By Mike DeVader, Communications and Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Oklahoma City Stars are ranked No. 1 in the postseason NAIA Men’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, the NAIA national office announced Wednesday. The Stars are fresh off their second-consecutive national championship at Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence, Kan., on Nov. 22.
With a stellar performance in the national championships, Oklahoma City earned 467 points and all 17 first-place votes. The victory cemented the Stars in a position they have held since the 2013 postseason rankings.
Oklahoma City took home its second national banner in program history with a stellar effort from all parties involved, as every countable racer finished in the top 21. The Stars were guided by NAIA All-American Peter Koskey, who crossed the finish line in third-place with a time of 24:44.
Koskey finished eighth overall in the national championships a season ago. Joining Koskey in earning All-American honors for the national champions is Csaba Matko (5th; 24:54), Arya Bahreini (13th; 25:19), David Mountford (18th; 25:24) and Mackenzie Wahpepah-Harris (21; 25:29).
Oklahoma City has now been ranked No. 1 for 11-straight weeks, earning the eleventh top nod in program history.
Coming in at No. 2 is Southern Oregon with 452 points. Dating back to Aug. 22, 2012, the Raiders have been ranked in this area for now 40-straight editions of the Top 25.
In the national championships, Max Runia and Eric Ghelfi were the high finishers for Southern Oregon, coming in eighth and ninth-place, respectively, with 25:10 and 25:15. The second-place team finish for the Raiders marks the third-consecutive national championships the squad finished as runner-up.
As for the rest of the top five, Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) (437points) jumped into third position after being ranked sixth in the Nov. 4th poll. In at No. 4 is Eastern Oregon (422 points) and Aquinas (Mich.) is No. 5 (407 points).
Within the poll, No. 17 Shawnee State (Ohio) leaped eight spots, while No. 23 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) fell from No. 7.
Two newcomers entered the rating – No. 19 Columbia (Mo.) and No. 24 Oregon Tech.
Fourteen conferences/association of independent institutions/unaffiliated groups are represented in the poll, led by five programs from the Cascade Collegiate Conference. Seven conferences are tied for second with two teams ranked apiece.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of coaches representing each of the conferences, association of independent institutions and unaffiliated groups. For the entire 2014 Coaches’ Top 25 Poll schedule, click here.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 1999) Oklahoma City has now earned the school’s 11th-consecutive No. 1 ranking in program history and the 11th-straight release sitting atop the poll… Since 1999, the Stars have become just the second school in NAIA history to be ranked in the top spot from start to finish; joining former member Malone (Ohio) in 2007 and 08… No. 5 Aquinas (Mich.) has been ranked among the Top 25 in an NAIA-best 145-consecutive polls, dating back to Aug. 22, 2000… Following Aquinas are No. 7 Cal State San Marcos with 70 and No. 2 Southern Oregon with 68… Malone has the most No. 1 rankings with 38… Following Malone are Southern Oregon with 21, Life (Ga.) with 18 and Virginia Intermont with 15… Overall, 17 different programs have claimed the No. 1 spot in the poll.
|RANK||LAST^||SCHOOL (1st PLACE VOTES)||FINAL POINTS|
|1||1||Oklahoma City (17)||467|
|3||6||Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)||437|
|7||7||Cal State San Marcos||377|
|8||3||St. Francis (Ill.)||362|
|10||14||Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)||332|
|14||16||Saint Mary (Kan.)||272|
|17||25||Shawnee State (Ohio)||227|
|18||18||The Master's (Calif.)||212|
|21||21||College of Idaho||152|
|25||18||Wayland Baptist (Texas)||107|
Others Receiving Votes: Marian (Ind.), 91; Goshen (Ind.), 75; William Carey (Miss.), 56; Dordt (Iowa), 26; SCAD Savannah (Ga.), 20; Dalton State (Ga.), 14; Rio Grande (Ohio), 14; Oklahoma Baptist, 7; Milligan (Tenn.), 3; Baker (Kan.), 3.
^ 2014 NAIA Men’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – Final (Nov. 9)