By Mike DeVader, Communications and Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – By earning 620 points and 19-of-22 first-place votes, defending national champion Oklahoma City finds itself atop the fifth regular-season edition of the NAIA Men’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the NAIA national office announced Wednesday.
It is the seventh time in as many editions the Stars hold the top spot – dating back to the 2013 postseason rankings – and also the seventh No. 1 ranking in program history.
The top-ranked squad continues to be paced by NAIA All-American Peter Koskey, a junior from Keringet, Kenya. He has collected the Sooner Athletic Conference’s (SAC) Men's Cross Country Runner of the Week three times this season, and led the Stars to a first-place finish in the Chile Pepper Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark., on Oct. 4. He finished the 429-runner, 8-kilomerter race in 17th-place, with a time of 24:34. The event was hosted by NCAA Division I Arkansas.
Oklahoma City now turns its sights to a trip to Winfield, Kan., and the NAIA Mid-States Classic on Oct. 25.
Southern Oregon is No. 2. This marks the 36th-straight week the Raiders are ranked in the top-2 of the poll, dating back to Aug. 22, 2012. With 602 points and two first-place votes, the squad continues to dominate the competition. In the - San Francisco State Invitational in San Francisco, Calif., on Oct. 10, the Raiders ran away with the title, accounting for six of the top-seven scorers and nine of the top-15 overall.
In the 172-person, 8K race, Jared Hixon – named Cascade Collegiate Conference (CCC) Red Lion Men's Runner of the Week on Oct. 13 – finished third with a time of 25:04. His third-place finish was the first of six-straight spots that belonged to Raider runners.
The 2013 national runner-up awaits the Oregon State Beaver Classic on Oct. 24 in Corvallis, Ore.
The rest of the top five mirrors the Oct. 8 Coaches’ Poll, as Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) scooped up 569 points and the final first-place vote, standing pat in third. At No. 4 is Embry-Riddle (Fla.) with 560 points and St. Francis (Ill.) is the fifth-ranked squad with 530 points.
No. 13 Taylor (Ind.) is the biggest riser within the poll this week, jumping from No. 22, while No. 20 Shawnee State (Ohio) fell seven spots from No. 13. No. 17 Goshen (Ind.) joins No. 24 Marian (Ind.) and No. 25 Oklahoma Baptist as newcomers in the Top 25.
Twelve conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups are represented in the poll, led by five schools from the CCC: Southern Oregon, No. 11 Eastern Oregon, No. 14 College of Idaho, No. 18 Oregon Tech and No. 22 Northwest Christian (Ore.). The Crossroads League is second with four teams ranked.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 sixth regular season Top 25 poll will be revealed Oct. 22.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 1999) Oklahoma City claims its seventh top spot – and seventh in-a-row – in school history… 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 141-consecutive polls, dating back to Aug. 22, 2000… Following Aquinas are Cal State San Marcos with 66 and Southern Oregon with 64… 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. 5 (Oct. 15)
|RANK||LAST^||SCHOOL (1st PLACE VOTES)||FINAL POINTS|
|1||1||Oklahoma City (19)||620|
|2||2||Southern Oregon (2)||602|
|3||3||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) (1)||569|
|5||5||St. Francis (Ill.)||530|
|9||10||Cal State San Marcos||458|
|14||17||College of Idaho||363|
|15||16||Saint Mary (Kan.)||326|
|20||13||Shawnee State (Ohio)||245|
|21||21||The Master's (Calif.)||223|
|23||24||Northwest Christian (Ore.)||190|
Others Receiving Votes: Dordt (Iowa) 105; Concordia (Ore.) 86; Westmont (Calif.) 76; SCAD Savannah (Ga.) 54; Concordia (Neb.) 46; Milligan (Tenn.) 42; Arizona Christian 19; Wayland Baptist (Texas) 14; St. Ambrose (Iowa) 7; Doane (Neb.) 7; William Carey (Miss.) 3.
^ 2014 NAIA Men’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 4 (Oct. 8)