KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Defending Appalachian Athletic Conference champion Milligan will begin the season as the No. 11 team in the nation according to the NAIA Women's Cross Country Coaches' Preaseason Top 25 Poll announced recently.
The Buffaloes ended 2011 ranked 15th but collected 387 total poing to land at No. 11.
The defending 2011 Women's Cross Country National Champion Cal State San Marcos enters the 2012 season the same as they did the previous year as the No. 1 team in the Coaches' Poll. The Cougars came away with 20 of the 21 first-place votes in the preseason poll and tallied 591 points to earn the top spot.
Third place in the 2011 Women's Cross Country National Championships, British Columbia collected 569 points which earned the Thunderbirds the No. 2 ranking. Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) received one first-place vote and 550 points to start the season No. 3. A pair of Cascade Collegiate Conference (CCC) representatives round out the top five with College of Idaho ranked No. 4, followed by No. 5 Northwest Christian (Ore.).
Joining the top 25 are seven teams that were not ranked in the 2011 Women's Cross Country Coaches' Top 25 Postseason Poll, No. 13 Southern Oregon, No. 15 Dordt (Iowa), No. 19 Trinity Christian (Ill.), No. 20 Cornerstone (Mich.), No. 21 Rocky Mountain (Mont.), No. 23 Huntington (Ind.) and No. 25 Northwest (Wash.).
Eleven conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups are represented throughout the Top 25, led by the CCC with four ranked teams. Representing the CCC are College of Idaho, Northwest Christian, Southern Oregon, Northwest. Southern Oregon made the biggest splash as they jumped from receiving votes to No. 13.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups.
To view the entire poll, click here.