Joe Gorby, Sports Information Director
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The 2020 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA ) Women’s Cross Country Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 Poll was released Thursday (Oct. 1) and the University of St. Francis is ranked fourth.
The Saints, who are coached by ninth-year head coach Jeff Barker, compiled 486 points to claim fourth place and were 12 points behind third-place Madonna (Mich.), which received 498 points and seven first-place votes. The College of Idaho claimed the number-one placing with 513 points and eight first-place vote and Taylor (Ind.) ranked second nationally as a result of accumulating 500 points and garnering three first-place votes. The remaining first-place vote went to Wayland Baptist (Texas), which recorded a fifth-place 444 points total.
The NAIA Women’s Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll was voted by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and each conference is represented by one rater. The Top 25 Poll is determined by a points system based on how each voter ranks the top teams with a team receiving 30 points for each first-place vote, 29 for second-place and etc.
A season ago, USF produced a program record-setting fourth-place finish with a 238-points team score at the 2019 NAIA Women’s Cross Country National Championships (Nov. 22) in Vancouver, Wash. The Saints, who were fifth nationally in the final 2019 NAIA Top 25 Poll, won their fourth consecutive Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Championship title.
USF started its 2020 fall season with a second-place finish at the Olivet Nazarene Midwest Intercollegiate (Sept. 25) and returns to the course Oct. 9 to compete in the Bethel (Ind.) Invitational at the St. Patrick’s County Park course in South Bend, Ind.