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2016 NAIA Women's Cross Country Top 25 Coaches' Poll - No. 1

September 14, 2016
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By Nikki Sherrill, Communications & Sports Information Intern 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – In the first regular season poll, Northwest Christian (Ore.) remains on top of the Women’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll. The defending national champions earned 20 first-place votes and 591 total points to earn the highest ranking, the national office announced Wednesday. Biola (Calif.) also maintains their No. 2 ranking in the newest poll. The next regular season poll will be released Wednesday, Sept. 28.

Top 25 highlights (historical information dates back to 1999):
• In the eighth-straight poll, Northwest Christian (Ore.) is the No. 1 team for women’s cross country. This is the second-straight season the Beacons have started ranked No. 1. The defending national champions are looking to become only the fourth team to go the entire season ranked No. 1.    
• Northwest Christian has been ranked in the top 10 for 28-straight polls, with the last time it fell out being Sept. 18, 2013 when it dropped to No. 11.
• Biola (Calif.) once again comes in at No. 2 in the poll and earned the only other first-place vote. For nine-straight polls, Biola has been ranked in the top five. Aquinas (Mich.) also stayed in place at No. 3 and The Master’s (Calif.) moved up to No. 4. Rounding out the top five is No. 5 Dordt (Iowa) which moved up two spots.
• After starting the season unranked, national runner-up British Columbia is back into the poll coming in at No. 13. The Thunderbirds are the only new team to the poll this week.
• Two programs made the largest positive movements this week with No. 6 Oregon Tech sliding up six spots and No. 16 Saint Xavier (Ill.) making the five place jump in the rankings. No. 5 Dordt, No. 6 Taylor (Ind.) and No. 21 Morningside (Iowa) all moved up two spots from preseason.
• The negative movement is highlighted by No. 22 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.), which pushed back five spots, and No. 24 Hastings (Neb.) moving back four places. No. 14 Shawnee State (Ohio), No. 17 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho), No. 19 St. Francis (Ill.), No. 20 SCAD Atlanta (Ga.), No. 23 SCAD Savannah (Ga.) and No. 25 Benedictine (Kan.) all moved back one position.
• Twelve of the 21 conference/Association of Independent Institutions are represented. 
• The Cascade Collegiate Conference once again leads the way with the most teams – No. 1 Northwest Christian, No. 6 Oregon Tech, No. 12 College of Idaho and No. 15 Southern Oregon. 
• The Great Plains Athletic Conference and the Golden State Athletic Conference both are represented by three teams this week.  
• Former NAIA-member Simon Fraser (B.C.) has the most all-time No. 1 rankings with 40. Northwest (Wash.) leads all active NAIA schools with 18 No. 1 mentions. 
• Only three teams have previously gone the entire season ranked No. 1 – British Columbia (2013), Simon Fraser (2005, 2006 and 2007) and Northwest (2003).
• No. 17 Lewis-Clark State makes its 146th-consecutive appearance in the Top 25, the longest active streak in the NAIA dating back to Sept. 21, 2001.
• For the complete poll schedule, click here. 

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 – No. 1 (Sept. 14)

RANK LAST SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES) FINAL POINTS
1 1 Northwest Christian (Ore.) (20) 591
2 2 Biola (Calif.) (1) 570
3 3 Aquinas (Mich.) 543
4 5 The Master's (Calif.) 510
5 7 Dordt (Iowa) 478
6 12 Oregon Tech 468
7 8 Taylor (Ind.) 467
8 4 Oklahoma City 435
9 9 Carroll (Mont.) 431
10 10 Milligan (Tenn.) 410
11 11 Westmont (Calif.) 406
12 6 College of Idaho 389
13 NR British Columbia 382
14 13 Shawnee State (Ohio) 340
15 15 Southern Oregon 321
16 21 Saint Xavier (Ill.) 310
17 16 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) 295
18 14 Indiana Wesleyan 281
19 18 St. Francis (Ill.) 252
20 19 SCAD Atlanta (Ga.) 234
21 23 Morningside (Iowa) 220
22 17 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) 212
23 22 SCAD Savannah (Ga.) 151
24 20 Hastings (Neb.) 150
25 24 Benedictine (Kan.) 90

Dropped from the Top 25: Dalton State (Ga.) (RV)

Others receiving votes: Tennessee Wesleyan 89; Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 89; Madonna (Mich.) 78; Dalton State (Ga.) 54; Indiana Tech 42; St. Ambrose (Iowa) 40; Marian (Ind.) 29; Doane (Neb.) 23; Southeastern (Fla.) 13; Wayland Baptist (Texas) 11; Siena Heights (Mich.) 9; Corban (Ore.) 4; Mount Mercy (Iowa) 3.