WAYNE, Neb. -- Bemidji State University sophomore Kristi Buerkle (Stacy, Minn.) set a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) record in the 400-meter dash en route to an event championship and all-conference honors Saturday at Memorial Stadium, Bob Cunningham Field in Wayne, Neb. The sprinter was a highlight for the Beavers who competed in the 2009 NSIC Outdoor Championships this weekend.
Buerkle's 400-meter time of 55.26 was her best of the 2009 outdoor campaign, shaved .13 from a five-year-old conference mark set by University of Minnesota Duluth's Andrea Vake (55.43) and slid the sophomore up to fourth on the NCAA Division II Performance list. The mark assures the 2009 indoor All-America sprinter a place in the outdoor championships May 21-23 in San Angelo, Tex.
In addition to her 400-meter title, Buerkle also placed fourth in the 200-meter dash with a time of 25.28.
On the field, Chelsea Preble (Jr., Grand Rapids, Minn.) earned All-NSIC Honorable Mention honors in the javelin. She stretched the tape to 126-08, surpassing her season-best mark of 124-10 by nearly two feet.
The BSU women scored 22 team points to place 10th. Minnesota Duluth totaled 156 points to take the team title.
Zac Preble (Jr., Coleraine, Minn.) paced the Bemidji State men at the championships. Already an All-NSIC competitor after earning his third consecutive NSIC decathlon crown April 29, the junior placed in eight events. He took third in the javelin with a toss of 169-03 and posted a 145-08 in the discus throw to finish sixth. In addition, he finished seventh as the anchor for the Beavers' 4x400-meter relay team (3:24.81) and eighth in the 400-meter hurdles (58.16), 4x100-meter relay (44-32), pole vault (14-7.25) and shot put (47-05.00). For his efforts he was selected as the 2009 NSIC Male Field Athlete of the Year.
Marcus Dennis (Fr., Walker, Minn.) placed second in the high jump to pull down all-conference honors. The newcomer cleared a career-high height of 6-05.50 to finish two inches out of first place.
Rounding out the Beaver men on the awards podium was junior Brock Beidleman (Anoka, Minn.). Beidleman came in on the heels of Preble in the javelin. His mark of 167-01 was good for fourth in he event.
The Bemidji State men accumulated 39 point to finish the championships in 10th. Minnesota State University ran away with the men's team title netting 193 points to out score the field of the field by nearly 100 points.