Bemidji State men in sixth at NSIC Outdoor Championships
Friday, May 13, 2011
Bemidji State men in sixth at NSIC Outdoor Championships

**Update** The men’s and women’s pole vault along with the men’s and women’s long jump NSIC Championship events were move indoors to Northern State University’s Barnett Center due to cool, wet and windy conditions late Friday afternoon.  Results in these events were not available at the time of the original release. Results in this release have been adjusted accordingly.

 ABERDEEN, S.D. (Swisher Field/Barnett Center) -- Led by a quartet of podium finishes in the field events and buoyed by a strong performance in the multi events, the Bemidji State University men’s track and field team sits sixth after the first day of the 2011 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Outdoor Championships, at Swisher Field in Aberdeen, S.D.  BSU women are tied for 10th.

With 10 field events and the men’s and women’s 10,000-meter runs decided Friday, Augustana College sits atop the women’s team standings with 61 points.  Led by NSIC-record performances in the 10,000-meter run and high jump by Runa Falch (37:11.55) and Andrea Whitney (5-9.25) the Vikings hold a 18 1/2 point lead over second-place Winona State University.  Minnesota State University, Moorhead scored 55 points on the opening day of the championships to lead the men’s team race, while the host Northern State University sits second with 38.

The Beaver men were led by Raphael Gelo (So., Kabetogama, Minn.) who cleared 15 feet, 9 1/4 inches on his fourth attempt in the pole vault to capture third place in the weather-delayed event. 

Another bright spot for the BSU men Friday was Jakob Bissell (Fr., Plymouth, N.H.), who earned fifth place in the javelin.  The freshman posted a personal-best 177 feet, 5 inches to finish two feet beyond teammate Tandy Juell (So., Redwood Falls, Minn.), who took sixth with 175-04.

In addition, Brian Leonhardt (So., Blaine, Minn.) stretched the tape to 156 feet, 11 inches to take sixth in the hammer throw.

The Beavers entered the team competition in third place in the standings with 10 points after the NSIC Multi-event Championships held in Aberdeen, S.D. May 1-2.  Juell captured the decathlon championship and provisionally qualified for the NCAA Championships with 6,531 points. 

Also in competition Friday, Eric Schauer (Jr., Langdon, Minn.) posted the second-fastest time (1:59.64) in preliminary rounds to qualify for the 800-meter run finals.

BSU had no women post top eight finishes in any championship events Friday, but forwarded members to final rounds in four events.  Senior All-America sprinter Kristi Buerkle (Stacy, Minn.) led the squad qualifying first in both the 200- and 400-meter dash events.  In addition, Michelle Ohman (So., Prior Lake, Minn.) posted the sixth-fastest time in the 800-meter run and newcomer Ashley Larva (Fr., Floodwood, Minn.) recorded a season-best 14.96 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles to take the eighth and final spot in the finals of the event.

The BSU women opened competition today fourth in the team standings with six points after Taylor Sautbine (So., Tamarack, Minn.) finished third in the NSIC heptathlon nearly two weeks ago.  The team failed to record any additional points Friday and finished the first day of competition locked in a tied for 10th with Concordia University, St. Paul (6).

Bemidji State and the rest of the NSIC championship field will be back in action tomorrow as champions will be crowned in the final 28 events.  Competition is set to begin at 11 a.m. with the women’s shot put and triple jump and the men’s discus.  The women’s 4-by-400-meter relay teams toe the line at 1 p.m. to open events on the track.