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2016 Women's Cross Country Coaches' Preseason Top 25 Poll

August 24, 2016
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By Nikki Sherrill, Communications & Sports Information Intern 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Defending national champion Northwest Christian (Ore.) has once again recieved the most votes to start the season for women's cross country. With 20 first place votes and 560 total points, the Beacons are ranked No. 1 for the second-straight time in the preseason.Last year, Northwest Christian won its first national championship in school history in Charlotte, N.C.

Top 25 highlights (historical information dates back to 1999):
• For the seventh straight poll, Northwest Christian (Ore.) is the No. 1 team. Last season, the Beacons were rated No.1 in preseason and ranked No. 2 for the next three weeks before claiming the top spot again to end the season.   
• No. 23 SCAD Savannah (Ga.) and No. 24 Dalton State (Ga.) are the two newcomers in this week’s installment.
The lone newcomer in this week’s poll is No. 19 SCAD Atlanta (Ga.) who received 231 total points. In 2015, SCAD Atlanta reached the poll once as they came in at No. 25 in the final rankings.
• Oregon Tech is up seven spots from No. 19 to No. 12, which highlighted the positive movement in the poll.
• Carroll (Mont.) and Benedictine (Kan.) both made movements backwards four spots with Carroll dropping from No. 5 to No. 9, and Benedictine moving from No. 20 to No. 24.
• Thirteen of the 21 conference/Association of Independent Institutions are represented. 
• The Cascade Collegiate Conference leads all leagues with four teams represented – No. 1 Northwest Christian, No. 6 College of Idaho, No. 12 Oregon Tech and No. 15 Southern Oregon. 
• Fourteen of the 21 conference/Association of Independent Institutions are represented.
• The Cascade Collegiate Conference leads all leagues with four teams represented – Northwest Christian, No. 8 College of Idaho, No. 14 Southern Oregon and No. 19 Oregon Tech.
• The Golden State Athletic Conference, Great Plains Athletic Conference and Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference all have three teams. 
• Former NAIA-member Simon Fraser (B.C.) has the most all-time No. 1 rankings with 40.  
• Only three teams have gone the entire season ranked No. 1 – British Columbia (2013), former NAIA-member Simon Fraser (2005, 2006 and 2007) and Northwest (Wash.) (2003).
• No. 16 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) makes its 145th-consecutive appearance in the Top 25, the longest active streak in the NAIA dating back to Sept. 21, 2001.
• Two teams have held the No. 1 ranking in 2015 – British Columbia (three weeks) and Northwest Christian (six weeks).

Poll Methodology:
• The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and the Association of Independent Institutions.
• The Top 25 is determined by a points system based on how each voter ranks the best teams. A team receives 30 points for each first-place vote, 29 for second-place and so on through the list.
• The highest and lowest ranking for each team (a non-rating is considered a low ratings) is removed and the team’s ranking will be recalculated with an additional point added to each team for every ballot (including discounted ballots) that the teams appears on.
• Teams that receive only one point in the ballot are not considered “receiving votes”
• The frequency of polls occur bi-weekly for the 2016 season.
• For the complete Top 25 calendar, click here.


2016 Women’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – Preseason (Aug. 24)

RANK LAST SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES) FINAL POINTS
1 1 Northwest Christian (Ore.) (20) 560
2 3 Biola (Calif.) 538
3 4 Aquinas (Mich.) 528
4 6 Oklahoma City 476
5 7 The Master's (Calif.) 472
6 8 College of Idaho 471
7 9 Dordt (Iowa) 445
8 11 Taylor (Ind.) 433
9 5 Carroll (Mont.) 402
10 15 Milligan (Tenn.) 387
11 10 Westmont (Calif.) 370
12 19 Oregon Tech 359
13 12 Shawnee State (Ohio) 350
14 13 Indiana Wesleyan 348
15 14 Southern Oregon 302
16 16 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 296
17 17 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) 262
18 1 St. Francis (Ill.) 238
19 RV SCAD Atlanta (Ga.) 231
20 21 Hastings (Neb.) 217
21 22 Saint Xavier (Ill.) 192
22 23 SCAD Savannah (Ga.) 168
23 25 Morningside (Iowa) 134
24 20 Benedictine (Kan.) 125
25 24 Dalton State (Ga.) 123

Dropped from the Top 25: British Columbia (NR)

Others receiving votes: Tennessee Wesleyan 109; Wayland Baptist (Texas) 93; Marian (Ind.) 72; Doane (Neb.) 71; Madonna (Mich.) 61; Corban (Ore.) 34; Siena Heights (Mich.) 17; Southeastern (Fla.) 15; St. Ambrose (Iowa) 6; Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) 6; Great Falls (Mont.) 4; MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) 3; Cornerstone (Mich.) 3.