Preble and Juell headline St. John’s Decathlon
Monday, April 12, 2010
Preble and Juell headline St. John’s Decathlon
COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. -- Bemidji State University All-America multi-event athlete Zac Preble (Sr., Coleraine, Minn.) punched his ticket for Charlotte, N.C. and the 2010 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships today with a standout performance at the St. John’s University Decathlon in Collegeville, Minn.  The senior scored 7,026 in the 10-event competition to automatically qualify for the national meet and come within 59 points of his own school record score.

Freshman teammate Tandy Juell (Redwood Falls, Minn.) completed his first crack at the decathlon in second place with 5,971, while Brian Baulke (Jr., LeCenter, Minn.) accumulated 4,861 to finish in fifth place.

Opening the competition with a 11.44, first-place finish in the 100-meter dash, Preble garnered 765 points to lead from nearly wire to wire, simply overmatching the competition.  He posted the best time, height or distance in seven of the 10 events to claim the individual title by 1,055 points.

Preble followed his win in the 100-meters with a leap of 20-10 in the long jump.  A second-place finish in the event gave him 1,429 points placing him in second overall, 98 points behind Ryan Koch. But the third event, the shot put, has always been a strength of the senior and a throw of 47-11.75 gave him 766 points for a three-event total of 2,195--six points ahead of Koch--as he moved into the lead for good.   Preble finished the first day of competition solidly atop the leader board with 3,565 after garnering 653 in the high jump by clearing 6-0 before breaking the 400-meter dash tape in a time of 52.18 for 717 points.  The event win sparked a stretch of five consecutive first-pace finishes for Preble.

The Coleraine, Minn. native opened the second day of competition with a first-place finish in the 110-meter hurdles clocking a time of 16.08 to pile 724 onto his total.  He widened the gap over the competition in the sixth event--the discus.  Preble outdistanced the field by over 24 feet as he stretched the tape to 141-6 (728 pts).  After a 14-9 (760) in the pole vault, he scored 665 with a 180-11 in the javelin before closing out the competition finishing fourth in the 1,500-meter run with a time of 4:55.76 (584).

The automatically qualifying mark gives him the top decathlon score in the nation this season and assures the BSU standout of a chance to defend the All-America honors he acquired last spring.  As a junior he scored a school-record 7,085 at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships to become the first BSU athlete to eclipse the 7,000-point plateau and capture fourth place overall.  This year’s national championship meet takes place in Charlotte, N.C. May 27-29.

Highlights of the competition for Juell came on the track.  The freshman finished a fraction of a second behind Preble in the 100-meter dash, clocking a second-place time of 11.47 (759).  He also took runner-up honors in the 1,500-meter run crossing the finish line in 4:53.77 (596)--less than 15 seconds behind BSU teammate Baulke who posted his best finish of the meet with a 4:38.92 for first place in the race.

Preble, Juell, Baulke and the rest of the BSU outdoor track and field teams will be back in action April 17, when they travel to Duluth, Minn. to compete in the 2010 Bulldog Open.