KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Cal State San Marcos wrapped up its third-straight national championship on Nov. 19 and is the new No. 1 in the NAIA Women's Cross Country Coaches' Postseason Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Wednesday. The Cougars racked up all 16 first-place votes for 436 points after becoming only the third program to three-peat as a team champion.
Cal State San Marcos, who was ranked No. 2 for the past eight polls, was led by senior Suzanne Cornwell and junior Kelly Thompson, who finished fifth and sixth, respectively, at the National Championship in Vancouver, Wash. Cornwell posted a time of 17:48 while Thompson came in at 17:52. Sophomore Chelsey Cortez and senior Caitlin Villarreal joined Cornwell and Thompson as NAIA All-Americans after top-30 individual finishes at the National Championship. The Cougars' 82 points were nine ahead of second-place Azusa Pacific (Calif.).
Azusa Pacific checks in at No. 2 with 422 points in the postseason poll after sitting atop the rankings for eight-consecutive weeks. The Cougars placed senior Lauren Jimison, junior Poppy Lawman and sophomore Melissa Telon on the NAIA All-American list. Jimison's runner-up individual finish, with a time of 17:24, paced Azusa Pacific, who ended up with 92 points.
The rest of the top 18 also mirrors the final team results at the National Championship. British Columbia jumped up one spot to No. 3 with 408 points. Northwest Christian (Ore.), ranked ninth in the final poll, is climbs to No. 4 with 394 points. No. 5 Friends (Kan.) rounds out the top five with 380 points.
No. 9 Roberts Wesleyan vaulted 10 spots after a ninth-place team finish in Vancouver. Sarah Krolick's placed 44th with a time of 18:47 to lead the Raiders. No. 15 Milligan (Tenn.) tied Roberts Wesleyan for the largest leap within the Top 25, as it also rose 10 slots. The Buffaloes got a 19th-place finish from Gillian Giffen, who clocked in at 18:14. Meanwhile, the biggest drop was experienced by No. 17 Concordia (Neb.), who fell six places.
Just one school is new to the postseason poll. No. 24 Grand View (Iowa) enters the rankings for the first time in program history after concluding the National Championship 25th as a team. The Vikings' Obsie Birru captured the individual title with a time of 17:15, becoming the first runner from Grand View to ever accomplish the feat.
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. 10 The Master's (Calif.), No. 12 Biola (Calif.) and No. 14 Westmont (Calif.). Hailing from the CCC are Northwest Christian, No. 7 College of Idaho, No. 8 Concordia (Ore.) and No. 23 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 33 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 matched 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 member Simon Fraser (B.C.) tops the list with 40 No. 1 appearances ... Cal State San Marcos joins Simon Fraser as the only teams to start the season ranked No. 1 and go on to win the national championship ... Simon Fraser accomplished this 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. 11 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) is the only school that has made 100 or more consecutive appearances in the Top 25 with 103, dating back to Sept. 21, 2001 ... Azusa Pacific is a distant second with 83 straight, dating back to Oct. 3, 2003.
|RANK||LAST TIME||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||2||Cal State San Marcos (16)||436|
|2||1||Azusa Pacific (Calif.)||422|
|4||9||Northwest Christian (Ore.)||394|
|6||6||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||366|
|7||3||College of Idaho||352|
|9||19||Roberts Wesleyan (N.Y.)||324|
|10||13||The Master's (Calif.)||310|
|11||16||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||296|
|16||20||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||226|
|20||17||Shawnee State (Ohio)||161|
|24||RV||Grand View (Iowa)||99|
|25||21||Spring Arbor (Mich.)||94|
Others receiving votes: Shorter (Ga.) 69; Southern Oregon 61; Dordt (Iowa) 45; Lee (Tenn.) 34; Huntington (Ind.) 25; Central Methodist (Mo.) 25; Brescia (Ky.) 16; SCAD Savannah (Ga.) 15; York (Neb.) 13; St. Francis (Ill.) 12; Vanguard (Calif.) 10; Taylor (Ind.) 9; Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 8; Viterbo (Wis.) 8; Cumberlands (Ky.) 1; Trinity Christian (Ill.) 1; Southwestern (Kan.) 1. ^ Rank in final regular-season Coaches' Top 25 Poll on Nov. 6