2021 NAIA Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll – Week 4
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Uncanny agreement continues for the third week in a row, as the top-5 is unchanged in the latest NAIA Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll, which was released Thursday by the NAIA National Office.
There was, however, movement in the lower half of the top-10 after three major regional meets were held this past Saturday – the Great Lakes Challenge in Michigan, Mid-States Challenge in Kansas and Southern States Challenge in South Carolina.
Most teams are now focusing on conference competition that takes center stage on November 6 before the next set of rankings. After that it’s all-in for the 2021 NAIA Cross Country Championships, which are set for Friday, November 19, at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site in Vancouver, Washington.
NAIA — Women's Cross Country
This Week's National Top Five
St. Francis (Ill.)
Saint Mary (Kan.)
Cross Country Polls & Rankings
No. 1 remains in possession of St. Francis (Ill.), once again in unanimous fashion. The Saints won the NAIA Great Lakes Challenge, topping 11 other ranked programs that included three in the top-5. St. Francis returns all five scorers from the national champion unit that won in April, but this fall Laisha Corona – last year’s No. 4 Saint runner – has earned team honors in every meet.
Milligan (Tenn.) remains at No. 2 after winning the NAIA Southern States Challenge impressively with 20 points off a 1-2-3 sweep of the individual spots led by Lemi Wutz. The Buffs – No. 2 in each poll this year since Week 1 – are the only squad to have garnered a No. 1 vote this season that wasn’t directed for St. Francis.
No. 3 Cornerstone (Mich.) was impressive at the Great Lakes Challenge, earning runner-up honors just 14 points behind St. Francis. Freshman Anna Martin won the individual title in 17:34.1 for the 5k course.
Taylor (Ind.) maintains the No. 4 position it has held since Week 1. The Trojans were third in the deep Great Lakes Challenge meet.
No. 5 continues to be Saint Mary (Kan.). The Spires bypassed the Mid-States Challenge for the Great Lakes Challenge, in which they finished a strong fourth.
The rest of the top-10 saw a some changes, with College of Idaho moving up 3 spots to No. 6. The Yotes – runner-up in April – are followed by No. 7 The Master’s (Calif.), No. 8 Aquinas (Mich.), No. 9 Montreat (N.C.) and No. 10 Westmont (Calif.), which moved up all the way from last week’s No. 22.