Buerkle improves national standing in 400-mter dash
Monday, May 4, 2009
MOORHEAD, Minn. -- Bemidji State University sophomore Kristi Buerkle (Stacy, Minn.) improved her standing on the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Performance list to seventh Saturday claiming first place at the Ron Masanz Open in Moorhead, Minn.

Buerkle broke the tape in 56.03, edging the rest of the field by nearly two seconds. Her season-best time of the 2009 outdoor campaign shaved .23 from her previous best from a week earlier and stretched her lead on the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) top 10 list to .78. The 2009 indoor All-America honoree has now won each of the six outdoor 400-meter events in which she has participated.

Buerkle also ran a 200-meter time of 25.45 at the meet to place second.

The Beavers also got a third place finish from Genna Ironi (Jr., Sauk Centre, Minn.). Ironi posted a time of 2:22.94 in the 800-meter run and was just a fraction of a second out of second place. Her time places her on the fringe of the NSIC’s top 10 800 times this season entering the conference championships.

On the men’s side, Bemidji State’s best showing was a third-place finish in the high jump by freshman Marcus Dennis (Walker, Minn.). Dennis cleared 6-2 3/4 in his first competition since posting 6-4 to take third at the North State Quad April 10.

The Bemidji State track and field teams travel to Wayne, Neb. to compete in the NSIC Championships. Field events get underway from Memorial Stadium, Bob Cunningham Field at 11 a.m. with the men’s hammer throw and pole vault and the women’s javelin. Running events begin at 1 p.m. when the women toe the line for the 1,500-merer run preliminaries. The event continues at 11 a.m. again Saturday and will conclude with an awards ceremony at approximately 5 p.m.