BEMIDJI, Minn. (Gillett Recreation-Fitness Center) -- The atmosphere was electric inside the Gillett Recreation-Fitness Center on the campus of Bemidji State University for opening day of the NSIC Indoor Track and Field Championships. After the first day of competition, the Bemidji State University men’s track and field team ranks ninth in the team standings (7 pts), while the BSU women head into day two in 11th place overall (1pt).
Bemidji State sprinter Kristi Buerkle (Sr., Stacy, Minn.) qualified for the finals in the 400-meter dash with the top time in the event, running a 56.40. Buerkle also finished third in the 200-meter dash preliminaries, advancing to Saturday, with a time of 25.37.
Teammate Michelle Ohman (So., Prior Lake, Minn.) qualified for day two in the 600-meter run, crossing the finish line with the fifth fastest time (1:38.47). The sophomore ran her best time of the season, beating her previous mark by more than two seconds.
The Beaver men will start off Saturday trying to catapult their way up the standings, with the high-flying duo of Raphael Gelo (So., Kabetogama, Minn.) and Tandy Juell (So., Redwood Falls, Minn.) competing in the pole vault. The sophomores come in ranked fourth and seventh in the event, respectively.
Buerkle will be trying for her second straight NSIC championship in the 400-meter dash tomorrow, as well as trying to snag her first conference championship in the 200-meter dash. Buerkle has finished third in the 200-meter dash the last three indoor championships.
In the women’s team standings, Augustana College leads after day one with 60.5 points, followed by the University of Mary in second place (43.5 pts) and Winona State University third with 41.5. For the men, Minnesota State University Moorhead holds first place with 68.5 points, followed by Augustana with 39.5 and Northern State University with 35.
Day two of the NSIC Indoor Track and Field Championships gets underway at the Gillett Recreation-Fitness Center starting at 10 a.m. Saturday. The women’s weight throw and triple jump, along with the men’s pole vault open the field events. Track event finals will begin with the starting gun for the mile run at 1 p.m. The final events of the day will be the 4x400-meter relays, with an awards ceremony at 4:30 p.m. putting a close to the 2011 NSIC indoor season.