Bemidji State athletes receive USTFCCCA All-Regional accolades
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Bemidji State athletes receive USTFCCCA All-Regional accolades
NEW ORLEANS -- Three Bemidji State University men’s and women’s outdoor track and field athletes collected All-Central Region honors from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) today.  In an announcement from the organization, senior Kristi Buerkle (Stacy, Minn.) was recognized for her efforts in the 200-meter and 400-meter dash events, while Raphael Gelo (So., Kabetogama, Minn.) earned recognition in the pole vault and Tandy Juell (So., Redwood Falls, Minn.) was honored for his performances in both the javelin and heptathlon events.

Buerkle is coming off a pair of Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) championship performances last weekend.  She captured the 200-meter title with a time of 24.22 seconds, breaking her own school record (24.46) in the process.  She followed that by successfully defending her conference outdoor 400-meter dash crown breaking the tape in 56.09 seconds.  Her time in the event fell just short of her season-best, provisional-qualifying time of 54.66 seconds posted April 28.

Buerkle is automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships in 400-meter dash, ranking fourth in the country and is provisionally qualified in the 200-meter dash posting the 22nd fastest time in the nation in 2011.

Coming off a NSIC pole vault title and trip to the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships in March, Gelo has carried his success into the outdoor season.  The sophomore captured third place at the NSIC championships and provisionally qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships clearing a school-record 16 feet, 5 1/2 inches in the pole vault.

Juell continued BSU’s dominance in the men’s multi events claiming the NSIC decathlon title May 2.  His score of 6,531 in the ten-discipline event was tops in the NSIC and ranked 11th in the nation this outdoor season.  In addition, the sophomore ranks fourth in the NSIC in the javelin after recording a throw of 182 feet en route to his conference decathlon title.

The 2011 season marks the first time the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) has named All-Region honorees for outdoor track and field in NCAA Division II. The top five from each region in individual events and each member of a relay team ranked in the region’s top three have earned the all-region distinction for the 2011 outdoor season.

A total of 1,250 athletes receive 1,838 all-region nods in the inaugural class.

BSU’s trio of all-region athletes as well as thrower Brian Leonhardt (So., Blaine, Minn.), who ranks among the top 25 throwers in the country in both the discus and shot put, now await the final NCAA Division II performance lists to see if they make the accepted NCAA Outdoor Championship field.  That announcement could come as early as today.

The NCAA Division II Out Door Track and Field Championships will take place May 26-27 at California State University, Stanisaus’ Al Brenda Track Facility in Turlock, Calif.