2021 NAIA Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll – Week 5
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Everything remained quiet at the top of the Pre-Championships edition of the NAIA Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll, which was released on Monday by the NAIA National Office.
The top-5 stayed the same for the fourth week in a row after Conference Championship Weekend has come and gone. In fact, the relative steadiness in the poll went even deeper, as there was just one change in the top-15.
All focus now is on 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
Season-long No. 1 St. Francis (Ill.) are once again a unanimous choice at the top, now for the fourth time this year. The Saints, defending NAIA national champions, were at their best in winning the Chicagoland Championships with a near-perfect score of 17 points. A 1-2-3-4 Saint finish saw Sabrina Baftiri regain the squad’s No. 1 spot from Laisha Corona, who led the way in the previous two races.
No. 2 Milligan (Tenn.) was dominant in winning the AAC with a season-low score of 18 points. Alyssa Bearzi led the way for the Buffs, earning team honors for the first time this year as previous leader Lemi Wutz was runner-up. Milligan (Tenn.) is seeking its first national title in program history.
Cornerstone (Mich.) continues at No. 3 after an impressive win in the Wolverine-Hoosier Conference with 18 points. The Golden Eagles have been led all season by Anna Martin. CU is looking to win its first national title in program history.
No. 4 Taylor (Ind.) won the deep Crossroads League title over four other ranked teams with the Trojans’ Abbey Brennan leading the way individually. Taylor is hoping to win its first national title in program history.
Saint Mary (Kan.) maintains No. 5 after winning the KCAC title with 19 points. The Spires found a new No. 1 in Riley Hiebert as Alyssa Armendariz was the team’s No. 2 runner for the first time this year. Saint Mary (Kan.) would capture its first national title in program if it topped the podium in two weeks.
Completing the top-10 are No. 6 College of Idaho, No. 7 The Master’s (Calif.), No. 8 Montreat (N.C.), No. 9 Westmont (Calif.) and No. 10 Aquinas (Mich.).