By Mike DeVader, Communications and Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Defending national champion Oklahoma City remains the top-ranked team in the nation in the NAIA Men’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the NAIA national office announced Wednesday.
The Stars are in a familiar spot atop the ratings. The No.1 ranking is the eighth time in as many releases that Oklahoma City is the top-team, and it is also the eighth No. 1 ranking in program history – dating back to the 2013 postseason rankings
The top-ranked squad collected 621 points and 20-of-22 first-place votes while continuing to be led by NAIA All-American Peter Koskey. The junior from Keringet, Kenya, has collected the Sooner Athletic Conference’s (SAC) Men's Cross Country Runner of the Week three times this season, and directed the Stars to a first-place finish in its last event – the Chile Pepper Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark., on Oct. 4 – by posting a time of 24:34 in the 429-runner, 8-kilomerter race.
Oklahoma City is poised for a trip to Winfield, Kan., and the NAIA Mid-States Classic on Saturday.
Remaining at No. 2 is Southern Oregon with 602 points and one first-place vote. Dating back to Aug. 22, 2012, the Raiders have now been ranked in the top-two of the poll for 37-straight weeks.
The Raiders stormed to victory in the San Francisco State Invitational in San Francisco, Calif., on Oct. 10, accounting for six of the top-seven scorers and nine of the top-15 overall. Jared Hixon finished third with a time of 25:04. His third-place finish was the first of six-straight spots that belonged to Southern Oregon runners.
Next up for the squad is the Oregon State Beaver Classic on Friday in Corvallis, Ore.
The rest of the top five continues to follow suit from the Oct. 15 Coaches’ Poll, as No. 3 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) earned 574 points and the final first-place vote. Fourth-ranked Embry-Riddle (Fla.) grabbed 566 points and St. Francis (Ill.) is No. 5 with 534 points.
No. 13 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) made the biggest leap of any school, jumping into the poll after being unranked. No. 24 Oregon Tech fell from No. 19, the furthest of any program. Marian (Ind.) and Oklahoma Baptist fell out of the Top 25.
Eighteenth-ranked Carroll (Mont.) joins Lewis-Clark State as the other newcomer in the poll.
Twelve conferences/association of independent institutions/unaffiliated groups are represented in the poll, led by five schools from the Cascade Collegiate Conference: Southern Oregon, No. 9 Eastern Oregon, No. 16 College of Idaho, No. 21 Northwest Christian (Ore.) and Oregon Tech. The Crossroads League is second with three teams ranked.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of coaches representing each of the conferences, association of independent institutions and unaffiliated groups. For the entire 2014 Coaches’ Top 25 Poll schedule, click here. The seventh regular season Top 25 poll will be revealed Oct. 29.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 1999) The Stars earned their eighth No. 1 ranking in school history today. The top spot is also the eighth-consecutive for the program … 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 142-consecutive polls, dating back to Aug. 22, 2000… Following Aquinas are Cal State San Marcos with 67 and Southern Oregon with 65… 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. 6 (Oct. 22)
|RANK||LAST^||SCHOOL (1st PLACE VOTES)||FINAL POINTS|
|1||1||Oklahoma City (20)||621|
|2||2||Southern Oregon (1)||602|
|3||3||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) (1)||574|
|5||5||St. Francis (Ill.)||534|
|10||9||Cal State San Marcos||450|
|13||NR||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||381|
|15||21||The Master's (Calif.)||324|
|16||14||College of Idaho||314|
|17||15||Saint Mary (Kan.)||292|
|21||23||Northwest Christian (Ore.)||217|
|22||20||Shawnee State (Ohio)||206|
Others Receiving Votes: Marian (Ind.), 127; Oklahoma Baptist, 101; Concordia (Ore.), 71; Dordt (Iowa), 57; Westmont (Calif.), 46; SCAD Savannah (Ga.), 21; Milligan (Tenn.), 20; Concordia (Neb.), 16; William Carey (Miss.), 8; Wayland Baptist (Texas), 5; Arizona Christian, 4.
^ 2014 NAIA Men’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 5 (Oct. 15)