Buerkle sprints her way to All-America honors
Saturday, March 14, 2009
HOUSTON -- Bemidji State University track and field athlete Kristi Buerkle (So., Stacy, Minn) earned All-America honors for her efforts at the 2009 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships Saturday afternoon. The sophomore needed to finish in the top eight to earn the honor, and she did just that by finishing seventh in the 400-meter dash. This was Buerkle’s first appearance in the national meet, and she also earned her first career All-American award.

“I am still in shock right now,” Buerkle said. "It feels like a really good way to end the indoor season. My goal coming into today was to stay in ninth and maybe even just run a personal best."

"I knew going into the race I had to beat one person (to earn All-American status). I just ran and stayed strong to stay in front of one person, and as soon as I finshed the race I knew I earned All-America.”

Buerkle crossed the finish line in 57.06 seconds, giving her seventh place among nine other runners.

“It was a nice release when I crossed the line, it gave me an accomplished feeling,” she said.

Buerkle finished just shy of her school-record time (57.03) in the 400-meter dash. Pinar Saka of Nebraska-Omaha won the event with a time of 55.58 seconds.

On the men’s side of the competition, Zac Preble (Jr., Coleraine, Minn.) finished tenth in the heptathlon with 4,384 points. Preble came into the day in the fifth spot, but dropped to tenth after failing to record any points in the pole vault. He was 171 points behind the ninth-place finisher, and 402 points shy of All-America honors. Preble had a strong showing once again in 2009 after not finishing the event in 2008.

The 2009 championships will conclude this evening. Buerkle and Preble have completed competition in their respective events. This wrap up the 2009 indoor campaign for BSU. Look for the Beavers to hit the track again on April 4, as the 2009 Outdoor Track and Field season gets underway.