Buerkle and Gelo garner Beaver Pride Athlete of the Week honors
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Buerkle and Gelo garner Beaver Pride Athlete of the Week honors
BEMIDJI, Minn. -- Bemidji State University track and field athletes Kristi Buerkle (Sr., Stacy, Minn.) and Raphael Gelo (So., Kabetogama, Minn.) have been named Beaver Pride Athletes of the Week after recording outstanding athletic accomplishments during the week of Feb. 21-27.

Buerkle took the 400-meter dash crown for the second consecutive year at the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Indoor Championships Feb. 25-26, posting a time of 55.22 - just .17 off her NSIC record setting pace in last year’s championship victory. In the 200-meter dash finals, Buerkle broke her own school record en-route to finishing in second-place. Buerkle crossed the finish line in 24.94, missing out on first-place by a step (.05) in the photo finish. The Stacy, Minn. native turned in her best times of the year in both the 200-meter and 400-meter dashes. She also anchored a 4x400-meter team that finished fourth (4:01.65) and shaved six seconds off its best time of 2011. She owns the second fastest time in the nation in the 400-meters, earning a trip to nationals. Her 200-meter time also places her in the national meet with the 11th fastest time.

This week’s Beaver Pride Athlete of the Week selection is the third of the 2010-11 season for Buekle and the women’s track and field team and also represents an unprecedented 15th award of her career.

Gelo captured the NSIC pole vault title by clearing a personal-best 16-00.75 at the NSIC Indoor Championships. The sophomore is the first BSU men’s indoor pole vault champion since 1999, when John Pietila took the title clearing 16-00.00. Gelo’s mark tied him for seventh in the nation, earning him all-region honors and an opportunity to compete at the national meet.

The Beaver Pride weekly award marks the first of Gelo’s career and the third of the season for the men’s track and field team. He follows Jacob Nelson (Fr., Pierz, Minn.) and Tandy Juell (Fr., Redwood Falls, Minn.), who received the awards Jan. 19 and Feb. 16, respectfully.

Buerkle (200- and 400-meter dash) and Gelo (pole vault) will represent Bemidji State at the 2011 NCAA Division II Indoor Championships, hosted by Adams State University at the Albuquerque Convention Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, March 11-12.