KANSAS CITY, Mo. - For the sixth-straight week, Azusa Pacific (Calif.) topped the 2011 NAIA Women's Cross Country Coaches' Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Wednesday. The Cougars were awarded 21 first-place votes for 652 points. Their six-week span at No. 1 is their first since the 2009 season when they occupied the top spot for eight-straight polls.
Cal State San Marcos continued to maintain its hold at No. 2, garnering a pair of first-place nods for 633 points. The Cougars were listed first in the Preseason Top 25, but have taken a backseat to Azusa Pacific in all of the regular-season polls. The top-five squads changed rank with British Columbia sliding up one spot to No. 3 with 584 points, College of Idaho at fourth with 576 points and No. 5 Friends (Kan.) with 572 points.
Concordia (Neb.) returns to the poll at No. 19 after a four-week hiatus, while Rocky Mountain (Mont.) earns its first-ever national ranking, checking in at No. 25, dating back to 1999. This week's newcomers replace previously ranked No. 24 Viterbo (Wis.) and No. 25 Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.).
The four-spot leap from eighth to fourth by College of Idaho marked the biggest improvement and matches the Coyotes highest ranking in 2011. Their climb comes on the heels of their second-place showing at the Concordia/adidas Classic in Portland, Ore., on Oct. 15. College of Idaho placed four runners among the top 20 and totaled 77 points, besting then-No. 3 Northwest Christian (Ore.) by 10 points. The Beacons' outing pushed them back to seventh in the poll.
A dozen 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. 8 Biola (Calif.), No. 12 The Master's (Calif.) and No. 16 Westmont (Calif.). Hailing from the CCC are College of Idaho, Northwest Christian, No. 9 Concordia (Ore.) and No. 19 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. 25.
Notes: (All information dates back to 1999) There have been 32 different teams that have spent at least one week on the poll … Azusa Pacific’s 16 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 … No. 14 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) is the only school that has made 100 consecutive appearances in the Top 25, dating back to Sept. 21, 2001 … Azusa Pacific is a distant second with 80 straight, dating back to Oct. 3, 2003.
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Azusa Pacific (Calif.) (21)||652|
|2||2||Cal State San Marcos (2)||633|
|4||8||College of Idaho||576|
|6||5||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||570|
|7||3||Northwest Christian (Ore.)||529|
|12||12||The Master's (Calif.)||423|
|13||13||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||371|
|14||15||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||359|
|21||20||Roberts Wesleyan (N.Y.)||246|
|22||NR||Rocky Mountain (Mont.)||208|
Others receiving votes: Viterbo (Wis.) 114; Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.) 107; Shawnee State (Ohio) 80; Cornerstone (Mich.) 56; Eastern Oregon 35; Northwestern (Iowa) 23; SCAD Savannah (Ga.) 22; Judson (Ill.) 21; Spring Arbor (Mich.) 8; Northwest (Wash.) 7; Park (Mo.) 3; Grand View (Iowa) 3; Southwestern (Kan.) 1; Huntington (Ind.) 1; Trinity Christian (Ill.) 1; Wayland Baptist (Texas) 1; Xavier (La.) 1; Cumberlands (Ky.) 1; Vanguard (Calif.) 1.