TWC Athletic News
Cross Country - Wed, Oct. 30, 2013

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tennessee Wesleyan also made a jump in the poll, moving up from No. 21 to No. 18 of the NAIA Men's Cross Country Coaches' Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Wednesday.

Fellow Appalachian Athletic Conference rival Bryan is back in the top 10.

The Lions collected 445 total voting points to come in at No. 10 and with one more voting point than No. 11 Oklahoma Baptist.


St. Francis (Ill.) remains atop the rankings for the ninth-straight NAIA Men's Cross Country Coaches' Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Wednesday. The defending national champions claimed 18 first-place votes and 619 points in the seventh regular-season edition and are now tied for fifth all-time in No. 1 selections (9) with former-member Minot State (N.D.).

St. Francis won the NAIA Great Lakes Challenge, hosted by Aquinas (Mich.) on Oct. 26 in Grand Rapids, Mich. The Fighting Saints ran the 8-kilometer course in a combined 2:06:56, besting a 37-team field that included No. 4 Olivet Nazarene (Ill.), No. 7 Aquinas, No. 9 Shawnee State (Ohio), No. 14 Saint Xavier (Ill.) and No. 21 Indiana Tech. St. Francis was led by seniors Dylan Reyes and Mike Blaszczyk who finished second and third overall with times of 24:51.25 and 24:51.53.

Southern Oregon earned 605 total points and a season-high four first-place votes to claim the No. 2 ranking. The Raiders finished second at the Beaver Classic, hosted by NCAA Division I Oregon State on Oct. 25 in Corvallis, Ore. Despite finishing behind NCAA Division I Portland (Ore.), each of the team's scoring five placed among the top 20 individuals, with times ranging from 24:15, by Runner of the Week Eric Avila, to 25:28.

Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) accumulated 569 points en route to the No. 3 position. The Warriors have been idle since Oct. 19, when they won the Inland Empire Championships at their home course in Lewiston, Idaho, besting a nine-team field.

Rounding out the top five are No. 4 Olivet Nazarene and No. 5 Oklahoma City with 547 and 536 points, respectively. Both teams join the top five for the first time this season after impressive finishes last week.

Olivet Nazarene finished second, behind No. 1 St. Francis, at the NAIA Great Lakes Challenge with a combined time of 2:07:29, as each of the Tigers scoring five finished among the top 25 individuals in a 387-runner field. Oklahoma City won the NAIA Mid-States Classic, hosted by Southwestern (Kan.) on Oct. 26 in Winfield, Kan. The Stars covered the 8-kilometer course in a combined 2:06:16, outpacing the 25-team field that included No. 11 Oklahoma Baptist, No. 20 Southwestern (Kan.) and No. 25 Central Methodist (Mo.).

There were five newcomers to this week's Top 25: No. 19 Dickinson State (N.D.), No. 20 Southwestern (Kan.), No. 24 Vanguard (Calif.) and No. 25 Central Methodist (Mo.). This is the first Top 25 mention for Central Methodist since 2002, when the Eagles were ranked in every poll. All of the other newcomers were previously ranked during the 2013 season.

Oregon Tech, Morningside (Iowa), College of Idaho and Saint Mary (Kan.) dropped out of the Top 25. Oregon Tech and Morningside had been ranked in every previous poll of the 2013 season, with Morningside having been ranked in 17-straight polls.

Within the poll, No. 4 Olivet Nazarene made the largest jump, moving up eight spots, while Aquinas fell four positions, landing at No. 7.

Fourteen conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups are represented in the seventh regular-season Top 25, led by three teams from the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference—St. Francis, Olivet Nazarene and Saint Xavier—and the Golden State Athletic Conference—No. 17 The Master's (Calif.), No. 22 Biola (Calif.) and Vanguard.

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.

To view the entire poll, click here.