KANSAS CITY, Mo. - For the second-straight year, Southern Oregon has earned the top spot in the NAIA Men's Cross Country Coaches' Top 25 Preseason Poll. The Raiders, a third-place finisher at the 2011 NAIA Cross Country National Championships, received eight of 18 first-place votes and 486 points to garner the No. 1 ranking.
Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) received three first-place votes and 475 points earning the Warriors the No. 2 position in the polls. Following Lewis-Clark State is No. 3 Wayland Baptist (Texas), who garnered three first-place votes and 472 points. Collecting the last four first-place votes was 2011 National Runner-up Cal State San Marcos for the No. 4 spot. Rounding out the top five is Oklahoma Baptist who collected 420 points.
Six teams who were not in the 2011 Men's Cross Country Coaches' Top 25 Postseason Poll, No. 14 Morningside (Iowa), No. 16 Spring Arbor (Mich.), No. 19 Concordia (Neb.), No. 20 Cornerstone (Mich.), No. 21 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) and No. 23 Cumberlands (Ky.) all start the 2012 season ranked in the Top 25. Making the biggest jump was Spring Arbor, who ended last season not receiving votes and jumped to No. 16.
Fifteen conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups are represented throughout the Top 25, led by the The Cascade Collegiate Conference (CCC) and the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) lead all conferences with three teams each. Representing the CCC are No. 1 Southern Oregon, No. 11 Eastern Oregon and No. 15 College of Idaho. Hailing from the GSAC are No. 6 The Master's (Calif.), No. 12 Westmont (Calif.) and No. 18 Biola (Calif.).
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups. The first regular-season Top 25 poll will be announced on Sept. 12.
Notes: (All information dates back to 1999) Six different programs have garnered the preseason No. 1-ranking, led by former NAIA member Malone (Ohio), who earned five preseason No. 1-rankings ... 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 ... Southern Oregon tops the Coaches' Top 25 Preseason Poll for the second straight season ... 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 ... The top four teams in the 2012 Preseason Poll all received at least three first place votes...Southern Oregon has been ranked No. 1 12 times which rankes them four all-time
2012 NAIA Men's Cross Country Coaches Top 25 Preseason Poll
|RANK||LAST WEEK^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||FINAL POINTS|
|1||3||Southern Oregon (8)||486|
|2||4||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) (3)||475|
|3||5||Wayland Baptist (Texas) (3)||472|
|4||2||Cal State San Marcos (4)||445|
|6||9||The Master’s (Calif.)||412|
|7||8||Shawnee State (Ohio)||409|
|9||12||St. Francis (Ill.)||357|
|15||21||College of Idaho||239|
|16||NR||Spring Arbor (Mich.)||226|
|24||19||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||126|
Others receiving votes: Dordt (Iowa) 87; Siena Heights (Mich.) 80; Dickinson State (N.D.) 72; Indiana Wesleyan 71; Milligan (Tenn.) 48; Berea (Ky.) 34; Emmanuel (Ga.) 32; Carroll (Mont.) 29; Vanguard (Calif.) 17; Mount Mercy (Iowa) 17; Lee (Tenn.) 10; Saint Xavier (Ill.) 7; Goshen (Ind.) 4; SCAD Savannah (Ga.) 4. ^ 2011 NAIA Men's Cross Country Coaches' Top 25 Postseason Poll