By: Sam Knehans, Communications & Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — British Columbia, which has held the No. 1 position throughout the 2013 season, remains atop the rankings in the final regular-season NAIA Women’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 poll, the national office announced Sunday. British Columbia’s 11th-straight selection—with 22 first-place votes and 622 total points—moves the defending national champion Thunderbirds into fifth place all-time in No. 1 rankings (13).
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, won the Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) Meet on Saturday, Nov. 9, to claim an automatic berth to the NAIA National Championships. Each of the Thunderbirds scoring five finished among the top 10 for a combined 5-kilometer time of 1:28:26. A.I.I. individual titlist Maria Bernard led the Thunderbirds, covering the 5k course in 17:10.
College of Idaho accumulated 601 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, secured an automatic bid to the NAIA National Championships by winning the Cascade Collegiate Conference Meet on Nov. 9 with a combined 5k time of 1:33:22. Holt led the way, covering the course in 17:53 to clinch the individual title, and saw three of her teammates finish second, third and fourth.
After winning the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) Meet on Nov. 9, Biola (Calif.) compiled 583 points to claim the No. 3 spot. The Eagles bested the eight-team field, covering the 5k course in a combined 1:29:57. Biola sophomore Kellian Hunt brought home the individual title with a 5k time of 17:27.
No. 4 Taylor (Ind.), with 540 points, and No. 5 Cal State San Marcos, with 534 points, round out the top five. Taylor won the Crossroads League Meet on Nov. 9 with a combined 5k time of 1:34:45, claiming an automatic berth to the NAIA National Championships. Each of the Trojans’ scoring five finished among the top 10 individuals. Cal State San Marcos finished second, with a combined 5k time of 1:29:59, at the A.I.I. Meet on Nov. 9, placing behind No. 1 British Columbia. Four of the Cougars runners were among the top 10 individual finishers.
There were no newcomers to the Top 25 this week.
Within the poll, No. 14 Cornerstone (Mich.) made the largest jump, moving up seven spots, while Indiana Tech fell seven positions, landing at No. 20. The shifts come after Cornerstone bested Indiana Tech for the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Meet title on Nov. 9.
Thirteen conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups are represented in the final 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.
The complete NAIA Women’s Cross Country National Championships field will be announced on Monday, Nov. 11.
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. 5 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. 11 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) has been ranked among the Top 25 in 123 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 – Final (Nov. 10)
|RANK||LAST TIME^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||British Columbia (22)||622|
|2||2||College of Idaho||601|
|5||6||Cal State San Marcos||534|
|7||7||The Master's (Calif.)||517|
|8||8||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||482|
|9||9||Northwest Christian (Ore.)||453|
|11||11||St. Francis (Ill.)||418|
|11||12||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||418|
|15||16||Shawnee State (Ohio)||320|
|23||18||Rocky Mountain (Mont.)||204|
|24||23||SCAD Savannah (Ga.)||161|
Others Receiving Votes: Southern Oregon 115; Aquinas (Mich.) 113; Wayland Baptist (Texas) 51; Huntington (Ind.) 41; St. Ambrose (Iowa) 37; Embry-Riddle (Fla.) 29; Cumberlands (Ky.) 13; Jamestown (N.D.) 8; Central Methodist (Mo.) 7; Brenau (Ga.) 4; Blue Mountain (Miss.) 3.
^ 2013 NAIA Women’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 7