KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Defending Appalachian Athletic Conference champion Bryan is the 10th-ranked team in the NAIA Men's Cross Country Coaches' Top 25 Preseason Poll, which was released recently.
The Lions finished the 2011 campaign as the No. 10 team and received 337 total points to land at that same spot to begin the 2012 season.
Also representing the AAC is Milligan, which received 48 votes to land just outside the top 25.
For the second-straight year, Southern Oregon has earned the top spot in the NAIA Coaches' Preseason Poll. The Raiders, a third-place finisher at the 2011 NAIA Cross Country National Championships, received eight of 18 first-place votes and 486 points to garner the No. 1 ranking.
Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) received three first-place votes and 475 points earning the Warriors the No. 2 position in the polls. Following Lewis-Clark State is No. 3 Wayland Baptist (Texas), who garnered three first-place votes and 472 points. Collecting the last four first-place votes was 2011 National Runner-up Cal State San Marcos for the No. 4 spot. Rounding out the top five is Oklahoma Baptist who collected 420 points.
Six teams who were not in the 2011 Men's Cross Country Coaches' Top 25 Postseason Poll, No. 14 Morningside (Iowa), No. 16 Spring Arbor (Mich.), No. 19 Concordia (Neb.), No. 20 Cornerstone (Mich.), No. 21 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) and No. 23 Cumberlands (Ky.) all start the 2012 season ranked in the Top 25. Making the biggest jump was Spring Arbor, who ended last season not receiving votes and jumped to No. 16.
Fifteen conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups are represented throughout the Top 25, led by the The Cascade Collegiate Conference (CCC) and the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) lead all conferences with three teams each. Representing the CCC are No. 1 Southern Oregon, No. 11 Eastern Oregon and No. 15 College of Idaho. Hailing from the GSAC are No. 6 The Master's (Calif.), No. 12 Westmont (Calif.) and No. 18 Biola (Calif.).
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups. The first regular-season Top 25 poll will be announced on Sept. 12.
To view the entire poll, click here.