By: Sam Knehans, Communications & Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — British Columbia remains atop the rankings for a program-record tenth-straight time in the NAIA Women’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 poll, the national office announced Wednesday. British Columbia’s selection—with 22 first-place votes and 653 total points—moves the defending national champion Thunderbirds into a tie for fifth all-time in No. 1 rankings (12) with Cal State San Marcos.
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, have been idle since outpacing the four-team non-NCAA Division I field at the Bronco Invitational, hosted by Santa Clara (Calif.) on Oct. 19 in Sunnyvale, Calif. At the invitational, four Thunderbirds finished among the top 10 individuals from non-Division I programs and the team’s average 6-kilometer time of 21:08.5 would have placed fourth in the NCAA Division I field behind Loyola Marymount (Calif.), UC Santa Barbara, and Oregon State.
College of Idaho accumulated 632 total points and one first-place vote 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 winning the Inland Empire Championships, hosted by Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) on Oct. 19 in Lewiston, Idaho. At the championships, the Yotes bested the nine-team field with a combined 5-kilometer time of 1:27:35. Holt brought home the individual title with a time of 16:42 and saw four of her teammates also finish among the top 15.
Biola (Calif.) compiled 604 points to claim the No. 3 spot, after winning the NAIA West Coast Jamboree on its home course in Orange, Calif., on Oct. 26. The Eagles outpaced the 14-team field with a combined 5-kilometer time of 1:31:40, as each of the team’s scoring five finished among the top 15 individuals. Biola bested several other ranked teams in the jamboree including: No. 6 Cal State San Marcos, No. 7 The Master’s (Calif.) and No. 16 Westmont (Calif.).
Taylor (Ind.), with 569 points, and Dordt (Iowa), with 542 points, round out the top five. Taylor won the NAIA Great Lakes Challenge, hosted by Aquinas (Mich.) on Oct. 26 in Grand Rapids, Mich. The Trojans bested the 33-team field, covering the 5-kilometer course in a combined 1:32:50. Taylor was one of two teams, along with No. 11 St. Francis (Ill.), to have multiple top 10 finishers. The Trojans beat No. 8 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.), St. Francis, No. 13 Indiana Tech, No. 15 Texas Wesleyan, No. 16 Shawnee State (Ohio), No. 21 Cornerstone (Mich.) and No. 25 Indiana Wesleyan to claim the team title.
Dordt brought home the team title from the Mount Marty (S.D.) Invite on Oct. 26 in Yankton, S.D. The Defenders bested a 12-team field with a combined 5-kilometer time of 1:34:15. Dordt’s top five runners all finished among the top 10, with the top seven finishing among the top 15.
No. 20 Oklahoma City and No. 25 Indiana Wesleyan were this week’s newcomers to the Top 25. Oklahoma City makes its first Top 25 appearance, dating back to 1999, while Indiana Wesleyan returns to the poll after a two-week hiatus.
Southern Oregon and Aquinas (Mich.) fell out of the Top 25. Both had been ranked in every previous poll of the 2013 season, with Aquinas having been ranked in 57-straight polls dating back to Sept. 9, 2008.
Within the poll, No. 13 Indiana Tech made the largest jump, moving up 10 spots, while St. Francis (Ill.) fell six positions, landing at No. 11.
Thirteen conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups are represented in the seventh regular-season Top 25, led by the Frontier Conference, Golden State Athletic Conference and Sooner 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. 6 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. 12 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) has been ranked among the Top 25 in 122 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, Columbia (Mo.), Oklahoma City and Texas Wesleyan 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. 7 (Oct. 30)
|RANK||LAST TIME^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||British Columbia (22)||653|
|2||2||College of Idaho (1)||632|
|6||3||Cal State San Marcos||536|
|7||7||The Master's (Calif.)||535|
|8||6||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||524|
|9||8||Northwest Christian (Ore.)||496|
|11||5||St. Francis (Ill.)||455|
|12||13||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||419|
|16||16||Shawnee State (Ohio)||310|
|18||18||Rocky Mountain (Mont.)||291|
|23||24||SCAD Savannah (Ga.)||189|
Others Receiving Votes: Southern Oregon 164; Aquinas (Mich.) 106; Wayland Baptist (Texas) 61; Huntington (Ind.) 43; Central Methodist (Mo.) 41; St. Ambrose (Iowa) 15; Judson (Ill.) 13; Corban (Ore.) 13; Embry-Riddle (Fla.) 12; Georgetown (Ky.) 5; Concordia (Calif.) 4; Blue Mountain (Miss.) 4.
^ 2013 NAIA Women’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 6