Buerkle and Preble garner Beaver Pride’s weekly honors
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Buerkle and Preble garner Beaver Pride’s weekly honors
BEMIDJI, Minn. -- Bemidji State University’s track and field standouts Kristi Buerkle (Jr., Stacy, Minn.) and Zac Preble (Sr., Coleraine, Minn.) have been named Beaver Pride Athletes of the Week after outstanding athletic accomplishments during the week of Feb. 22-28.

Buerkle, a 2009 indoor all-America sprinter, gained All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) honors in two events last weekend as the BSU track and field teams participated in the 2010 NSIC Indoor Track and Field Championships.  

The junior captured the league’s 400-meter dash title in 55.09, shattering school and conference records en route to automatically qualifying for the NCAA Division II Championships with the nation’s fastest time.  Buerkle broke the tape .85 in front of her closest competitor, while she trimmed more than a second from her own BSU standard of 56.32 set earlier this season and bested a 17-year-old NSIC record of 56:72 set by Amy Von Wald formerly of Northern State University.  

In addition, the Stacy, Minn. native finished third in the 200-meter dash.  She crossed the line just a fraction of a step behind the NSIC champion and missed a BSU record she established earlier this month (25.26) by just .07.

She was rewarded for her outstanding performance this season by being voted as the NSIC Female Track Athlete of the Year by league coaches.  She stands as the first BSU student-athlete to be selected for the award and joins three-time national champion Sheena Devine (2005-08), the 2008 NSIC Indoor Field Athlete of the Year, as the only other BSU female to earn a NSIC individual indoor laurel.

This week’s Beaver Pride Athlete of the Week award marks the fourth occasion during the 2009-10 campaign that the organization has honored Buerkle, while it stands as the fifth award for a member of either of the BSU track and field teams.  This week’s male athlete of the week, Preble, is a two-time recipient of the award this season and has garnered six Beaver Pride laurels since the beginning of the 2008-09 campaign.  

At the NSIC Championships, Preble took fourth in the pole vault, clearing a personal-best 16-00.00.  He also placed eighth in the shot put with a toss of 48-04.50 at the meet.  Both came in addition to capturing the 2010 NSIC heptathlon title Feb. 14-15.  Preble’s fourth consecutive NSIC championship set a new league record (5,245) and solidified the Coleraine, Minn. native as the top-ranked multi-event athlete in the nation this indoor season.

For his efforts, Preble was selected as the 2010 NSIC Indoor Male Field Athlete of the Year.  He stands as the seventh BSU male to earn NSIC Athlete of the Year honors.

Buerkle and Preble now ready themselves for the NCAA Division II Indoor Championships scheduled for Albuquerque, N.M. Mar. 12-13.  Both enter the championship met as the top-seeded qualifier in their respective events.