September 20, 2012

By Travis Rae, Communications and Sports Information Intern

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Southern Oregon held its No. 1 ranking in the second edition of the 2012 NAIA Men's Cross Country Coaches' Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Wednesday. The Raiders received 18-of-20 first-place votes and collected 559 points to retain the No. 1 spot for the third-straight week.

Cal State San Marcos remains at No. 2 as the Cougars tallied 532 points. Collecting the last two first-place votes and coming in at No. 3 is St. Francis (Ill.), with 519 points. Moving back to No. 4 this week is Oklahoma Baptist as they collected 498 points. Rounding out the top five is British Columbia, who tallied 481 points.

Joining the poll this week is No. 24 Saint Mary (Kan.). The Spires finished second, behind only No. 8 Southwestern (Kan.), in the Southern Stampede XC Invitational this past weekend.

Making the biggest move this week are Embry-Riddle (Fla.) and Cumberlands (Ky.) as both schools moved four spots in the poll. The Eagles improved to No. 15, from No. 19, after finishing third out of 17 teams at the Mountain Dew Invitational (Fla.). Embry-Riddle finished behind NCAA Division I Florida and North Florida. Cumberlands jumped from No. 15 to No. 21, after a third-place finish at the Cedarville Invitational (Ohio).

Two programs, Indiana Wesleyan (No. 22) and Baker (Kan.) (No. 24) fell out of this week's poll.

Thirteen conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups are represented throughout the Top 25, led by the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) with four teams. Representing the GSAC are No. 7 The Master's (Calif.), No. 17 Westmont (Calif.), No. 19 Arizona Christian and No. 25 Biola (Calif.).

The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups. The third regular-season Top 25 poll will be announced on Sept. 26.

2012 NAIA Men's Cross Country Coaches Top 25 Poll - No. 2

1         Southern Oregon
2         Cal State San Marcos   
3         St. Francis (Ill.)  
4         Oklahoma Baptist   
5         British Columbia   
6         Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)   
7         The Master’s (Calif.)
8         Southwestern (Kan.)   
9         Aquinas (Mich.)   
10       Shawnee State (Ohio)   
11       College of Idaho   
12       Wayland Baptist (Texas)   
13       Eastern Oregon   
14       Morningside (Iowa)   
15       Embry-Riddle (Fla.)   
16       Bryan (Tenn.)   
17       Westmont (Calif.)   
18       Spring Arbor (Mich.)   
19       Arizona Christian   
20       Concordia (Neb.)   
21       Cumberlands (Ky.)   
21       Cornerstone (Mich.)   
23       Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)   
24       Saint Mary (Kan.)   
25       Biola (Calif.)

Notes: (All information dates back to 1999) Four teams have started the season ranked No. 1 and gone on to win the national championship: Former NAIA Member Malone (Ohio) - 2007, 08 and 09; Virginia Intermont - 2005 and 06; Former NAIA Member Minot State (N.D.) - 2002; Life (Ga.) - 1999 and 2000... 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... Southern Oregon has been ranked No. 1 14 times which ranks them fourth all-time; one behind former NAIA member Virginia Intermont... Malone has been ranked No. 1 the most with 38 selections... For the second consecutive week a school is making their first appearance in the Top 25 as Saint Mary (Kan.) joins the poll.