Contact: Amanda Dahl, NAIA Manager of Sports Information & Media Services, firstname.lastname@example.org
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -Reigning national champion Southern Oregon landed at No. 1 in the 2011 NAIA Men's Cross Country Coaches' Preseason Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Wednesday. Powered behind 15 of 18 possible first-place votes, the Raiders racked up 496 points to garner their first-ever preseason No. 1-ranking.
Wayland Baptist (Texas) was awarded a pair of first-place nods for 480 points to earn the No. 2-ranking, followed by third-ranked Oklahoma Christian with 453 points. Shorter (Ga.) picked up the final first-place vote to total 447 points and check in at No. 4. It is the first top-five rating for the Hawks, whose highest previous ranking was ninth in the 2009 preseason announcement. For the second-consecutive year, British Columbia begins its campaign ranked fifth with 432 points.
There were 18 teams that carried over a ranking from the final poll of 2010. Concordia (Ore.) was unranked heading into the 2010 NAIA Cross Country National Championships, but took home a 25th-place finish. The Cavaliers were rewarded and enter 2011 ranked ninth. After placing 17th, Southwestern (Kan.) jumped into the poll to open the new campaign at No. 14.
Fourteen conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups are represented throughout the Top 25, led by four squads from the Cascade Collegiate Conference: Southern Oregon, Concordia, No. 11 College of Idaho and No. 18 Eastern Oregon. Both the Sooner Athletic Conference and Golden State Athletic Conference have a trio of ranked squads.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups. The first regular-season Top 25 poll will be announced on Sept. 14.
Notes: (All information dates back to 1999) Six different programs have garnered the preseason No. 1-ranking, led by former NAIA member Malone (Ohio), who earned five preseason No. 1-rankings … Four teams have started the season ranked No. 1 and gone on to win the national championship: Malone – 2007, 08 and 09; Virginia Intermont – 2005 and 06; Minot State (N.D.) – 2002; Life (Ga.) – 1999 and 2000 … Southern Oregon has held the top-spot for seven-straight polls dating back to Oct. 6, 2010 … There has only been one program that has been able to maintain the No. 1 ranking for an entire season with Malone accomplishing the feat in 2007 and 08 … No. 12 Aquinas (Mich.) is the only squad that owns an active Top-25 ranking streak that has surpassed 100, with 106-consecutive weeks dating back to the 2000 preseason poll … No. 16 Concordia (Neb.) isn’t far behind, with 96-straight appearances dating back to Sept. 14, 2001.
|RANK||LAST WEEK^||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Southern Oregon (15)||496|
|2||2||Wayland Baptist (Texas) (2)||480|
|4||19||Shorter (Ga.) (1)||447|
|6||3||Shawnee State (Ohio)||396|
|8||11||The Master's (Calif.)||387|
|10||7||Cal State San Marcos||360|
|11||14||College of Idaho||320|
|13||16||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||297|
|20||13||Siena Heights (Mich.)||179|
|24||RV||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||102|
Others receiving votes: Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 88; Rio Grande (Ohio) 78; Westmont (Calif.) 74; Spring Arbor (Mich.) 70; Cornerstone (Mich.) 43; SCAD Savannah (Ga.) 42; Emmanuel (Ga.) 34; Milligan (Tenn.) 29; Berea (Ky.) 24; Dordt (Iowa) 12; Baker (Kan.) 10; Indiana Wesleyan 5; Azusa Pacific (Calif.) 5; Mount Mercy (Iowa) 5; Lee (Tenn.) 4; William Woods (Mo.) 3; Saint Xavier (Ill.) 1; Doane (Neb.) 1; Trinity Christian (Ill.) 1; Illinois Tech 1.
^ 2010 NAIA Men's Cross Country Coaches' Top 25 Final Poll