KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Oklahoma Christian was the unanimous No. 1-selection in the final edition of the 2011 NAIA Men's Cross Country Coaches' Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Sunday. For the third-consecutive poll, the Eagles were unanimously voted to the top with 21 first-place votes for 591 points. Champions of the Sooner Athletic Conference, Oklahoma Christian has tallied all first-place nods in the past three polls and has held a five-week span at No. 1.
The final rating comes following the competition of conference/independent/unaffiliated group meets. Team and individual qualifiers for the 2011 NAIA Men's Cross Country National Championships will be announced Nov. 7 by 5 p.m. CST. The 56th annual event will take place at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site in Vancouver, Wash., on Nov. 19.
The top-four teams were all victorious at their respective conference races to hold intact in the poll: No. 2 Shorter (Ga.) (567 points); No. 3 The Master's (Calif.) (541 points); No. 4 Southern Oregon (538 points); and No. 5 Shawnee State (Ohio) (515 points).
No. 6 Friends (Kan.), No. 7 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho), No. 15 St. Francis (Ill.) and No. 16 Southwestern (Kan.) were the four additional teams outside of the top five that retained their rank from the Oct. 26 poll.
Large leaps were obtained by Wayland Baptist (Texas) and Biola (Calif.). The Pioneers took second as a team with 50 points and boasted the individual titlist in defending national champion Kennedy Kithuka at the Sooner Athletic Conference race to climb nine spots from No. 17 to 8. A second-place showing with 67 points at the Golden State Athletic Conference was achieved by the Eagles to move from 21st to 14th in the poll.
No. 22 Dordt (Iowa) garnered its first Top-25 recognition dating back to 1999 after winning the Great Plains Athletic Conference championship. After a two-poll hiatus, Embry-Riddle (Fla.) returns at No. 24 thanks to a first-place finish at The Sun Conference championship. The duo of newcomers replaces then-No. 24 SCAD Savannah (Ga.) and then-No. 25 Morningside (Iowa).
Thirteen conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups are represented throughout the Top 25, led by the Cascade Collegiate Conference with four ranked teams: Southern Oregon, No. 11 Concordia (Ore.), No. 13 College of Idaho and No. 19 Eastern Oregon. The Golden State Athletic Conference and Sooner Athletic Conference each have three teams listed.
The Top 25 was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups.
Notes: (All information dates back to 1999) There have been 32 different teams that have spent at least one week on the poll, with 18 of those programs having been listed in all eight polls ... Oklahoma Christian's five No. 1-rankings is tied for seventh with Concordia (Calif.) ... 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 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. 10 Aquinas (Mich.) has been listed for 114-consecutive weeks dating back to the 2000 preseason poll and No. 25 Concordia (Neb.) is at 104-straight appearances dating back to Sept. 14, 2001.
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)||TOTAL POINTS|
|1||1||Oklahoma Christian (21)||591|
|3||3||The Master's (Calif.)||541|
|5||5||Shawnee State (Ohio)||515|
|7||7||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||464|
|8||17||Wayland Baptist (Texas)||451|
|9||8||Cal State San Marcos||450|
|13||11||College of Idaho||354|
|15||15||St. Francis (Ill.)||303|
|20||23||Siena Heights (Mich.)||217|
|23||18||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||170|
Others receiving votes: Great Falls (Mont.) 115; Huntington (Ind.) 106; Cornerstone (Mich.) 74; SCAD Savannah (Ga.) 67; Morningside (Iowa) 35; Cumberlands (Ky.) 33; Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.) 25; Baker (Kan.) 20; Goshen (Ind.) 11; Milligan (Tenn.) 11; Vanguard (Calif.) 8; Berea (Ky.) 6; Doane (Neb.) 1; Trinity Christian (Ill.) 1; Xavier (La.) 1; Spring Arbor (Mich.) 1.