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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Oklahoma Christian topped the fourth edition of the NAIA Men's Cross Country Coaches' Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Wednesday. The Eagles became the third team to own the No. 1 ranking during the 2011 campaign by collecting 15 first-place votes for 586 total points. It is the first time, dating back to 1999, that Oklahoma Christian has owned the top ranking.
The Eagles move to No. 1 comes on the heels of an eighth-place finish in a field that included 11 NCAA Division I teams and numerous NCAA Division II teams at the Oklahoma State Cowboy Jamboree on Oct. 1. Oklahoma Christian compiled 228 team points with a of trio runners placing among the top 50, to then-No. 1 Wayland Baptist's (Texas) 492 points and one top-50 finisher. The Pioneers' 18th-place finish dropped them to ninth in the poll.
The top five shuffled around, with Shorter (Ga.) moving to second with five first-place nods and 574 points and Concordia (Ore.) climbing two spots to third with 540 points. Cal State San Marcos also improved two spots, moving to fourth with a pair of first-place votes and 531 points. Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) made one of the biggest jumps among the Top 25, checking in at No. 5 with 502 points after spending last week at 10th. It is the Warriors' first appearance in the top five since 2007.
All 25 teams remained intact from the previous poll, with 13 teams improving and nine others slipping. Bryan (Tenn.) made the most movement, going from No. 22 to 11, followed by five-spot moves by Lewis-Clark State and No. 17 Eastern Oregon. British Columbia checked in at No. 19 after previously owning the No. 4 spot on the poll.
Fourteen conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups are represented throughout the Top 25, with four conferences landing a trio of teams on the poll. The Cascade Collegiate Conference, Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference, Golden State Athletic Conference and Sooner Athletic Conference each have three teams represented.
The Top 25 was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups. The next poll will be announced on Oct. 12.
Notes: (All information dates back to 1999) There have been 30 different teams that have spent at least one week on the poll ... The fourth poll marks the first time this season that all of the week's previously-ranked teams maintained a position among the Top 25 ... Oklahoma Christian's move to No. 1 marks the first time that the program has been on top ... The Eagles are the 15th team to own the No. 1 ranking ...Former NAIA member Malone (Ohio) owns the most No. 1-rankings all-time with 38 ... 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 ... 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 ... A pair of programs have had an active Top-25 ranking streak surpass 100-consecutive weeks ... No. 12 Aquinas (Mich.) has been listed for 110-consecutive weeks dating back to the 2000 preseason poll and No. 15 Concordia (Neb.) is at 100-straight appearances dating back to Sept. 14, 2001.
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||2||Oklahoma Christian (15)||586|
|2||3||Shorter (Ga.) (5)||574|
|4||6||Cal State San Marcos (1)||531|
|5||10||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||502|
|6||7||The Master's (Calif.)||495|
|8||9||Shawnee State (Ohio)||459|
|9||1||Wayland Baptist (Texas)||419|
|10||11||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||413|
|16||14||St. Francis (Ill.)||304|
|25||25||Trinity Christian (Ill.)||125|
Others receiving votes: College of Idaho 120; Azusa Pacific (Calif.) 113; Berea (Ky.) 71; Siena Heights (Mich.) 48; SCAD Savannah (Ga.) 32; Morningside (Iowa) 28; Vanguard (Calif.) 26; Saint Xavier (Ill.) 15; Huntington (Ind.) 12; Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.) 12; Cumberlands (Ky.) 12; Rocky Mountain (Mont.) 11; Baker (Kan.) 6; Dordt (Iowa) 1; Park (Mo.) 1; Doane (Neb.) 1; Spring Arbor (Mich.) 1; Great Falls (Mont.) 1.