By Mike DeVader, Communications and Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Defending national champion Oklahoma City earned its fifth No. 1 ranking in program history in the third regular-season NAIA Men’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the NAIA national office announced Wednesday.
The Stars racked up 622 points and 21 first-place votes on their way to being the top-ranked team for the fifth-consecutive week – a position the school has held tight since the 2013 postseason rankings.
Carrying the torch for the Stars has been NAIA All-American Peter Koskey, a junior from Keringet, Kenya. He was named Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC) Men's Cross Country Runner of the Week on Sept. 22 after finishing second out of a field of 154 runners at the NCAA Division II Missouri Southern Stampede on Sept. 20 in Joplin, Mo. Koskey finished the 8-kilometer race with a time of 24:49.
Oklahoma City has had some time off to prepare for the Chile Pepper Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark. on Oct. 4, which is hosted by the NCAA Division I Arkansas.
Southern Oregon – the 2013 national runner-up – stands pat at No. 2. The Raiders achieved 596 points and extend their streak of being ranked in the top-2 to 34-consecutive weeks, dating back to Aug. 22, 2012. The team is fresh off a dominating performance in the Cascade Collegiate Conference Preview on Sept. 19 in Portland, Ore., where Southern Oregon placed all five scorers among the top-10 finishers. Jared Hixon led the Raider attack by finishing runner-up at the 8K course. He finished in 25:14.
Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) (584) remains in third and boasts the last first-place vote. At No. 4 is St. Francis (Ill.) (558) and British Columbia (548) round out the top five.
The top-12 teams remained in a stand-still from the Sept. 24 Coaches’ Poll, as the first movement in the rankings came from No. 13 Indiana Wesleyan who jumped up two spots from No. 15. Wayland Baptist (Texas) was the biggest mover in the poll, hurdling three spots from No. 24 to No. 21.
Morningside (Iowa) fell two positions to No. 16, while No. 23 Northwestern (Iowa) and No. 25 Concordia (Ore.) find themselves in the Top 25.
Thirteen conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups are represented in the poll, led by five schools from the Cascade Collegiate Conference: Southern Oregon, No. 12 Eastern Oregon, No. 15 Northwest Christian (Ore.), No. 18 College of Idaho and Concordia. Eight conferences are tied for second with two schools each in the rankings.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of coaches representing each of the conferences, independents and unaffiliated groups. For the entire 2014 Coaches’ Top 25 Poll schedule, click here. The fourth regular season Top 25 poll will be Oct. 8.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 1999) Today’s ranking is the fifth-straight and fifth No. 1 ranking in Oklahoma City history… Dating back to Aug. 22, 2012, Southern Oregon been ranked in the top-two in 34-consecutive polls… Since 1999, only one program has been ranked No. 1 for an entire season: former member Malone (Ohio) in 2007 and 08… No. 6 Aquinas (Mich.) has been ranked among the Top 25 in an NAIA-best 139-consecutive polls, dating back to Aug. 22, 2000… Following Aquinas are Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) with 86, Cal State San Marcos with 64 and Southern Oregon with 62… Malone has the most No. 1 rankings with 38… Following Malone are Southern Oregon with 21, Life (Ga.) with 18 and Virginia Intermont with 15… Overall, 17 different programs have claimed the No. 1 spot in the poll… Oklahoma City looks to become the second program in NAIA men’s cross country history to run the table being ranked No. 1 since Malone in 2008.
2014 NAIA Men’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 3 (Oct. 1)
|RANK||LAST^||SCHOOL (1st PLACE VOTES)||FINAL POINTS|
|1||1||Oklahoma City (21)||622|
|3||3||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) (1)||584|
|4||4||St. Francis (Ill.)||558|
|7||7||Shawnee State (Ohio)||485|
|9||9||Cal State San Marcos||462|
|11||11||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||420|
|14||13||The Master's (Calif.)||378|
|15||16||Northwest Christian (Ore.)||322|
|17||17||Saint Mary (Kan.)||312|
|18||18||College of Idaho||282|
|21||24||Wayland Baptist (Texas)||197|
Others Receiving Votes: Oklahoma Baptist 98; Baker (Kan.) 84; Dordt (Iowa) 65; Milligan (Tenn.) 52; Goshen (Ind.) 35; Columbia (Mo.) 33; SCAD Savannah (Ga.) 32; Arizona Christian 27; St. Ambrose (Iowa) 18; Missouri Valley 14; Concordia (Neb.) 11; Oregon Tech 10; Cornerstone (Mich.) 4.
^ 2014 NAIA Men’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 2 (Sept. 24)