Beaver track and field teams honored for excellence on and off the track
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
NEW ORLEANS, La. -- Bemidji State University sprinter Kristi Buerkle (Jr., Stacy, Minn.) and decathlete Zac Preble (Sr., Coleraine, Minn.) have been named among the 2010 United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division II All-Academic Track and Field honorees, while BSU’s men’s and women’s track and field programs were recognized with USTFCCCA All-Academic Team awards, the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association announced today.

The BSU duo find themselves in good company as Buerkle was one of a record 272 women from 72 NCAA Division II institutions, while Preble was among 156 male honorees representing 59 Division II institutions across the country that comprised the 2010 men’s and women’s all-academic squads.

Buerkle, who carries a 3.81 GPA in elementary education, is coming off a tremendous 2010 campaign.  The reigning BSU Female Student-Athlete of the Year gained All-America accolades for runner-up finishes at the NCAA Track and Field Championships to conclude both the indoor and outdoor seasons. During the indoor season she established BSU records at the 60-, 200- (25.25), 300- (40.25), 400- (54.76), and 800-meter (2:19.11) distances while capturing the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) championship in the 400-meter dash with a new conference standard (55.09). For her efforts she was named 2010 NSIC Indoor Female Track Athlete of the Year. She was again crowned conference champion at the 400-meter distance clocking a new NSIC record time (54.99) en route to outdoor all-conference honors.  In addition to qualifying and participating in the 400-meter dash at the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships, she also received an invitation for the 200 and earned 19th place.  Her trend of obliterating the BSU sprint record book continued right through the end of the outdoor season. This spring, Buerkle established school records in the 200- (24.65) and 400-meters (53.85), lowering each mark periodically throughout the season before setting new records at the outdoor championships.

In the classroom, Buerkle is a regular on the BSU Athletics’ 3.0 Club and is NSIC All-Academic Team Member for cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field. She has been a member of the 2009 NCAA Division II USTFCCCA Women’s Cross Country All-Academic Team and earned a spot ESPN the Magazine/CoSIDA College Division All-District V team, while being named to the BSU Dean’s List.  

Preble also had a pair of second place finishes to his credit during the 2010 track and field season. BSU’s Male Athlete of the Year garnered All-America accolades in the heptathlon indoors and decathlon outdoors. The senior from Coleraine, Minn. was selected 2010 Central Region Field Indoor Athlete of the Year and 2010 NSIC Indoor Field Athlete of the Year after a stellar indoor season.  The team captain captured an unprecedented fourth consecutive NSIC heptathlon championship recording school and conference records with 5,245 points. In addition, he also cleared a personal-best 16-00.00 in the pole vault to finish fourth and rank among the nation’s top 20 vaulters, while placing eighth in the shot put with a toss of 48-04.50 at the NSIC Championships. An automatic qualifier for the NCAA Indoor Championships, he added to his BSU heptathlon record earning 5,294 en route to finishing second and posting two of the top three scores in the country during the indoor season. Preble then captured his fourth consecutive NSIC decathlon title scoring an NSIC-record 6,957 points. Preble automatically qualified for the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships early in the season and again broke his own school record in the 10-discipline event netting 7,193 en route to runner-up laurels.

Preble capped his collegiate career as an eight-time NSIC champion, three-time NCAA Division II multi-event All-America performer and five-time national championship qualifier in addition to owning BSU and NSIC records in both the heptathlon and decathlon.

Academically, Preble, who owns a 3.54 GPA in industrial technology, is a regular member of the BSU Dean’s List and BSU Athletic Department’s 3.0 Club.  He is a six-time Academic All-NSIC selection and has been picked to represent Bemidji State on the ESPN the Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District V squad.

To qualify for the USTFCCCA All-Academic Track and Field Team, the student-athlete must have compiled a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.25 and have met the NCAA Division II indoor or outdoor automatic or provisional qualifying standard in their respective events.

In addition to individual success, the association also selected the Bemidji State men’s and women’s track and field squads as 2010 USTFCCCA Division II All-Academic Teams. With a 3.34 team grade-point average, the BSU women were ranked 22nd among 67 teams across the country, while the men’s team was 11th out of 34 NCAA Division II teams to be bestowed with the honor based on a 3.14 GPA.