Buerkle tabbed First Team Academic All-America
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Buerkle tabbed First Team Academic All-America
BEMIDJI, Minn. -- Bemidji State University women’s track and field student-athlete Kristi Buerkle (Sr., Stacy, Minn.) has been named to the Capital One College Division Academic All-America® Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country First Team.  The announcement came today from the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

The Stacy, Minn. native becomes BSU’s fourth track and field athlete to make an appearance on the academic All-America team.

Buerkle, a senior majoring in elementary education, carried a 3.86 GPA into her final semester at Bemidji State.  A nine-time Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) All-Academic Team honoree, the 2010-11 BSU Female Athlete of the Year was a regular on BSU Dean’s List, qualifying all eight semesters she was eligible.  In addition, she earned recognition from the United State Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) as an All-Academic individual, played a significant role on multiple USTFCCCA All-Academic teams and was a member of the BSU Athletic Department 3.0 Club.

Buerkle is coming off a tremendous 2011 outdoor campaign.  The Stacy, Minn. native qualified for and competed in the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships after gaining NSIC championships in the 200- and 400-meter dash events May 13-14.  She clocked a time of 55.04 seconds in the 400 to claim fourth place, while she turned in a 200-meter time of 24.91 and finished 19th overall.

Wrapping up her collegiate career at the championships, Buerkle left BSU as one of its most decorated female athletes of all time. The All-America sprinter owns the BSU outdoor 200-meter (24.11) and 400-meter records (53.85) and was a member of the school-record 4-by-100-meter relay team (48.90).  Indoors, she holds school records at the  60-meter, 200-meter (24.94), 300-meter (40.25), 400-meter (54.76), 600-meter (1:36.53) and 800-meter (2:19.11) distances and ran the anchor leg of BSU’s top 4-by-400-meter relay team (3:59.95).  She is a five-time NSIC champion, two-time USTFCCCA All-Central Region selection, the 2011 USTFCCCA Central Region Female Athlete of the Year, a former NSIC Female Track Athlete of the Year and is a two-time BSU Student Athlete of the Year.  

With 45 female student-athletes recognized between the College Division All-America First, Second and Third Teams, Buerkle was joined by only the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Bridget Hines as representatives from any of the 14 NSIC institutions and was one of just two student-athletes hailing from the State of Minnesota.

Buerkle’s honor gives Bemidji State 15 academic All-America recipients dating back to the early 1970s.  In addition to fellow track and field athletes Phil McCollum (2004, 2006) and Zac Preble (2010), Buerkle joins: men’s basketball players Steve Vogel (1976-78) and Royce Bryan (2003); men’s hockey players James Karner (1994) and Peter Jonsson (2005); softball’s Abby Stritesky (2000); Anik Cote from women’s hockey (2002, 2003); volleyball’s Kristin Smith (2004) and Cristina Egnell, who became the first BSU soccer player to earn the honor (2005).

Since 2005, the Bemidji State men's and women's track and field teams, under the direction of head coach Craig Hougen, have also produced 21 All-America performers and three individual national champions.

The Capitol One Academic All-America Teams are selected by a vote of the 2,200-member CoSIDA organization. To be eligible, an athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve and maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.20 on a scale of 4.00. Sports Information Directors nominate eligible athletes from their schools, who are then voted onto the All-District teams. First-Team All-District honorees advance to the Academic All-America ballot. The program honors over 800 student-athletes around the nation each year, and since the program’s inception in 1952 over 17,000 have been named to Academic All-America Teams

Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).