KANSAS CITY, Mo. - For the fourth-consecutive week, Azusa Pacific (Calif.) landed at No. 1 in the 2011 NAIA Women's Cross Country Coaches' Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Wednesday. The Cougars tallied 19 first-place votes for 590 points in the fourth edition of the poll. Azusa Pacific's four-week reign at No. 1 is the longest since 2009 when the Cougars spent eight weeks on top.
Cal State San Marcos continued to hold down the No. 2 spot by earning the final two first-place nods for 573 points. The rest of the top-five teams changed in rank, with British Columbia sliding up three spots to No. 3 with 543 points, Northwest Christian (Ore.) moving up one to No. 4 with 531 points and Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) moving back one spot to No. 5 with 520 points.
Although 18 of the previously-ranked squads rearranged throughout the Top 25, moves were limited to fewer than five spots. Performances from the Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational hosted by NCAA Division III Willamette University (Ore.) held on Oct. 1 factored in to the big moves up and down the poll. Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) made a leap of five spots to 14th after a fifth-place showing at the race, while Biola's (Calif.) third-place outing moved the Eagles back three spots to No. 6. Biola had spent 14-straight weeks ranked among the nation's top-three squads.
No. 23 Milligan (Tenn.) and No. 25 Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.) were newcomers to the poll. Neither are strangers to earning national recognition. Milligan was last ranked 16th in the final edition of the Top 25 in 2010 and the Sea Lions were listed 25th to start the 2011 campaign.
Thirteen conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups are represented throughout the Top 25, led by the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC). Representing the GSAC are: Azusa Pacific, Biola, No. 12 The Master's (Calif.), No. 18 Westmont (Calif.) and Point Loma Nazarene. The Cascade Collegiate Conference landed four ranked squads in Northwest Christian, No. 8 College of Idaho, No. 9 Concordia (Ore.) and No. 17 Southern Oregon.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups. The next Top 25 poll will be announced on Oct. 12.
Notes: (All information dates back to 1999) There have been 31 different teams that have spent at least one week on the poll ... Azusa Pacific's (Calif.) four-week span at No. 1 is its first since the 2009 season when the Cougars occupied the top spot for eight-straight polls ... Azusa Pacific's 14 No. 1-rankings is fourth all-time ... Former NAIA members Simon Fraser (B.C.) and Cedarville (Ohio) top the list with 40 and 18 appearances, respectively, followed by Northwest (Wash.) with 17 ... 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 ... Only two schools have an active streak of 50-or more appearances in the Top 25, led by No. 14 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) with 98 dating back to Sept. 21, 2001, and Azusa Pacific with 78, dating back to Oct. 3, 2003.
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Azusa Pacific (Calif.) (19)||590|
|2||2||Cal State San Marcos (2)||573|
|4||5||Northwest Christian (Ore.)||531|
|5||4||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||520|
|8||7||College of Idaho||476|
|12||11||The Master's (Calif.)||385|
|14||19||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||318|
|19||18||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||239|
|20||22||Roberts Wesleyan (N.Y.)||221|
|25||RV||Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.)||122|
Others receiving votes: Shawnee State (Ohio) 104; Northwest (Wash.) 77; St. Francis (Ill.) 63; Cornerstone (Mich.) 62; Cumberlands (Ky.) 52; Eastern Oregon 19; Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 19; SCAD Savannah (Ga.) 16; Northwestern (Iowa) 15; Texas Wesleyan 15; Spring Arbor (Mich.) 9; Park (Mo.) 9; Trinity Christian (Ill.) 6; Shorter (Ga.) 5; Grand View (Iowa) 5; Baker (Kan.) 3; Concordia (Neb.) 1; Doane (Neb.) 1.