KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Oklahoma Christian was the unanimous No. 1 selection in the sixth edition of the 2011 NAIA Men's Cross Country Coaches' Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Wednesday. The Eagles, who have occupied the top spot in the poll for three consecutive weeks, tallied all 22 first-place votes for 622 points. Oklahoma Christian is fresh off of a seventh-place finish (195 points) at the Chile Pepper Festival hosted by the University of Arkansas on Oct. 15, its first race since Oct. 8.
No. 2 Shorter (Ga.) tallied 589 points and was the only top-five team to hold its position. The Hawks also ran in the Chile Pepper Festival, placing 15th with 435 points among 32 participating teams that spanned across NCAA Division I, II and III. Each of the teams that round out the top five made substantial movement, with No. 3 The Master's (Calif.) (566 points) and No. 4 Southern Oregon (554 points) climbing three spots, while No. 5 Friends (Kan.) (520 points) jumped four spots.
There was a pair of newcomers to the poll in Morningside (Iowa) and SCAD Savannah (Ga.). The Mustangs return to the poll after a four-week absence by checking in at No. 24. The Bees are listed 25th for their first national ranking dating back to 1999. The duo knocks out previously ranked No. 23 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) and No. 25 Graceland (Iowa).
College of Idaho made the most noise among this week's Top 25, rocketing a dozen spots from No. 21 to 9. The Coyotes placed first with 46 points in a 10-team field at the Concordia/addias XC Classic in Portland, Ore., on Oct. 15. They defeated a pair of NAIA top-10 teams in then-No. 3 Concordia (Ore.) and then-No. 7 Southern Oregon, while also knocking off two NCAA Division I teams in Portland and Portland State. Concordia slipped back to No. 11 after its performance at the event.
Thirteen conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups are represented throughout the Top 25, led by the Cascade Collegiate Conference with four ranked teams: Southern Oregon, College of Idaho, Concordia and No. 20 Eastern Oregon. The Golden State Athletic Conference and Sooner Athletic Conference each have three teams represented.
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 Oct. 26.
Notes: (All information dates back to 1999) There have been 31 different teams that have spent at least one week on the poll ... Oklahoma Christian's three No. 1-rankings is tied for ninth and the Eagles are the 15th team to own the No. 1 ranking ...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 ... A pair of programs have had an active Top-25 ranking streak surpass 100-consecutive weeks ... No. 12 Aquinas (Mich.) has been listed for 112-consecutive weeks dating back to the 2000 preseason poll and No. 15 Concordia (Neb.) is at 102-straight appearances dating back to Sept. 14, 2001.
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Oklahoma Christian (22)||622|
|3||5||The Master's (Calif.)||566|
|6||6||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||517|
|7||8||Shawnee State (Ohio)||491|
|8||4||Cal State San Marcos||485|
|9||21||College of Idaho||483|
|10||10||Wayland Baptist (Texas)||451|
|15||16||St. Francis (Ill.)||340|
|18||11||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||289|
|23||24||Siena Heights (Mich.)||136|
|25||RV||SCAD Savannah (Ga.)||111|
Others receiving votes: Graceland (Iowa) 98; Embry-Riddle (Fla.) 96; Vanguard (Calif.) 90; Berea (Ky.) 85; Carroll (Mont.) 48; Cornerstone (Mich.) 27; Azusa Pacific (Calif.) 24; Baker (Kan.) 20; Huntington (Ind.) 19; Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 8; Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.) 4; Cumberlands (Ky.) 3; Dordt (Iowa) 1; Doane (Neb.) 1; Trinity Christian (Ill.) 1; Xavier (La.) 1; Saint Xavier (Ill.) 1; Mount Marty (S.D.) 1.