BURNSVILLE, Minn. – The Bemidji State University women’s track and field program continues its ascent among the conference as the team was selected to finish ninth overall in the 2019-20 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Preseason Indoor Track and Field Coaches’ Poll. Leading the squad on the track in 2019-20 is BSU Track Athlete to Watch and senior sprinter Jada Barker, and in the field is BSU Field Athlete to Watch and sophomore thrower Zoe Christensen.
Bemidji State track and field looks to climb the ranks of the NSIC after taking 11th with 21 points at the 2018-19 NSIC Indoor Championship. Head Coach Kevin Kean, in his fifth season at the helm, has helped the Beavers rewrite the program’s record book after setting 10 records a season ago.
Barker, a senior sprinter from Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, took 15 top-five finishes and was part of the program record-breaking 4x400-meter relay team a season ago. She set personal record marks in the 60m dash, 200m dash and 300m dash last season and holds three of BSU’s top 10 times ever in the 200m dash on a 300m track. Barker also holds a top 10 time all-time at BSU in the 300m dash and is part of two of the top 10 4x200m teams, two of the top 10 4x400m relay teams on a 200m track and three of the top 10 4x400m relay teams on a 300m track.
Christensen, a sophomore thrower from Glencoe, Minn., took sixth in the shot put at the NSIC Indoor Championships last season and holds two of the program’s top five marks ever in the weight throw. She took nine top 10 finishes in the shot put and weight throw during the indoor season last year, including two wins in the shot put and one top finish in the weight throw.
Junior sprinter Venice Stewart advanced to the 2018-19 NCAA DII Indoor Championship in the 200m dash last season, taking 17th with a time of 24.84. Stewart set program records in the 60m dash, 200m dash (200m and 300m tracks) and 300m dash while also running as the anchor for the record-setting 4x400m relay team.
Bemidji State garnered 87 points in the NSIC Cross Country Preseason Coaches’ Poll to rank ninth, ahead of six conference programs. The Beavers’ ninth-place vote is the highest for the program since the 2011-12 season.
The University of Mary was voted to win the conference with 190 points, including 10 first-place votes, while Minnesota State University, Mankato was voted to finish second with 183 points and four first-place votes.
UMary’s Ida Narbuvoll was named the NSIC Preseason Track Athlete of the Year for the second season in a row. Augustana University’s Olivia Montez Brown was named the NSIC Preseason Field Athlete of the Year in the pentathlon.
The 2019-20 Beaver Track and Field season begins Friday, Dec. 6 at the Dakota Classic in Fargo, N.D. The Beavers will also travel to Duluth, Minn., on Saturday, Dec. 7 to take part in The Opener hosted by the College of St. Scholastica.
2019-20 NSIC Preseason Coaches’ Poll
Team (First Place Votes) Total Points
- University of Mary (10) 190
- Minnesota State (4) 183
- Augustana 172
- Winona State (1) 156
- Minnesota Duluth 131
- Sioux Falls 119
- St. Cloud State 99
- Northern State 92
- Bemidji State 87
- Concordia-St. Paul 82
- Wayne State 73
- MSU Moorhead 69
- Minot State 53
- Upper Iowa 41
- Southwest Minn. State 28
Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).