By Mike DeVader, Communications and Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Oklahoma City Stars are ranked No. 1 in the final NAIA Men's Cross Country Coaches' Top 25 Poll, the NAIA national office announced Sunday. The defending national champions - who collected 620 points and 19-of-22 first-place votes – have been a mainstay at the top spot since the 2013 postseason rankings.
Oklahoma City has now been ranked No. 1 for 10-straight weeks, earning the tenth top billing in school history in the process.
The Stars continues to roll through the competition in 2014, running away with the team title in the Sooner Athletic Conference Championships on Saturday. Led by Peter Koskey, a junior from Keringet, Kenya, Oklahoma City had runners stamped all over the leaderboard. Seven Stars finished the 8-kilometer event in the top 20. The qualifiers for the 35th annual NAIA Men's Cross Country National Championships will be announced on Monday by 5 p.m. CDT.
Koskey crossed the finish line in 24:47. Next on the docket for Oklahoma City is the NAIA National Championships on Nov. 22 in Lawrence, Kan.
Southern Oregon is ranked in the top-two of the release once again, coming in at No. 2 with two first-place votes and 603 points. Dating back to Aug. 22, 2012, the Raiders have been ranked in this area for now 39-straight editions of the Top 25.
On Saturday, Southern Oregon took home its seventh-consecutive Cascade Collegiate Conference (CCC) championship in dominating fashion. Five Raider runners finished in the top nine – within 14 seconds of each other – and were led by Max Runia, who ran a 24:55 8K race.
Southern Oregon now shifts its focus to a possible national title in the NAIA National Championships.
As for the rest of the top five, St. Francis (Ill.) (571 points and the final first-place vote) jumped into third position after being ranked eighth in the Oct. 29th poll. The Fighting Saints won the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) title for the fourth occasion in five seasons. In at No. 4 is Tennessee Wesleyan (560 points) and Indiana Wesleyan is No. 5 (533 points).
Within the poll, St. Francis ascended five positions, while No. 21 College of Idaho fell five spots.
Two newcomers entered the rating – No. 17 Concordia (Ore.) and No. 25 Shawnee State (Ohio).
Thirteen conferences/association of independent institutions/unaffiliated groups are represented in the poll, led by four schools from both the CCC and Crossroads League. Six 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, clickhere. The postseason Top 25 poll will be revealed Nov. 27.
NOTES: (All information dates back to 1999) Today's top nod for Oklahoma City is the school's 10th-straight No. 1 ranking in program history and the 10th-consecutive release sitting atop the poll… Since 1999, only one program has been ranked No. 1 for an entire season: former member Malone (Ohio) in 2007 and 08… No. 11 Aquinas (Mich.) has been ranked among the Top 25 in an NAIA-best 144-consecutive polls, dating back to Aug. 22, 2000… Following Aquinas are No. 8 Cal State San Marcos with 69 and No. 2 Southern Oregon with 67… 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… Oklahoma City looks to become the second program in NAIA men's cross country history to run the table being ranked No. 1 since Malone in 2008.
2014 NAIA Men's Cross Country Coaches' Top 25 Poll – Final (Nov. 4)
SCHOOL (1st PLACE VOTES)
Oklahoma City (19)
Southern Oregon (2)
St. Francis (Ill.) (1)
Olivet Nazarene (Ill.)
Cal State San Marcos
Lewis-Clark State (Idaho)
Saint Mary (Kan.)
Wayland Baptist (Texas)
The Master's (Calif.)
College of Idaho
Shawnee State (Ohio)
Others Receiving Votes: Oregon Tech, 117; SCAD Savannah (Ga.), 100; Dordt (Iowa), 83; William Carey (Miss.), 68; Northwest Christian (Ore.), 48; Dalton State (Ga.), 38; Oklahoma Baptist, 27; Columbia (Mo.), 11; Milligan (Tenn.), 8; Vanguard (Calif.), 6.
^ 2014 NAIA Men's Cross Country Coaches' Top 25 Poll – No. 7 (Oct. 29)