2021 NAIA Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll – Week 4
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – There is a new No. 1 team in the nation!
St. Francis (Ill.) surged to the top of the NAIA Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll in the Week 4 index, which was released on Thursday by the NAIA National Office. It was a massive weekend of racing across the nation, so that wasn’t the only change in the poll.
NAIA — Men's Cross Country
This Week's National Top Five
St. Francis (Ill.)
Saint Mary (Kan.)
Cross Country Polls & Rankings
The Saints, who were formerly ranked No. 3, jumped two spots and grabbed 17 first-place votes after their title-winning performance at the NAIA Great Lakes Challenge this past weekend. St. Francis (Ill.), who only had one top-10 finisher in Omar Paramo (sixth), showcased its depth by putting the rest of its scoring lineup inside the top-30. No other team could match that feat.
Saint Mary (Kan.), runner-up at the NAIA Great Lakes Challenge, held steady at No. 2. The Spires were led by Jonathan Bowen and Luke Skinner in Grand Rapids, Michigan, who finished third and fourth, respectively. Saint Mary (Kan.) had two other runners in the top-30.
Former No. 1 Indiana Wesleyan fell to No. 3 after a third-place showing at the NAIA Great Lakes Challenge. None of the Wildcats finished in the top-15, but they took places 16-17-21-25 with a meager 13-second spread between those athletes. IWU’s fifth runner finished 34th.
Milligan (Tenn.) and Taylor (Ind.) remain entrenched at No. 4 and No. 5, respectively. The Buffs, who earned one first-place vote, ran away with the team title at the NAIA Southern States Challenge. The Trojans finished fourth at the NAIA Great Lakes Challenge.
Here are the rest of the top-10 teams in Week 4: No. 6 Oklahoma City, No. 7 The Master’s (Calif.), No. 8 Southern Oregon, No. 9 Embry-Riddle (Ariz.) and No. 10 Huntington (Ind.).
Mark your calendars for Friday, November 19, which is when the 2021 NAIA Cross Country Championships will be held at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site in Vancouver, Washington.