Zoey Mills chosen BSU Athlete to Watch in NSIC XC Preseason Coaches’ Poll

Zoey Mills chosen BSU Athlete to Watch in NSIC XC Preseason Coaches’ Poll
Monday, August 23, 2021
Zoey Mills chosen BSU Athlete to Watch in NSIC XC Preseason Coaches’ Poll

BURNSVILLE, Minn. -- The Bemidji State University cross country program was tabbed to finish 12th as the 2021 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll was released on Thursday. Freshman Zoey Mills was named the BSU Athlete to Watch after setting a top-10 program time in the 5,000 meter run during the outdoor track & field season.

Bemidji State totaled 69 points in the preseason coaches’ poll to rank 12th, just behind Minnesota State University Moorhead and St. Cloud State University in a tie for 10th with 103 points. Augustana University was voted to finish first in the poll with 220 total points and 10 first-place votes, while the University of Mary finished second with 216 total points and the final six first-place votes.

Mills, a native of Blackduck, Minn., is set for her first season of cross country at Bemidji State after competing in indoor and outdoor track during 2021. She set the outdoor program’s fifth-best time in the 5K with a time of 19:05.25.

Returning as Bemidji State’s most experienced runner is senior Ryne Prigge. Prigge holds BSU’s 4K and 5K cross country program records and ranks second all-time at BSU in the 6K. She finished 47th at the 2019 NCAA Central Regional with a personal record time of 22:48.90 in the 6K, which ranks as the highest finish for a Beaver at the NCAA Regional meet since at least 2002.

The Beavers will open their five-meet schedule Sept. 10 with a meet day at the Dragon Twilight in Moorhead, Minn. BSU will follow with races at the Roy Griak Invitational on Sept. 24, the Waxlax Invitational on Oct. 8, the NSIC Cross Country Championships on Oct. 23 and the NCAA Central Regional on Nov. 6.

NSIC Preseason Coaches’ Poll
Team (First Place Votes) Total Points
1. Augustana (10) 220
2. UMary (6) 216
3. Winona State 183
4. Minnesota State 173
5. Minnesota Duluth 172
6. Minot State 158
7. Concordia-St. Paul 124
8. Northern State 121
9. Sioux Falls 120
10. MSU Moorhead 103
      St. Cloud State 103
12. Bemidji State 69
13. Wayne State 61
14. Southwest Minn. State 42
15. Upper Iowa 39
16. Minnesota Crookston 16

Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).