Buerkle and Preble earn Beaver Pride Athletes of the Week honors
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Buerkle and Preble earn Beaver Pride Athletes of the Week honors
BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The Bemidji State University men’s and women’s track and field programs are the focus of this week’s Beaver Pride Athlete of the Week selections. Junior sprinter Kristi Buerkle (Stacy, Minn.) has been named female athlete of the week, while Zac Preble (Coleraine, Minn.), a senior multi-event athlete, has been picked for the organization’s male honor after outstanding athletic accomplishments during the week of April 19-25.

Buerkle again solidified her place among the nation’s top NCAA Division II sprinters Friday as she took part in Simpson College’s Kip Janvrin Open in Indianola, Iowa.  The junior took top honors in the 400-meter dash. In an event field stacked with some of the nation’s top Division II student-athletes, along with Division I sprinters sprinkled in, Buerkle was first to cross the finish line.  Not only did she edge the competition, she clocked a meet-record time of 55.22. The previous Kip Janvrin Open mark of 56.08 was set in 2008 by Rikita Butler.

Although it was not Buerkle’s fastest time of the season, it still stands as the ninth-fastest NCAA Division II 400 time of 2010.

Preble captured his fourth consecutive NSIC decathlon crown and established a new conference record scoring 6,957 points Sunday and Monday at the 2010 NSIC Multi-Event Championships in Aberdeen, S.D.  

The 2009 All-America decathlete, moved into first place after four events and did not relinquish the lead.  Owning a 23-point advantage to begin day two of the 10-discipline competition, Preble made the best of less-than-ideal weather conditions building an insurmountable lead after the completion of nine events.  He finished the day with a 802-point edge over his closest competitor, topping his own league record (6,627) by 330 points, set in 2006.

Preble now owns two of the nation’s top three decathlon performances this outdoor season.  He automatically qualified for the 2010 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Charlotte, N.C. May 27-29 with 7,026 at the St. John’s University Decathlon in mid-April.

The Beaver Pride Athlete of the Week award marks the sixth time the organization has honored Buerkle during the 2009-10 campaign, while it stands as the fifth honor for Preble.  The two have combined for 11 of the BSU track and field teams’ 12 weekly honors this season.

The Bemidji State men’s and women’s track and field teams will be back in action May 1 when they travel to Moorhead, Minn. to participate in the Ron Masanz Open.