KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Azusa Pacific (Calif.) claimed the top spot in the final edition of the 2011 NAIA Women's Cross Country Coaches' Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Sunday. The Cougars racked up 20 first-place votes for 621 points after sweeping the team and individual titles at the Golden State Athletic Conference meet on Saturday. Azusa Pacific has owned the No. 1-ranking for eight-straight weeks after being listed second in the preseason installment.
The final rating comes following the competition of conference/independent/unaffiliated group meets. Team and individual qualifiers for the 2011 NAIA Women's Cross Country National Championships will be announced Monday by 5 p.m. CST. The 32nd annual event will take place at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site in Vancouver, Wash., on Nov. 19.
Cal State San Marcos continued to hold down the No. 2 spot, earning the final two first-place nods for 603 points. No. 3 College of Idaho and No. 4 British Columbia exchanged positions from the Oct. 26 poll, with 563 and 552 points, respectively. Friends (Kan.) remained at No. 5 with 549 points.
Winners of the Great Plains Athletic Conference team title, Concordia (Neb.) made the biggest jump in the poll by improving four spots to No. 11. The Bulldogs tallied 60 points on Saturday to post a one-point victory over then-No. 11 Morningside (Iowa). With the second-place showing, the Mustangs slid back to 14th. The three-spot fall was the most among all ranked teams.
Reappearing in the poll were No. 21 Spring Arbor (Mich.) and No. 23 Eastern Oregon. Both the Cougars and Mountaineers had an individual take home top honors at their conference races, respectively. Carissa Hudson won the Mid-Central College Conference title for Spring Arbor to help her team to a second-place finish. Karlee Coffee, the 2010 NAIA Women's Cross Country National Championship runner-up, won the Cascade Collegiate Conference race, lifting Eastern Oregon to fourth place in the team standings.
Southern Oregon's streak of 16-consecutive rankings came to an end and Taylor (Ind.) snapped a seven-week streak, as both squads fell out of the Top 25.
Thirteen conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups are represented throughout the Top 25, led by the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) and Cascade Collegiate Conference (CCC) with four ranked teams each. Representing the GSAC are Azusa Pacific, No. 7 Biola (Calif.), No. 12 Westmont (Calif.) and No. 13 The Master's (Calif.). Hailing from the CCC are College of Idaho, No. 8 Concordia (Ore.), No. 9 Northwest Christian (Ore.) and Eastern Oregon.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups.
Notes: (All information dates back to 1999) There have been 32 different teams that have spent at least one week on the poll, with 16 of those squads appearing on all eight installments ... Azusa Pacific's (Calif.) eight-week span at No. 1 matches its eight-straight streak during the 2009 season ... The Cougar's 18 No. 1-rankings are tied for second all-time with former NAIA member Cedarville (Ohio) ... Former NAIA members Simon Fraser (B.C.) tops the list with 40 No. 1 appearances ... Simon Fraser is the only team that has started the season ranked No. 1 and gone on to win the national championship, doing so in 2004, 05, 06 and 07 ... There have been four seasons in which a squad held the No. 1-ranking for an entire season: 2007 - Simon Fraser, 2006 - Simon Fraser, 2005 - Simon Fraser and 2003 - Northwest ... No. 16 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) is the only school that has made 100 or more consecutive appearances in the Top 25 with 102, dating back to Sept. 21, 2001 ... Azusa Pacific is a distant second with 82 straight, dating back to Oct. 3, 2003.
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Azusa Pacific (Calif.) (20)||621|
|2||2||Cal State San Marcos (2)||603|
|3||4||College of Idaho||563|
|6||6||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||536|
|9||7||Northwest Christian (Ore.)||452|
|13||13||The Master's (Calif.)||358|
|16||14||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||335|
|17||16||Shawnee State (Ohio)||312|
|19||19||Roberts Wesleyan (N.Y.)||246|
|20||21||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||237|
|21||RV||Spring Arbor (Mich.)||208|
Others receiving votes: Southern Oregon 75; Huntington (Ind.) 71; Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 56; Grand View (Iowa) 37; Shorter (Ga.) 35; Wayland Baptist (Texas) 29; Taylor (Ind.) 26; Northwestern (Iowa) 24; Cumberlands (Ky.) 19; Vanguard (Calif.) 19; Viterbo (Wis.) 16; Cornerstone (Mich.) 10; St. Francis (Ill.) 8; Park (Mo.) 6; SCAD Savannah (Ga.) 5; Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.) 4; Jamestown (N.D.) 1; Central Methodist (Mo.) 1; Xavier (La.) 1; Lee (Tenn.) 1; Trinity Christian (Ill.) 1.