Buerkle qualifies for NCAA 400-meter final with BSU-record time
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Buerkle qualifies for NCAA 400-meter final with BSU-record time
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Irwin Belk Track Complex) -- Bemidji State University standout sprinter Kristi Buerkle (Stacy, Minn.) opened her trip to the 2010 NCAA Division II Outdoor Championships with a bang.  The junior qualified for the 400-meter dash finals, clocking a school-record time in day one of the championships at Irwin Belk Track Complex in Charlotte, N.C.

Buerkle, who automatically qualified for the 400-meter dash with a pair of sub-55.00 times, entered the championships ranked fifth in all of NCAA Division II.  Thursday she finished the preliminary round of the 400-meter dash sitting third.  The junior clocked a time of 54.31 to cross the finish line third and secure a spot in Saturday’s 5:45 p.m. final.

In addition to advancing to the championship race, her mark trimmed more than a half second from her own school record 54.76 set just two weeks ago at Winona State University’s last-chance meet the Warrior Open.

Buerkle, the BSU outdoor record-holder at the 200-meter distance to supplement her 400-meter mark, also qualified for the NCAA Championships 200-meter dash.  Ranked 25th in the field with a season-best time of 24.65, the junior will begin preliminary action in the event at 5 p.m. Friday.

Buerkle enters the 2010 national championship meet as a three-time All-America performer in the 400-meter dash.  In addition to her second-place finish and All-America status earned at the 2010 NCAA Indoor Championships, she also garnered All-America honors at the 2009 outdoor championships and took seventh and earned her first All-America accolade at the 2009 NCAA indoor meet.

Day two of the NCAA Championships opens tomorrow with the men’s decathlon.  BSU’s Zac Preble (Sr., Coleraine, Minn.) currently sits second in the 10- discipline event and will complete in the 110-meter hurdles, discus throw, pole vault, javelin throw and 1,500-meter run beginning at 9:30 a.m.