Contact: Amanda Dahl, NAIA Manager of Sports Information & Media Services, firstname.lastname@example.org
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Wayland Baptist (Texas) took over at No. 1 in the second edition of the NAIA Men's Cross Country Coaches' Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Wednesday. The Pioneers tallied 16 first-place votes for 497 points to capture their first-ever No. 1-ranking. In doing so, they snapped Southern Oregon's eight-straight appearances in the top spot. The Raiders slipped all the way back to eighth.
The change in reign caused a ripple effect throughout the top 10, with six teams climbing in rank. Moving up one spot each from the previous poll were No. 2 Oklahoma Christian with 475 points, No. 3 Shorter (Ga.) with 461 points and a pair of first-place nods and No. 4 British Columbia with 444 points. Concordia (Ore.) rounds out the top-five squads, jumping from No. 8 to 5 with 440 points.
Southern Oregon's fall from the top comes following a second-place finish at its own season opening Raider Invitational on Sept. 17. The defending national champions finished 11 points back from Concordia (Ore.), totaling 42 team points to the Cavaliers' 31. The Raiders' seven-spot drop marks the steepest setback suffered by a team that was previously ranked No. 1. In 1999, former NAIA member Life (Ga.) dropped from first to fifth.
No. 24 Cornerstone (Mich.) was the lone newcomer to the Top 25, replacing previously-ranked No. 23 Morningside (Iowa). The Golden Eagles had been absent through the preseason and first regular-season poll after being consistently ranked throughout the 2010 campaign.
Fourteen conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups are represented throughout the Top 25. The Cascade Collegiate Conference, Golden State Athletic Conference and Sooner Athletic Conference each landed a trio of teams on the poll.
The Top 25 was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups. The next poll will be announced on Sept. 28.
Notes: (All information dates back to 1999) Wayland Baptist's (Texas) move to the top earns the Pioneers its first-ever No. 1-ranking ... The Pioneers became the 14th team to earn the top spot on the poll and in doing so, snapped Southern Oregon's eight-straight weeks at No. 1 ... Former NAIA member Malone (Ohio) owns the most No. 1-rankings all-time with 38 ... 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 ... 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 ... No. 10 Aquinas (Mich.) is the only squad that owns an active Top-25 ranking streak that has surpassed 100, with 108-consecutive weeks dating back to the 2000 preseason poll ... No. 13 Concordia (Neb.) isn't far behind, with 98-straight appearances dating back to Sept. 14, 2001.
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||2||Wayland Baptist (Texas) (16)||497|
|3||4||Shorter (Ga.) (2)||461|
|6||7||Cal State San Marcos||418|
|7||9||The Master's (Calif.)||392|
|9||6||Shawnee State (Ohio)||366|
|11||18||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||310|
|12||11||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||303|
|17||24||St. Francis (Ill.)||242|
|25||25||Rocky Mountain (Mont.)||95|
Others receiving votes: Trinity Christian (Ill.) 94; Morningside (Iowa) 92; Spring Arbor (Mich.) 78; Saint Xavier (Ill.) 54; Siena Heights (Mich.) 34; Azusa Pacific (Calif.) 26; Baker (Kan.) 25; SCAD Savannah (Ga.) 18; Great Falls (Mont.) 14; Berea (Ky.) 6; Vanguard (Calif.) 5; Dordt (Iowa) 3; Milligan (Tenn.) 1; Goshen (Ind.) 1; Mount Marty (S.D.) 1; Lee (Tenn.) 1; Cumberlands (Ky.) 1; Park (Mo.) 1.