Pribula, relay teams shine at first day of NSIC championships
Friday, May 7, 2004
DULUTH, Minn. - Sophomore Christa Pribula (East Grand Forks, Minn.) posted the highest individual finish for Bemidji State after the first day of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Duluth, Minn. Pribula finished in second place in the 3000-meter steeplechase with a blistering 11:51.99 time, smashing her own school record in the process.

Both the men’s and the women’s 4x800-meter relay teams finished in second place. The men’s team, consisting of seniors Corey White (Winthrop, Minn.) and Kipton Solmonson (Glencoe, Minn.), sophomore Tim Girod (Apple Valley, Minn.) and freshman Richie Babler (Perham, Minn.), finished behind Wayne State with a time of 8:22.35. Freshmen Nicole Friend (International Falls, Minn.) and Shelby McCrady (Montgomery, Minn.), Pribula, and junior Paige Ferguson (Robbins, Calif.) made up the women’s team, who finished behind only Concordia-St. Paul with a time of 10:06.96.

After the first day of competition, the women’s team sits in fifth place with 31 points, just six behind fourth-place Northern State. With 28 points, The men’s team stands in sixth place, but remains optimistic for a high finish after tomorrow’s events. Sophomore Tyson Kuznia (Argyle, Minn.), who entered the championship ranked in third place in the 400-meter hurdles, now stands in first place in the event and is poised to score major points for the Beavers in the finals tomorrow.

“I’m very optimistic that tomorrow should go extremely well for us,” head coach Craig Hougen said. “We have several athletes in scoring position in the 100-meter, 200-meter, and hurdles. The shot put, discus, and high jump also hold excellent possibilities for our teams.”

Senior Caesare Stimson (Chisago Lakes, Minn.) now accounts for 15 of the women’s team’s 28 points. Already the holder of the NSIC heptathlon title, she added five championship points tonight after finishing fourth in the javelin throw. Stimson is in an excellent position to score points in three additional events tomorrow, as she currently sits in fifth place in each of the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash, and 100-meter hurdles.

Representing their highest-scoring event of the day, the steeplechase was also kind to the men’s squad. Sophomore Matt Bischof and freshman Scott Anderson, both hailing from Fergus Falls, Minn., combined for five points in the event. Bischof ended up in fifth place with a time of 10:07.19, while Anderson’s time of 10:50.04 earned him an eighth-place finish.

Three other Bemidji State athletes scored points for the men’s team. Sophomore Jason Jacoby (Clements, Minn.), senior Mitch Cooper (Davenport, Iowa) and sophomore Phil McCollam (Idaho Falls, Idaho) drew blood in the 10,000-meter run, long jump and hammer throw, respectively.

Field events will commence at Minnesota-Duluth’s Griggs Field at 10:00 am Saturday morning, with the meet wrapping up in the late afternoon.