Wayne, Neb. -- The Bemidji State University cross country team closed out the regular season Saturday by competing for the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) Championship hosted by Wayne State College in Wayne, Neb.
The Beavers, who were led by senior Kristi Buerkle (Stacy, Minn.) finished 10th.
Buerkle turned in a time of 24:23.81 in the 6,000-meter race to place 35th individually. Despite crossing the finish line just seconds behind her season-best time, the Stacy, Minn. native and team captain finished 3:12.90 off the pace set by Rauna Falch, who earned top individual honors led the Augustana College to the conference team title with a 21:10.91.
The Vikings captured the championship with a team score of 39, placing four runners among the top 10. The University Mary ran a close second with 42 points, while the University of Minnesota Duluth placed third with a score of 48.
Bemidji State turned in a score of 267 to finish 17 points out of ninth place behind Wayne State.
In all, Bemidji State had seven runners compete in the race, while Buerkle was the only participant to finish among the top 50. In addition to Buerkle, junior Kirsten Maras (Jr., Anoka, Minn.) posted a 25:36.91 to occupy 54th place, while Ali Hougen (Jr., Bemidji, Minn.) was just 18 seconds and two place behind in 56th. Tina Larson (So., Morris, Minn.) placed 59th with a time of 26:51.46 followed by Cierra Robinson (So., Forest Lake, Minn.) in 63rd (27:26.36), Pearl Walker (Sr., Bemidji, Minn.) in 67th (28:45.46) and Mackenzie Haupert (Fr., Andover, Minn.)in 69th place (31:06.21).
The 2010 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) Championships concludes the Beavers 2010 regular season. Bemidji State opens post season play Nov. 20 when it travels back to Wayne, Neb. for the 2010 NCAA Central Region Championships.