By: Sam Knehans, Communications & Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — British Columbia remains atop the rankings for a program-record eighth-straight time in the NAIA Women’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 poll, the national office announced Wednesday. British Columbia’s selection—with all 22 first-place votes and 622 total points—gives the defending national champion Thunderbirds five-consecutive unanimous No. 1 rankings.
Prior to its current streak, British Columbia had been ranked No. 1 on just two occasions—both during the 2012 season. The Thunderbirds, who return four of their top five runners from last year’s national championship squad, rested three of their top five at the 40th Annual Western Washington University Cross Country Classic and finished fifth among a 10-team field made up of primarily NCAA Division II programs. No other NAIA institutions participated in the meet.
College of Idaho accumulated 602 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, have been idle since finishing fourth at the Rim Rock Collegiate Classic, hosted by NCAA Division I Kansas, on Oct. 5 in Lawrence, Kan. College of Idaho ran a combined 6-kilometer time of 1:52:04, placing behind NCAA Division I programs Michigan, Kansas and Kansas State. Holt placed fifth, with a time of 21:05.95, behind four runners from then-No. 16 Michigan.
Cal State San Marcos compiled 580 total points to claim the No. 3 spot. The Cougars have been idle since outpacing the 12-team field at the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational on Oct. 5 in Claremont, Calif. Cal State San Marcos ran a combined 6-kilometer time of 1:53:06 to secure the victory over NCAA Division III Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (Calif.), NCAA Division II Cal Poly Pomona and No. 13 Westmont (Calif.). Ayed Reyes brought home the individual title with a time of 22:05.70.
No. 4 Biola (Calif.), with 559 points, and No. 5 St. Francis (Ill.), with 539 points, round out the top five. Biola won the 24th Annual Vanguard Invitational in Costa Mesa, Calif., on Oct. 12. The Eagles ran a combined 5-kilometer time of 1:30:05 and had a pack of four runners place among the top 10 with times ranging from 17:45.59 to 18:02.18. St. Francis’ varsity has been idle since finishing sixth among non-NCAA Division I programs at the Greater Louisville Classic, hosted by the Louisville Sports Commission, on Oct. 5. The Saints ran a combined 5-kilometer time of 1:34:18, placing behind Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) No. 1 Guelph (Ontario) and No. 3 Western Ontario, NCAA Division II No. 9 Edinboro (Pa.) and No. 11 Southern Indiana and NCAA Division III Washington (Mo.).
Riding a second place finish at the NAIA Preview Meet in Lawrence, Kan., on Oct. 12, No. 10 Taylor (Ind.) was the lone newcomer to this week’s top 10. The Trojans were one of three teams to have multiple runners place among the top 10 individuals along with Preview Meet Champion No. 9 Dordt (Iowa) and No. 15 Shawnee State (Ohio).
No. 24 SCAD Savannah (Ga.) and No. 25 Baker (Kan.) were the newcomers to the Top 25 this week, after each receiving votes in every previous regular-season poll. This is the first Top 25 mention for Baker since Sept. 13, 2002 when the Wildcats were ranked No. 23.
Indiana Wesleyan and Columbia (Mo.) fell out of the Top 25.
Within the poll, No. 15 Shawnee State made the largest jump after finishing fifth at the NAIA Preview Meet, moving up nine spots, while Cornerstone (Mich.) fell five positions, landing at No. 21 after an eighth place finish at the same meet.
Thirteen conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups are represented in the fifth regular-season Top 25, led by the Cascade Collegiate Conference, Golden State Athletic Conference, Frontier Conference and Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference, with each boasting 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. 14 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) has been ranked among the Top 25 in 120 consecutive polls, dating back to Sept. 21, 2001... During that streak Lewis-Clark State has never been ranked among the top five teams… This season, Texas Wesleyan and Columbia (Mo.) each earned its first Top 25 ranking… 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. 5 (Oct. 16)
|RANK||LAST TIME^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||British Columbia (22)||622|
|2||2||College of Idaho||602|
|3||3||Cal State San Marcos||580|
|5||5||St. Francis (Ill.)||539|
|6||6||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||512|
|7||7||The Master's (Calif.)||489|
|8||8||Northwest Christian (Ore.)||484|
|14||10||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||368|
|15||24||Shawnee State (Ohio)||338|
|18||17||Rocky Mountain (Mont.)||275|
|24||RV||SCAD Savannah (Ga.)||150|
Others Receiving Votes: St. Ambrose (Iowa) 96; Huntington (Ind.) 88; Central Methodist (Mo.) 76; Corban (Ore.) 48; Cumberlands (Ky.) 33; Indiana Wesleyan 29; Eastern Oregon 14; Wayland Baptist 14; Emmanuel (Ga.) 10; Concordia (Calif.) 9; Judson (Ill.) 9.
^ 2013 NAIA Women’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 4