Rongstad named Bemidji State Male Newcomer of the Year
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Rongstad named Bemidji State Male Newcomer of the Year
BEMIDJI, Minn. - Bemidji State University sprinter Kristi Buerkle (Jr., Stacy, Minn.) and multi-event athlete Zac Preble (Sr., Coleraine, Minn.) were named as the 2009-10 Bemidji State University Female and Male Student-Athletes of the Year, tonight at the BSU Student-Athlete Appreciation Banquet. The duo of track and field All-America performers were selected from a pool of nominated student-athletes from BSU’s 17 intercollegiate sport programs.

In addition, Erika Wheelhouse (Fr., D, Crookston, Minn.) of the women’s ice hockey team and football/men’s basketball standout Lance Rongstad (Fr., QB/G/F, Eleva, Wis.) were selected 2009-10 BSU’s Female and Male Newcomers of the Year.

In all, nearly 40 seniors were recognized with the presentation of the athletes and newcomers of the year, serving as the culminating point of the program.

Kristi Buerkle was named 2009-10 Female Student-Athlete of the Year - A 2010 NCAA Division II Indoor All-America performer... 2010 NSIC Indoor Female Track Athlete of the Year... Two-time All-NSIC (indoor)... 2010 NSIC Preseason Outdoor Female Track Athlete the Year...Five-time Beaver Pride Athlete of the Week... NSIC Female Track Athlete of the Week (Jan. 26)... Placed second in the 400-meter dash at the NCAA Division II Indoor Championships... NSIC Champion in the 400-meters and took second at the 200-meter distance... Ran three of the fastest four 400-meter dash times in NCAA Division II during the 2010 indoor season... Set BSU indoor records in the 60, 200, 300, 400, and 800-meters... Owns the NSIC indoor 400-meter dash record...  Has provisionally qualified for the 2010 NSIC Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships... Was among BSU’s top two cross country finishers in all five 2009 events.

Academic Accomplishments: 3.81 GPA... Dean’s List... BSU Athletics 3.0 Club... NSIC All-Academic Team Member for cross country and indoor track and field... Was a member of the 2009 NCAA Division II USTFCCCA Women’s Cross Country All-Academic Team... Earned a spot as a USTFCCCA All-Academic Individual in track and field... Is a recipient of BSU’s Elementary Education Academic Scholarship.

BSU/Community Service and Involvement: St. Phillips Preschool lunch volunteer... Bemidji Senior Citizen Fall Clean-up participant.. Bemidji Community Health Awareness Day volunteer... Special Olympics volunteer... Speed Quest clinician.

BSU’s 2009-10 Male Athlete of the Year is Zac Preble - A 2010 Indoor All-American... All-NSIC... 2010 Central Region Field Indoor Athlete of the Year... 2010 NSIC Indoor Field Athlete of the Year... 2010 NSIC Preseason Indoor Field Athlete of the Year... 2010 NSIC Preseason Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year... Four-time NSIC Field Athlete of the Week... Two-time Beaver Pride Athlete of the Week... Captain... Four-Time defending NSIC heptathlon champion... Four-time defending NSIC decathlon champion... Earned runner-up honors at the NCAA Division II Indoor Championships... He posted two of the top three NCAA Division II heptathlon scores during the indoor season... Automatically qualified for the national meet with 5,245 at the NSIC Indoor Track and Field Championships, Feb. 14-15... His career-best mark in the seven-event competition, shattered institution and league records set by the senior in prior competition... In addition, he cleared a personal-best 16-00.00 in the pole vault to finish fourth at the NSIC Championships and rank among the nation’s top 20 vaulters for 2010... Preble also placed eighth in the shot put with a toss of 48-04.50 in the NSIC Championships... Owns BSU and NSIC Decathlon records... Owns the nation’s top Decathlon score this season (7,026)... Has automatically qualified for the 2010 NCAA Division II Outdoor Championships in Charlotte, N.C.

Academic Accomplishments: 3.54 GPA... Dean’s List... BSU Athletics 3.0 Club... Academic All-NSIC... USTFCCCA All-Academic.

BSU/Community Service and Involvement: Special Olympics volunteer... Speed Quest Clinician... St. Phillips First Grade Mentor Program... Senior Citizens Fall Clean-up volunteer... Fellowship of Christian Athletes... BSU Women’s Walk volunteer...NSIC Cross Country Championships Course Inspector.

The 2009-10 Female Newcomer of the Year is Ericka Wheelhouse - Was seventh on the team in scoring and led all freshmen, with 14 points (0G, 14A)... Second on the team in assists with 14... Named WCHA Rookie of the Week on Jan. 13 after notching two assists and blocking nine shots in the weekend series against Minnesota State... Recorded four multi-point games... Was a vital member of the first BSU women’s hockey team ever to record a postseason series win and move on to the WCHA Final Faceoff.

Academic Accomplishments: 3.37 GPA... Dean’s List... BSU Athletics 3.0 Club.

BSU/Community Service and Involvement: Bemidji Soup Kitchen... BSU Athletics Elementary School Partnership... BSU High School Fall Camp Volunteer.

Lance Rongstad, a member of both the BSU football and men’s basketball teams, was selected as this year’s Male Newcomer of the Year - (Basketball) Named NSIC Basketball Player of the Week Feb. 22... Scored in double-figures in the final 12 games of the season, including 29 Feb. 20... His 12.7 points per game was second on the team, ranked third among NSIC freshmen and was 18th in the NSIC... His 14.9 points per game in league games was 13th overall and tops among newcomers... With 4.6 rebounds per game, he ranked second on the team, fourth among league freshmen and 19th in the NSIC... His 5.0 rebounds per game in conference play was 14th overall and third among newcomers... His 54.4 percent shooting in conference games was 11th overall and second among the freshmen class... He averaged 29:39 minutes in league games to sit 20th, second among freshmen... (Football) Was second on the team in rushing with 574 yards and scored three touchdowns... His 52-yard touchdown run Sept. 19 stands as BSU’s longest rushing play of 2009... Posted one of BSU’s eight 100-yard rushing games when he ran 12 times for a season-high 105 yards and a touchdown Oct. 3... Had the team’s second-leading yards-per-catch average at 14.9... Ranked third on the team in total offense averaging 85.8 yards per outing... Completed 57.1 percent of his pass attempts (16-28) for 198 yards and a touchdown.

Academic Accomplishments: 3.76 GPA... Dean’s List... BSU Athletics 3.0 Club.

BSU/Community Service and Involvement: Diamond Point Spring Clean-Up volunteer... BSU Athletics Elementary School Partnership... Bemidji Basketball Clinics volunteer.

Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., competes at the NCAA Division I and II levels and is a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC), the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) and College Hockey America (CHA).

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