Bemidji State track and field teams garner attention for work off the track
Thursday, July 9, 2009
NEW ORLEANS, La. -- Bemidji State University sprinter Kristi Buerkle (Jr., Stacy, Minn.) and decathlete Zac Preble (Sr., Coleraine, Minn.) have been named to the 2009 USTFCCCA Division II All-Academic Track and Field Teams, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association announced today.

The BSU duo find themselves in good company as Buerkle was one of 250 women from 72 NCAA Division II institutions, while Preble was among 136 male honorees representing 56 Division II institutions across the country that made up the men’s 2009 men’s and women’s all-academic squads.

Buerkle, a two-time All-America honoree, recently completed a stellar sophomore campaign. The Stacy, Minn. native captured All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) honors during both the indoor and outdoor seasons, while posting an NSIC title at the 400-meter distance and placing seventh in the indoor 200-meter dash and fourth in the outdoor 400 at the NCAA Division II Championships. In addition, the two-time NSIC Female Track Athlete of the Week set new BSU records in the 200-meter dash (25.63), 300-meters (41.07) and 400-meters (57.03) indoors and ran a 54.83 in the outdoor 400-meter event to break a 22-year-old school record.

Preble, a Coleraine, Minn. native, earned All-America status this spring with a fourth-place finish in the decathlon at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Championship meet. The BSU and NSIC record-holder and three-time defending conference champion in the decathlon (6,672 points) also owns school and conference standards in the heptathlon (5,012 points) -- an event he has won each of the last three indoor campaigns. This spring, the multi-talented student-athlete also earned the distinction of being the high point man at the NSIC Outdoor Championships placing in eight events in addition to his decathlon title.

To qualify for the USTFCCCA All-Academic Track and Field Team, the student-athlete must have compiled a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.25 and have met the NCAA Division II indoor or outdoor automatic or provisional qualifying standard in their respective events.

In addition to individual success, the association also selected the Bemidji State men’s and women’s track and field squads as 2009 USTFCCCA Division II All-Academic Teams. With a 3.410 team grade-point average, the BSU women were ranked 13th among 64 teams across the country, while the men’s team was 17th out of 27 NCAA Division II teams to be bestowed with the honor based on academic and athletic achievements. Among the 14 NSIC member institutions, only Bemidji State and Augustana College had both men’s and women’s teams selected for the team award.

Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., competes at the NCAA Division I and II levels and is a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC), the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) and College Hockey America (CHA).