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2012 NAIA Men’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. - Southern Oregon continues to hold on to the No. 1 spot in the 2012 NAIA Men's Cross Country Coaches' Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Wednesday. The Raiders received 11-of-21 first place votes and tallied 579 points to retain the No. 1 ranking. This is the fifth-consecutive week Southern Oregon has been at the top of the poll.

The Raiders sent runners to the Stanford (Calif.) Invitational and Charles Bowles Willamette (Ore.) Invitational last weekend. Southern Oregon finished fifth in the Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational and ninth in the Stanford Invitational.

Closing the gap on the No. 1 team is Cal State San Marcos. The Cougars received five first-place votes and garnered 573 points for the No. 2 ranking. Cal State San Marcos won the Pomona-Pitzer (Calif.) Cross Country Invitational with four of its runners finishing in the top five. Receiving the last five first-place votes was St. Francis (Ill.) who earned 560 points for the No. 3 ranking. The Fighting Saints raced in the Greater Louisville (Ky.) Cross Country Invitational and finished 16th in the Gold Race, which was the best finish for an NAIA school. Oklahoma Baptist comes in at No. 4 after receiving 528 points, while No. 5 British Columbia notched 506 points to round out the top five.

No. 7 Concordia (Ore.), No. 17 Indiana Wesleyan, No. 21 Oregon Tech and No. 25 Northwest Christian (Ore.) all jump into the poll this week. A trio of the newcomers, Concordia, Oregon Tech, and Northwest Christian, raced at the Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational last weekend. Concordia tied for first with British Columbia, while Oregon Tech finished sixth followed by Northwest Christian (Ore.) at seventh. Indiana Wesleyan participated in the Griak Invitational (Minn.) and finished eighth place in the Men's Maroon Division II race.

Falling out of the Top 25 this week are Wayland Baptist (Texas) (No. 12), Arizona Christian (No. 17), Cornerstone (Mich.) (No. 22), Saint Mary (Kan.) (No. 24) and Biola (Calif.) (No. 25).

Making the biggest jump was No. 13 Spring Arbor as it improved five spots. The Cougars took 24th place, second best by an NAIA school, in the Great Louisville Cross Country Invitational Gold race.

Fourteen conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups are represented throughout the Top 25, led by the Cascade Collegiate Conference with six teams. Representing the Cascade are Southern Oregon, Concordia, No. 12 College of Idaho, No. 14 Eastern Oregon, Oregon Tech, and Northwest Christian.

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) Four teams have started the season ranked No. 1 and gone on to win the national championship: Former NAIA Member Malone (Ohio) - 2007, 08 and 09; Virginia Intermont - 2005 and 06; Former NAIA Member Minot State (N.D.) - 2002; Life (Ga.) - 1999 and 2000... There has only been one program that has been able to maintain the No. 1 ranking for an entire season with Malone accomplishing the feat in 2007 and 08... Southern Oregon has been ranked No. 1 15 times which
ties the Raiders for third with former NAIA member Virginia Intermont...Malone has been ranked No. 1 the most with 38 selections... Aquinas (Mich.) has been ranked in the Top 25 for 120-consecutive weeks, dating back to Aug. 22, 2000... Oregon Tech and Northwest Christian (Ore.) are making its first appearance in the Coaches' Top 25... Eight teams held steady in the poll.

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

RANK LAST WEEK SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES) FINAL POINTS
1 1 Southern Oregon (11) 579
2 2 Cal State San Marcos (5) 573
3 3 St. Francis (Ill.) (5) 560
4 4 Oklahoma Baptist 528
5 5 British Columbia 506
6 10 Shawnee State (Ohio) 490
7 RV Concordia (Ore.) 480
8 6 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 453
9 7 Southwestern (Kan.) 435
10 8 The Master’s (Calif.) 421
11 9 Aquinas (Mich.) 410
12 11 College of Idaho 383
13 18 Spring Arbor (Mich.) 358
14 13 Eastern Oregon 348
15 14 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) 322
16 16 Bryan (Tenn.) 317
17 RV Indiana Wesleyan 266
18 17 Westmont (Calif.) 235
19 19 Concordia (Neb.) 222
20 21 Cumberlands (Ky.) 205
21 NR Oregon Tech 176
22 T25 Baker (Kan.) 166
23 23 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) 163
24 15 Morningside (Iowa) 151
25 NR Northwest Christian (Ore.) 114
Others receiving votes: Saint Mary (Kan.) 96; Vanguard (Calif.) 90; Indiana Tech 73; Wayland Baptist (Texas) 72; Arizona Christian 63; Dickinson State (N.D.) 40; Emmanuel (Ga.) 26; Berea (Ky.) 23; St. Ambrose (Iowa) 21; Siena Heights (Mich.) 21; Doane (Neb.) 5; Park (Mo.) 5; Goshen (Ind.) 5; Cornerstone (Mich.) 3; Saint Xavier (Ill.) 3.