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NAIA Women’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 7

October 24, 2012
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By Travis Rae, Communications and Sports Information Intern

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Cal State San Marcos continues to hold down the No. 1 ranking in the 2012 NAIA Women's Cross Country Coaches' Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Wednesday. The Cougars tallied 22-of-23 first place votes and 653 points to earn the No. 1 ranking for the fourth-straight week.

Cal State San Marcos won the Cougar Challenge (Calif.) and were led by Kelly Thompson, Chelsey Cortez and Ayded Reyes, as they were the top three finishers in the race. The Cougars are off until they host the Association of Independent Institutions Conference Championship on Nov. 3.

Remaining at No. 2 is British Columbia with 628 points. College of Idaho collected the last first-place votes and tallied 604 points to stay at third. No. 4 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) collected 604 points, while No. 5 Biola (Calif.) rounds out the top five with 569 points.

Huntington (Ind.) made the biggest leap in the poll as it jumped nine sports, from No. 24 to No. 15. The Foresters placed third in the NAIA Great Lakes Challenge hosted by Aquinas (Mich.), defeating four teams who were ranked in front of them last week (then-No. 12 Aquinas, then-No. 17 St. Francis (Ill.), then-No. 20 Illinois Tech and then-No. 25 Taylor (Ind.)). Gretchen Spahr led the way for the Foresters with an 18th- place finish.

Northwest (Wash.) and SCAD Savannah (Ga.) join the Top 25 this week as the Eagle's and Bees are tied at No. 24. Northwest, who was idle last weekend, return to the Coaches' Poll for the first time since the preseason poll. SCAD Savannah makes its first appearance in the Top 25 since Aug. 24, 2006. Last weekend the Bees took third out of 16 teams in the Sand Shark Invitational (S.C.). SCAD Savannah was led by Hannah Lieberman and Melanie Novack, who finished second and third.

Falling from the poll is Doane (Neb.) (No. 18) and Illinois Tech (No. 20).

Eleven conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups are represented throughout the Top 25, led by the Cascade Collegiate Conference and Golden State Athletic Conference with four ranked teams each. The Frontier Conference follows with three ranked teams.

The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups. The final regular-season poll will be released on Nov. 4.

Notes: (All information dates back to 1999) In 2011 Cal State San Marcos joined former member Simon Fraser (B.C.) 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 and Cal State San Marcos accomplished this in 2011 ... 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 (Wash.) ... No. 12 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) is the only school that has made 100-or-more consecutive appearances in the Top 25 with 112, dating back to Sept. 21, 2001... Former NAIA Member Simon Fraser has the most No. 1 rankings with 40... SCAD Savannah (Ga.) returns to the poll for the first time since Aug. 24, 2006...Cal State San Marcos has either been ranked No. 1 or 2 in the polls since Sept. 22, 2010... 34 teams have been ranked in the Top 25 this season.

2012 NAIA Women's Cross Country Coaches' Top 25 Poll - No. 7

RANK LAST WEEK SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES) TOTAL POINTS
1 1 Cal State San Marcos (22) 653
2 2 British Columbia 628
3 3 College of Idaho (3) 604
4 4 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) 599
5 5 Biola (Calif.) 569
6 6 Carroll (Mont.) 547
7 7 Northwest Christian (Ore.) 522
8 8 Westmont (Calif.) 501
9 9 Cornerstone (Mich.) 484
10 11 Oklahoma Baptist 472
11 10 Dordt (Iowa) 440
12 13 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 407
13 14 The Master’s (Calif.) 394
14 15 Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 361
15 24 Huntington (Ind.) 346
16 16 Concordia (Calif.) 337
17 22 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) 319
18 17 St. Francis (Ill.) 296
19 19 Milligan (Tenn.) 279
20 23 Concordia (Neb.) 275
21 12 Aquinas (Mich.) 243
22 21 Eastern Oregon 207
23 25 Taylor (Ind.) 174
24 RV Northwest (Wash.) 131
24 NR SCAD Savannah (Ga.) 131

Others receiving votes: Saint Xavier (Ill.) 130; Indiana Wesleyan 107; Southern Oregon 52; Central Methodist (Mo.) 41; Shawnee State (Ohio) 41; Doane (Neb.) 37; Rogers State (Okla.) 23; Spring Arbor (Mich.) 19; Xavier (La.) 18; Park (Mo.) 15; Baker (Kan.) 10; Lee (Tenn) 6.