outside looking in as it fell out of the poll.

Eastern Oregon joins the poll this week after previously being unranked. The Mountaineers garner the No. 25 ranking after finishing fifth in the Charles Bowles Willamette (Ore.) Invitational. Eastern Oregon finished behind then-No. 1 British Columbia, No. 7 Northwest Christian (Ore.) and No. 11 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho).

Jumping eight spots to No. 16 is Oklahoma Baptist. The Lady Bison finished second out of 24 teams in the Oklahoma State Cowboy Jamboree last weekend. Leading the way was Hannah Helker, who won her second race of the season in as many races.

Eleven conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups are represented throughout the Top 25, led by the Golden State Athletic Conference and Cascade Collegiate Conference with four ranked teams each, followed by the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference and Frontier Conference with three teams each.

The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups. The fifth regular-season Top 25 poll will be announced on Oct. 10.

Notes: (All information dates back to 1999) Cal State San Marcos joins former member Simon Fraser (B.C.) as the only teams to start the season ranked No. 1 and go on to win the national championship ... Simon Fraser accomplished this in 2004, 05, 06 and 07 and Cal State San Marcos accomplished this in 2011 ... There have been four seasons in which a squad held the No. 1-ranking for an entire season: 2007 - Simon Fraser, 2006 - Simon Fraser, 2005 - Simon Fraser and 2003 - Northwest (Wash.) ... No. 11 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) is the only school that has made 100-or-more consecutive appearances in the Top 25 with 109, dating back to Sept. 21, 2001... Former NAIA Member Simon Fraser (B.C.) has the most No. 1 rankings with 40.... 11 teams held their place in this week's poll... This is the eighth time in Cal State San Marcos history it has have earned the No. 1 ranking... Cal State San Marcos now stands alone in the sixth position for all-time No.1 rankings after being tied with Biola (Calif.).

2012 NAIA Women's Cross Country Coaches' Top 25 Poll - No. 4

RANK LAST WEEK SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES) TOTAL POINTS
1 2 Cal State San Marcos (16) 586
2 1 British Columbia 565
3 3 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) (1) 550
4 4 College of Idaho (4) 548
5 5 Biola (Calif.) 515
6 6 Carroll (Mont.) 493
7 7 Northwest Christian (Ore.) 471
8 8 Westmont (Calif.) 458
9 9 Aquinas (Mich.) 436
10 10 Concordia (Calif.) 419
11 11 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 400
12 14 The Master’s (Calif.) 377
13 13 Dordt (Iowa) 345
T14 T15 Cornerstone (Mich.) 328
T14 T15 Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 328
16 18 Oklahoma Baptist 294
17 23 Illinois Tech 270
18 17 Milligan (Tenn.) 253
T19 12 Southern Oregon 242
T19 19 Concordia (Neb.) 242
21 20 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) 237
22 18 St. Francis (Ill.) 228
23 21 Taylor (Ind.) 186
24 22 Huntington (Ind.) 153
25 NR Eastern Oregon 123
Others receiving votes: Indiana Wesleyan 75; Oregon Tech 71; Saint Xavier (Ill.) 69; Baker (Kan.) 54; Cumberlands (Ky.) 36; Texas Wesleyan 23; Trinity Christian (Ill.) 19; Doane (Neb.) 16; Concordia (Ore.) 11; Spring Arbor (Mich.) 6; Rogers State (Okla.) 6; Central Methodist (Mo.) 5.