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Top 25 Poll - Preseason

August 24, 2011

Contact: Amanda Dahl, NAIA Manager of Sports Information & Media Services, adahl@naia.org

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -Reigning national champion Southern Oregon landed at No. 1 in the 2011 NAIA Men's Cross Country Coaches' Preseason Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Wednesday. Powered behind 15 of 18 possible first-place votes, the Raiders racked up 496 points to garner their first-ever preseason No. 1-ranking.

Wayland Baptist (Texas) was awarded a pair of first-place nods for 480 points to earn the No. 2-ranking, followed by third-ranked Oklahoma Christian with 453 points. Shorter (Ga.) picked up the final first-place vote to total 447 points and check in at No. 4. It is the first top-five rating for the Hawks, whose highest previous ranking was ninth in the 2009 preseason announcement. For the second-consecutive year, British Columbia begins its campaign ranked fifth with 432 points.

There were 18 teams that carried over a ranking from the final poll of 2010. Concordia (Ore.) was unranked heading into the 2010 NAIA Cross Country National Championships, but took home a 25th-place finish. The Cavaliers were rewarded and enter 2011 ranked ninth. After placing 17th, Southwestern (Kan.) jumped into the poll to open the new campaign at No. 14.

Fourteen conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups are represented throughout the Top 25, led by four squads from the Cascade Collegiate Conference: Southern Oregon, Concordia, No. 11 College of Idaho and No. 18 Eastern Oregon. Both the Sooner Athletic Conference and Golden State Athletic Conference have a trio of ranked squads.

The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups. The first regular-season Top 25 poll will be announced on Sept. 14.

Notes: (All information dates back to 1999) Six different programs have garnered the preseason No. 1-ranking, led by former NAIA member Malone (Ohio), who earned five preseason No. 1-rankings … Four teams have started the season ranked No. 1 and gone on to win the national championship: Malone – 2007, 08 and 09; Virginia Intermont – 2005 and 06; Minot State (N.D.) – 2002; Life (Ga.) – 1999 and 2000 … Southern Oregon has held the top-spot for seven-straight polls dating back to Oct. 6, 2010 … 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 … No. 12 Aquinas (Mich.) is the only squad that owns an active Top-25 ranking streak that has surpassed 100, with 106-consecutive weeks dating back to the 2000 preseason poll … No. 16 Concordia (Neb.) isn’t far behind, with 96-straight appearances dating back to Sept. 14, 2001.

RANK LAST WEEK^ SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES) TOTAL POINTS
1 1 Southern Oregon (15) 496
2 2 Wayland Baptist (Texas) (2) 480
3 9 Oklahoma Christian 453
4 19 Shorter (Ga.) (1) 447
5 15 British Columbia 432
6 3 Shawnee State (Ohio) 396
7 12 Graceland (Iowa) 391
8 11 The Master's (Calif.) 387
9 NR Concordia (Ore.) 382
10 7 Cal State San Marcos 360
11 14 College of Idaho 320
12 17 Aquinas (Mich.) 304
13 16 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 297
14 RV Southwestern (Kan.) 279
15 6 Bryan (Tenn.) 270
16 RV Oklahoma Baptist 248
16 8 Concordia (Neb.) 248
18 10 Eastern Oregon 210
19 24 Vanguard (Calif.) 198
20 5 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) 179
20 13 Siena Heights (Mich.) 179
22 NR Friends (Kan.) 128
23 RV Biola (Calif.) 122
24 RV Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) 102
25 RV Morningside (Iowa) 96

Others receiving votes: Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 88; Rio Grande (Ohio) 78; Westmont (Calif.) 74; Spring Arbor (Mich.) 70; Cornerstone (Mich.) 43; SCAD Savannah (Ga.) 42; Emmanuel (Ga.) 34; Milligan (Tenn.) 29; Berea (Ky.) 24; Dordt (Iowa) 12; Baker (Kan.) 10; Indiana Wesleyan 5; Azusa Pacific (Calif.) 5; Mount Mercy (Iowa) 5; Lee (Tenn.) 4; William Woods (Mo.) 3; Saint Xavier (Ill.) 1; Doane (Neb.) 1; Trinity Christian (Ill.) 1; Illinois Tech 1.

^ 2010 NAIA Men's Cross Country Coaches' Top 25 Final Poll