USTFCCCA names BSU’s Preble Central Region Athlete of the Year
Friday, March 5, 2010
USTFCCCA names BSU’s Preble Central Region Athlete of the Year
New Orleans, la. -- Bemidji State University senior Zac Preble (Coleraine, Minn.) was today recognized by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).   

Preble was named 2010 Central Regional Men’s Indoor Field Athlete of the Year, by the organization, joining 33 student-athletes from across the country on the list of awards voted on by NCAA Division II coaches.  

“This is a well-deserved award for Zac,” BSU head track and field coach Craig Hougen commented. “He has worked very hard to make himself a complete athlete over the last four years.  From learning how to pole vault, to training to become a high jumper and even to becoming a bit of a distance runner, it is fun to see that his hard work is paying off.

“The coaches at the national meet, know Zac, they know me and they know Bemidji State and recognize that there are good things happening here.”
An outdoor All-America performer, placing fourth in the 2009 decathlon, Preble is poised to make a another run at All-America honors to conclude the 2010 indoor season.  He enters the NCAA Championships as the top-ranked multi-event athlete after automatically qualifying for the national meet with 5,245 at the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) Indoor Track and Field Championships, Feb. 14-15, to earn his fourth consecutive conference heptathlon title.

Preble’s career-best mark in the seven-event competition, shattered institution and league standards set by the senior in prior competition.
In addition, he cleared a personal-best 16-00.00 in the pole vault to finish fourth at the NSIC Championships and rank among the nation’s top 20 vaulters for the 2010 indoor season.  Preble also placed eighth in the shot put with a toss of 48-04.50 in addition to capturing the 2010 NSIC heptathlon championship.  

The most recent honor comes in the final stretch of a well-decorated track and field career.  Preble is the BSU and NSIC record-holder in the decathlon in addition to his recent record-breaking performance in the heptathlon.  The Coleraine, Minn. native is  the three-time defending NSIC Decathlon champion and two-time national championship participant in the 10-event outdoor competition.  He has garnered NSIC and Beaver Pride Athlete of the Week honors on six occasions and has been named Beaver Pride Newcomer of the Year (2006-07) and 2010 NSIC Male Indoor Filed Athlete of the Year.

Equally as talented in the classroom, the well-rounded student-athlete is a five-time Academic All-NSIC selection, is a regular on the Bemidji State Dean’s List and has earned the USTFCCCA All-Academic Individual honors in 2008 and 2009.

Male and female track and field athletes of the year from each of eight regions, who are now eligible for national athlete of the year laurels, will be honored Thursday, Mar. 11 at the pre-championship banquet on the eve of the NCAA Division II National Indoor Track and Field Championships March 12-14 in Albuquerque, N.M.  The 2010 USTFCCCA’s national awards will also be announced at the banquet.

Preble and teammate Kristi Buerkle (Jr., Stacy, Minn.), the nation’s top 400-meter runner, begin their trip to Albuquerque, N.M. for the NCAA Division II Indoor Championships Tuesday.  Competition is set to begin Friday, Mar. 12 at 9 a.m. when Preble puts his feet in the starting blocks for the 60-meter dash.  Buerkle runs her first 400-meter preliminary race at 4:50 p.m. that afternoon with finals in the event set for 3:50 p.m. Mar. 13.