Buerkle and Preble garner Beaver Pride Athlete of the Week honors
Wednesday, May 13, 2009

BEMIDJI, Minn. -- Bemidji State University’s Kristi Buerkle (So., Stacy, Minn.) and Zac Preble (Jr., Coleraine, Minn.) have been selected as the final Beaver Pride Athletes of the Week for 2008-09 after outstanding athletic performances during the week of May 4-10.

Buerkle set a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) record in the 400-meter dash en route to an event championship and all-conference honors Saturday at the 2009 NSIC Outdoor Track and field Championships in Wayne, Neb. The sophomore's 400-meter time of 55.26 was her best of the outdoor campaign, shaved .13 from a five-year-old conference mark set by University of Minnesota Duluth's Andrea Vake (55.43) and slid her up to fourth on the NCAA Division II Performance list. The mark assures Buerkle, a 2009 indoor All-America sprinter, a place in the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships May 21-23 in San Angelo, Tex.

In addition to her 400-meter title, Buerkle also placed fourth in the 200-meter dash with a time of 25.28.

For the second consecutive week and fourth time in 2008-09 Preble has pulled down Beaver Pride Male Athlete of the Week honors. The junior paced the Bemidji State men at the NSIC Championships. Already an All-NSIC competitor after earning his third straight NSIC decathlon crown April 29, the junior placed in eight events. He took third in the javelin with a toss of 169-03 and posted a 145-08 in the discus throw to finish sixth. In addition, he finished seventh as the anchor for the Beavers' 4x400-meter relay team (3:24.81) and eighth in the 400-meter hurdles (58.16), 4x100-meter relay (44-32), pole vault (14-7.25) and shot put (47-05.00).

Buerkle and Preble wrap up the 2009 outdoor season and the 2008-09 athletic campaign at Bemidji State at the national championships May 21-23. Preble, ranked fifth in the decathlon, will begin competition 10:30 a.m. May 21. Buerkle, who owns the fourth-fastest 400-meter dash time in all of Division II this spring, runs her preliminary race at 6:10 p.m. May 21 with hopes of running the event finals at 6:45 p.m. May 23.