Indianola, Iowa -- (Bill Buxton Stadium) Sophomore Raphael Gelo’s (So., Kabetogama, Minn.) school record in the pole vault headlined a slimmed down version of the Bemidji State University men’s and women’s outdoor track and field teams, as the Beavers flexed their muscle Friday earning three first-place finishes at the 2011 Kip janvrin Open at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa.
Gelo won the pole vault, clearing 16 feet 4 inches, as he sailed past a 16 year-old BSU men’s outdoor record to provisionally qualify for the 2011 NCAA DII Outdoor Track and Field Championships. The sophomore broke the previous school record of 16-1 set by Todd Williams in 1995. Gelo’s record setting mark ranks him ninth in the country and first in the NSIC.
Kristi Buerkle (Sr., Stacy, Minn.) turned in the fastest time in the NSIC this season and the fourth-best time in the nation, breaking the tape in 54.66 seconds, to win the 400-meter dash crown. Buerkle shaved more than a second (1.03) from her season-best time to provisionally qualifying for the 2011 NCAA Championships.
The BSU men’s 4x100 meter relay team of Mark Buerkle (So., Stacy, Minn), Sam Bofferding (Sr., Marshall, Minn.), Andrew Roiger (Fr., Dawson, Minn.) and Tandy Juell (So., Redwood Falls, Minn.) took the top spot with the team's fastest time of the season, 43.20 seconds.
In addition to anchoring the 4x100 meter relay team, Juell placed third in the javelin throw with a mark of 163-6 and 11th in the 100-meter dash with a 2011-best 11.27 seconds.
Buerkle (Stacy, Minn.) finished fifth in the 400 with a 2011-best time of 50.48 seconds, while Roiger turned in his best time of the year in the 400 (52.21) placing 17th.
On the women’s side, sophomore Michelle Ohman (Prior Lake, Minn.) turned in a personal-best in the 400 with a time of 59.69 seconds, sprinting home in fourth-place. Freshman Ashley Larva (Floodwood, Minn.) cut 0.65 seconds from her previous best in the 100-merter hurdles, finishing in 15.64 seconds.
The women’s 4x100 relay team crossed the finish line in 49.62 seconds, good enough for third-place. The team of Larva, Taylor Sautbine (So., Tamarack, Minn.), Ohman, and Buerkle came within a second of the school record (49.27) in the event.
The entire BSU contingent will be in action Saturday to compete in the Al Sahli Invitational at Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D. with the running events starting at 10:30 a.m. followed by the field events at 11 a.m.