By: Sam Knehans, Communications & Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — British Columbia remains atop the rankings in the first regular-season NAIA Women’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 poll, the national office announced Wednesday. British Columbia’s selection—with 23 first place votes and 653 total points—gives the defending national champion Thunderbirds four-straight No. 1 rankings for the first time in school history.
British Columbia, which returns four of its top five runners, placed first in the Sundodger Invitational open division on Sept. 14, with a team 6-kilometer time of 1:48:41. The Thunderbirds bested the 17-team field, which included NCAA Division II teams Simon Fraser (B.C.) and Chico State (Calif.).
College of Idaho accumulated 631 total points en route to the No. 2 ranking. The Yotes, who return three runners that placed in the top 10 at the 2012 national championship including individual titlist Hillary Holt, outpaced NCAA Division I Idaho State in a dual meet on Sept. 7 to open the season.
Cal State San Marcos compiled 607 total points to claim the No. 3 spot. The Cougars won the UC Riverside (Calif.) Invitational open division on Sept. 14 with a team 5-kilometer time of 1:31:13. Four Cal State San Marcos runners finished among the top 10, securing the Cougars’ victory over a 20-team field that included NCAA Division II teams UC San Diego (Calif.) and Colorado Mesa.
No. 4 St. Francis (Ill.), with 561 points, and No. 5 Biola (Calif.), with 547 points, round out the top five.
There were five newcomers to the Top 25, four of whom received votes in the preseason poll. No. 19 Texas Wesleyan, No. 21 Embry-Riddle (Fla.), No. 22 Doane (Neb.) and No. 25 Indiana Wesleyan moved from the receiving votes category into the Top 25. No. 23 Indiana Tech went from unranked directly into the Top 25.
This is Texas Wesleyan’s first-ever Top 25 ranking, dating back to 1999, and is Indiana Tech’s first Top 25 mention since Aug. 26, 2009. All other newcomers were ranked in multiple polls last season.
Concordia (Ore.), SCAD Savannah (Ga.), Park (Mo.), Concordia (Calif.) and Huntington (Ind.) fell out of the Top 25. Concordia (Calif.) had been ranked in 10-straight polls, dating back to Sept. 12, 2012, and Huntington had been mentioned in 11-consecutive polls since being ranked in the 2012 Preseason rendition.
Within the poll, No. 8 Westmont (Calif.) made the largest jump, moving up eight spots, while former-No. 7 Aquinas (Mich.) fell 10 spots, landing at No. 17.
Twelve conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups are represented in the first regular-season Top 25, led by the Cascade Collegiate Conference, Golden State Athletic Conference, Frontier Conference and Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference, which each boast three ranked teams.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences, independents and unaffiliated groups. For the entire 2013 Coaches' Top 25 Poll schedule, click here.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 1999) No. 1 British Columbia is trying to become just the third school in NAIA history to begin the season ranked No. 1 and go on to win the national championship… Former-member Simon Fraser (B.C.) accomplished this in 2004, 05, 06 and 07 and No. 3 Cal State San Marcos did so in 2011… Since 1999, only two programs have been ranked No. 1 for an entire season: Simon Fraser in 2005, 06, and 07 and Northwest (Wash.) in 2003… No. 16 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) has been ranked among the Top 25 in 116 consecutive polls, dating back to Sept. 21, 2001... During that streak Lewis-Clark State has never been ranked among the top five teams… No. 19 Texas Wesleyan is ranked among the Top 25 for the first time, dating back to 1999… Former-member Simon Fraser has the most all-time No. 1 rankings with 40… Following Simon Fraser are former-members Azusa Pacific (Calif.) and Cedarville (Ohio) with 18 each… Overall, 11 different programs have claimed the No. 1 spot in the poll… Two teams held the No. 1 ranking in 2012: British Columbia and Cal State San Marcos.
2013 NAIA Women’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 1 (Sept. 18)
|RANK||LAST TIME^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||British Columbia (23)||653|
|2||2||College of Idaho||631|
|3||4||Cal State San Marcos||607|
|4||9||St. Francis (Ill.)||561|
|8||3||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||518|
|10||11||Rocky Mountain (Mont.)||469|
|11||13||Northwest Christian (Ore.)||423|
|13||10||The Master's (Calif.)||378|
|16||15||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||344|
|24||25||Shawnee State (Ohio)||180|
Others Receiving Votes: St. Ambrose (Iowa) 139; Columbia (Mo.) 126; Concordia (Ore.) 121; SCAD Savannah (Ga.) 60; Wayland Baptist (Texas) 53; Arizona Christian 41; Central Methodist (Mo.) 23; Cumberlands (Ky.) 19; Park (Mo.) 12; Judson (Ill.) 7; Marian (Ind.) 6; Concordia (Calif.) 5; Emmanuel (Ga.) 4; Baker (Kan.) 3; Oklahoma City 3.
^ 2013 NAIA Women’s Cross Country Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 Poll