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logo_tmcsports[NAIA/Sam Knehans] – British Columbia remains atop the rankings in the second regular-season NAIA Women’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 poll, the national office announced Wednesday. British Columbia’s selection—with 23 first place votes and 653 total points—gives the defending national champion Thunderbirds five-straight No. 1 rankings for the first time in school history.

British Columbia, which returns four of its top five runners, has been idle since placing first in the Sundodger Invitational open division on Sept. 14, with a team 6k time of 1:48:41. The Thunderbirds bested the 17-team field, which included NCAA Division II teams Simon Fraser (B.C.) and Chico State (Calif.).

College of Idaho accumulated 629 total points en route to the No. 2 ranking. The Yotes, who return three runners that placed in the top 10 at the 2012 national championship including individual titlist Hillary Holt, finished first at the Coyote Twilight/Cascade Collegiate Conference Preview Meet with a team 5k time of 1:35:53.

Cal State San Marcos compiled 613 total points to claim the No. 3 spot. The Cougars won the open division of the Mustang Challenge, hosted by The Master’s (Calif.) on Sept. 21, with a team 5k time of 1:31:34. The five scoring Cal State San Marcos runners finished among the top 10, securing the Cougars’ victory over a 17-team field.

No. 4 St. Francis (Ill.), with 582 points, and No. 5 Biola (Calif.), with 577 points, round out the top five. St. Francis was idle during this ratings period and Biola placed second at the Aztec Invitational, hosted by San Diego State on Sept. 21. The Eagles were bested by NCAA Division I Arkansas, but outpaced other NCAA Division I teams including Southern California and San Diego State (Calif.).

No. 21 Columbia (Mo.) was the lone newcomer to the Top 25. This is the first ranking for the Cougars, dating back to 1999. Indiana Wesleyan was the only team to drop out of the Top 25 this week.

Within the poll, No. 17 Doane (Neb.) made the largest jump, moving up five spots, while former No. 20 Southern Oregon fell five positions, landing at No. 25.

Thirteen conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups are represented in the second regular-season Top 25, led by the Cascade Collegiate Conference, Golden State Athletic Conference, Frontier Conference and Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference, which each boast three ranked teams.

The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences, independents and unaffiliated groups. For the entire 2013 Coaches’ Top 25 Poll schedule, click here.

NOTES: (All information dates back to 1999) No. 1 British Columbia is trying to become just the third school in NAIA history to begin the season ranked No. 1 and go on to win the national championship… Former member Simon Fraser (B.C.) accomplished this in 2004, 05, 06 and 07 and No. 3 Cal State San Marcos did so in 2011… Since 1999, only two programs have been ranked No. 1 for an entire season: Simon Fraser in 2005, 06, and 07 and Northwest (Wash.) in 2003… No. 16 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) has been ranked among the Top 25 in 117 consecutive polls, dating back to Sept. 21, 2001… During that streak Lewis-Clark State has never been ranked among the top five teams… No. 21 Columbia (Mo.) is ranked among the Top 25 for the first time, dating back to 1999… Simon Fraser has the most No. 1 rankings with 40… Following Simon Fraser are Azusa Pacific (Calif.) and Cedarville (Ohio) with 18 each… Overall, 11 different programs have claimed the No. 1 spot in the poll… Two teams held the No. 1 ranking in 2012: British Columbia and Cal State San Marcos.

2013 NAIA Women’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 2 (Sept. 25)

RANK LAST WEEK^ SCHOOL (1ST PLACE VOTES)

TOTAL POINTS

1 1 British Columbia (23)

653

2 2 College of Idaho

629

3 3 Cal State San Marcos

613

4 4 St. Francis (Ill.)

582

5 5 Biola (Calif.)

577

6 6 Oklahoma Baptist

536

7 7 Dordt (Iowa)

521

8 8 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)

515

9 13 The Master’s (Calif.)

479

10 11 Northwest Christian (Ore.)

456

11 12 Carroll (Mont.)

454

12 9 Westmont (Calif.)

405

13 10 Rocky Mountain (Mont.)

399

14 14 Cornerstone (Mich.)

357

15 15 Taylor (Ind.)

341

16 16 Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)

328

17 22 Doane (Neb.)

302

18 17 Aquinas (Mich.)

277

19 18 Milligan (Tenn.)

272

20 19 Texas Wesleyan

265

21 RV Columbia (Mo.)

251

22 23 Indiana Tech

192

23 21 Embry-Riddle (Fla.)

177

23 24 Shawnee State (Ohio)

177

25 20 Southern Oregon

166


Others Receiving Votes:
Baker (Kan.) 131; Indiana Wesleyan 117;St. Ambrose (Iowa) 87; Wayland Baptist (Texas) 49; Central Methodist (Mo.) 30; SCAD Savannah (Ga.) 21; Cumberlands (Ky.) 16; Arizona Christian 14; Emmanuel (Ga.) 5; Oklahoma City 5; Judson (Ill.) 3; Corban (Ore.) 3.

^2013 NAIA Women’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – No. 1

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