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2012 NAIA Men’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 6

October 17, 2012
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By Travis Rae, Communications and Sports Information Intern

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - For the seventh-consecutive week, Southern Oregon has earned the No. 1 ranking in the 2012 NAIA Men's Cross Country Coaches' Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Wednesday. The Raiders received 15-of-21 first-place votes and tallied 579 points to earn the top spot.

Last week, Southern Oregon was paced by Eric Avila as he finished first in the Cascade Collegiate Conference Preview and led the Raiders to a first-place team finish.

British Columbia jumps to No. 2 this week. The Thunderbirds collected four first-place votes and earned 566 points. The Thunderbirds three spot jump as tied for the biggest jump in the poll. British Columbia finished ninth at the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational (Calif.) on Oct. 13.

Holding steady at No. 3 is St. Francis (Ill.), as it collected the last two first-place votes and 548 points. Sliding from No. 2, Cal State San Marcos comes in at No. 4, as it notched 540 points. Rounding out the top five is Oklahoma Baptist with 522 points.

Making a three spot jump this week is Cornerstone (Mich.), from No. 23 to No. 20. Cornerstone, who was idle last weekend, return to action Oct. 20 in the NAIA Great Lakes Challenge hosted by Aquinas (Mich.).

Four newcomers, No. 19 Northwest Christian (Ore.), No. 22 Dickinson State (N.D.), No. 23 Vanguard (Calif.) and No. 25 Berea (Ky.) join the Top 25 this week. Northwest Christian placed third in the Cascade Collegiate Conference Preview and returns to the poll after falling out last week. Dickinson State finished third in the 23rd Annual Yellowjacket Invitational (Mont.) and makes its first poll appearance since Oct. 21, 2008. Finishing sixth overall, Tyler Dutchover led Vanguard to a first-place team finish, and a return to the Top 25 appearance for the first time since Aug. 24, 2011, in the 23rd Annual Vanguard Invitational. Berea, who is makes the Top 25 for the first time since Sept. 13, 2002, took second place in the Wilmington Invitational (Ohio).

Concordia (Ore.) (No. 8), Westmont (Calif.) (No. 22), Cumberlands (Ky.) (No. 22) and Oregon Tech (No. 25) all fell out of the Top 25 this week.

Fourteen conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups are represented throughout the Top 25, led by the Cascade Collegiate Conference with four teams. Representing the Cascade are Southern Oregon, No. 11 College of Idaho, No. 12 Eastern Oregon, and Northwest Christian.

The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups. The seventh regular-season Top 25 poll will be announced on Oct. 24.

Notes: (All information dates back to 1999) Four teams have started the season ranked No. 1 and gone on to win the national championship: Former NAIA Member Malone (Ohio) - 2007, 08 and 09; Virginia Intermont - 2005 and 06; Former NAIA Member Minot State (N.D.) - 2002; Life (Ga.) - 1999 and 2000... 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... Southern Oregon has been ranked No. 1 17 times which ranks them third all-time...Malone has been ranked No. 1 the most with 38 selections... Aquinas (Mich.) has been ranked in the Top 25 for 122-consecutive weeks, dating back to Aug. 22, 2000... Dickinson State (N.D.) returns to the poll for the first time since Oct. 21, 2008...Berea (Ky.) first appearance in the poll since Sept. 13, 2002.

2012 NAIA Men's Cross Country Coaches Top 25 Poll - No. 6

RANK LAST WEEK SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES) FINAL POINTS
1 1 Southern Oregon (15) 579
2 5 British Columbia (4) 566
3 3 St. Francis (Ill.) (2) 548
4 2 Cal State San Marcos 540
5 4 Oklahoma Baptist 522
6 6 Shawnee State (Ohio) 477
6 7 Southwestern (Kan.) 477
8 10 The Master’s (Calif.) 455
9 9 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 448
10 11 Aquinas (Mich.) 424
11 12 College of Idaho 410
12 14 Eastern Oregon 361
13 15 Bryan (Tenn.) 355
14 13 Spring Arbor (Mich.) 347
15 17 Wayland Baptist (Texas) 313
16 16 Morningside (Iowa) 312
17 18 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) 265
18 20 Concordia (Neb.) 256
19 RV Northwest Christian (Ore.) 223
20 23 Cornerstone (Mich.) 194
21 19 Indiana Wesleyan 183
22 RV Dickinson State (N.D.) 157
23 RV Vanguard (Calif.) 141
24 24 Saint Mary (Kan.) 128
25 RV Berea (Ky.) 121

Others receiving votes: Cumberlands (Ky.) 106; Oregon Tech 106; Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) 74; Lubbock Christian (Texas) 65; Concordia (Ore.) 59; Baker (Kan.) 52; Westmont (Calif.) 39; Indiana Tech 34; Emmanuel (Ga.) 26; Dordt (Iowa) 17; Friends (Kan.) 9; Biola (Calif.) 8; Doane (Neb.) 6; St. Ambrose (Iowa) 5; Goshen (Ind.) 5; Saint Xavier (Ill.) 3; Park (Mo.) 3.