KANSAS CITY, Mo. — British Columbia remains atop the rankings for a program-record ninth-straight time in the NAIA Women’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 poll, the national office announced Wednesday. British Columbia’s selection—with 21 first-place votes and 622 total points—moves the defending national champion Thunderbirds to sixth all-time in No. 1 rankings (11), surpassing former-member Malone (Ohio) (10).
Prior to its current streak, British Columbia had been ranked No. 1 on just two occasions—both during the 2012 season. The Thunderbirds, who return four of their top five runners from last year’s national championship squad, outpaced the four-team non-NCAA Division I field at the Bronco Invitational, hosted by Santa Clara (Calif.) on Oct. 19 in Sunnyvale, Calif. Four Thunderbirds finished among the top 10 individuals from non-Division I programs and the team’s average 6-kilometer time of 21:08.5 would have placed fourth in the Division I field behind Loyola Marymount (Calif.), UC Santa Barbara, and Oregon State.
College of Idaho accumulated 602 total points and one first-place vote en route to the No. 2 ranking. The Yotes, who return three runners that placed in the top 10 at the 2012 national championship including individual titlist Hillary Holt, won the Inland Empire Championships, hosted by Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) on Oct. 19 in Lewiston, Idaho. The Yotes bested the nine-team field with a combined 5-kilometer time of 1:27:35. Holt brought home the individual title with a time of 16:42 and saw four of her teammates also finish among the top 15.
Cal State San Marcos compiled 581 total points to claim the No. 3 spot. The Cougars outpaced the eight-team field on Oct. 19 at their own meet, the Cougar Challenge in San Marcos, Calif. The scoring five for Cal State San Marcos all finished among the top 10 and Kate Bouvatte secured the individual crown with a personal-best 5-kilometer time of 17:30.
No. 4 Biola (Calif.), with 559 points, and No. 5 St. Francis (Ill.), with 543 points, round out the top five. Biola has been idle since winning the 24th Annual Vanguard Invitational in Costa Mesa, Calif., on Oct. 12. At the meet, the Eagles ran a combined 5-kilometer time of 1:30:05 and had a pack of four runners place among the top 10 with times ranging from 17:45.59 to 18:02.18. St. Francis’ varsity has been idle since finishing sixth among non-NCAA Division I programs at the Greater Louisville Classic, hosted by the Louisville Sports Commission, on Oct. 5. The Saints ran a combined 5-kilometer time of 1:34:18, placing behind Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) No. 1 Guelph (Ontario) and No. 3 Western Ontario, NCAA Division II No. 9 Edinboro (Pa.) and No. 11 Southern Indiana and NCAA Division III No. 10 Washington (Mo.).
There were no newcomers to the Top 25 this week and there was limited movement within the poll. Three teams moved up one spot: No. 13 Lewis-Clark State, No. 15 Carroll (Mont.) and No. 22 Southern Oregon, switching positions with the three teams who fell one spot this week: No. 14 Westmont (Calif.), No. 16 Shawnee State (Ohio) and No. 23 Indiana Tech.
Thirteen conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups are represented in the sixth regular-season Top 25, led by the Cascade Collegiate Conference, Golden State Athletic Conference, Frontier Conference and Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference, with each boasting three ranked teams.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences, independents and unaffiliated groups. For the entire 2013 Coaches' Top 25 Poll schedule, click here.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 1999) No. 1 British Columbia is trying to become just the third school in NAIA history to begin the season ranked No. 1 and go on to win the national championship… Former-member Simon Fraser (B.C.) accomplished this in 2004, 05, 06 and 07 and No. 3 Cal State San Marcos did so in 2011… Since 1999, only two programs have been ranked No. 1 for an entire season: Simon Fraser in 2005, 06, and 07 and Northwest (Wash.) in 2003… No. 13 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) has been ranked among the Top 25 in 121 consecutive polls, dating back to Sept. 21, 2001... During that streak Lewis-Clark State has never been ranked among the top five teams… This season, Texas Wesleyan and Columbia (Mo.) each earned its first Top 25 ranking… Former-member Simon Fraser 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… Two teams held the No. 1 ranking in 2012: British Columbia and Cal State San Marcos.
2013 NAIA Women’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 6 (Oct. 23)
|RANK||LAST TIME^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||British Columbia (21)||622|
|2||2||College of Idaho (1)||602|
|3||3||Cal State San Marcos||581|
|5||5||St. Francis (Ill.)||543|
|6||6||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||515|
|7||7||The Master's (Calif.)||488|
|8||8||Northwest Christian (Ore.)||485|
|13||14||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||383|
|16||15||Shawnee State (Ohio)||333|
|18||18||Rocky Mountain (Mont.)||289|
|24||24||SCAD Savannah (Ga.)||164|
Others Receiving Votes: St. Ambrose (Iowa) 107; Huntington (Ind.) 104; Central Methodist (Mo.) 75; Corban (Ore.) 46; Indiana Wesleyan 27; Cumberlands (Ky.) 15; Wayland Baptist (Texas) 15; Concordia (Calif.) 10; Judson (Ill.) 9; Blue Mountain (Miss.) 5; Northwest (Wash.) 5.
^ 2013 NAIA Women’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 5