Preble eyes national title after day one of the NCAA decathlon
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Preble eyes national title after day one of the NCAA decathlon
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Irwin Belk Track Complex) -- Four-time defending Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) decathlon champion and two-time All-America performer Zac Preble (Sr., Coleraine, Minn.) has the 2010 NCAA outdoor decathlon crown within reach after the first five events.  The Bemidji State University senior is currently in second place, just 117 points off the lead, at the conclusion of the first full day of competition at Irwin Belk Track Complex in Charlotte, N.C.

A 2009 NCAA Division II All-America performer in the decathlon and owner of the BSU (7,085) and NSIC (6,957) decathlon records, Preble is not only in contention for the national championship with 3,748 points, he is also well ahead of his own school record pace in the event.

Second among the field after the first five events, Preble trails only Central Missouri University sophomore Darius Walker.  Walker, the 2010 NCAA Division II Indoor Heptathlon Champion and only participant to edge the BSU senior at the indoor championships, garnered 3,865 points on day one using first-place finishes in the 100-meter dash (10.84), long jump (22-09.75) and 400-meters (47.75) to gain an edge on the field.

Preble opened the championships garnering 782 points with a fifth-place 100-meter dash time of 11.36.  He followed that placing seventh, earning 695 points, in the long jump recording a leap of 21-03.50.  

Seated seventh in the 12-competitor field after the first two disciplines, Preble climbed into second place overall tacking on nearly 18 inches to his season best toss in the shot put.  He stretched the tape to 49-05.75, outdistancing the rest of the field by nearly seven feet and gathering 795 points.

The BSU record-holder garnered 697 points with a sixth-place, 6-01.25 in the long jump.  The boost put Preble in the lead after four events, but the senior would have to settle for second place at the conclusion of day one after a simply outstanding 400-meter dash by Walker.  Although Preble shaved nearly a second-and-a-half from his best 400 time of the season (52.00), his 50.39 and 797 points fell just short of the Central Missouri student-athlete.  Walker broke the tape in a time of 47.75 to garner 921 points to gain over 100 points on the rest of the field.

Already a two-time All-America multi-event athlete, Preble is well on his way to more individual honors.  The Coleraine, Minn. native also secured fourth place and All-America honors in the decathlon at the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Championships with a school-record 7,085, while he again gained All-America accolades with a second-place finish at the 2010 NCAA Indoor meet this spring.

Day two of the NCAA Championships begins tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. with the men’s decathlon.  Preble and the rest of the field will compete in the 110-meter hurdles, discus throw, pole vault, javelin throw and 1,500-meter run.  In addition, BSU sprinter Kristi Buerkle (Jr., Stacy, Minn.), who already qualified for the 400-meter dash finals with a school-record 54.31, will be in action as she attempts to make the 200-meter dash finals at 5 p.m. in the 200-meter prelims.