Bemidji State’s Buerkle and Juell in contention for NCAA Championships
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Bemidji State’s Buerkle and Juell in contention for NCAA Championships
TURLOCK, Calif. (Al Brenda Track Facility) -- The Bemidji State University men’s and women’s track and field teams were well represented in the first day of competition at the 2011 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships Thursday at Al Brenda Track Facility on the campus of California State University, Stanislaus in Turlock Calif.

Senior standout Kristi Buerkle (Stacy, Minn.) advanced to the finals of the 400-meter dash, while sophomore Tandy Juell (Redwood Falls, Minn.) has All-America status within his reach holding down seventh place after the first five events of the decathlon.  Juell is in fifth place, just 568 points off the lead, at the conclusion of the first full day of competition.
Entering the championships seeded fourth in the country, Buerkle’s ranking held true to form in the 400-meter prelims.  The two-time defending Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) champion and BSU record-holder in the event turned in a time of 54.97 seconds to finish second in third heat of the day and enter Saturday’s finals fourth overall.

She qualified for the outdoor 400-meter finals for the third time in her career.  Last spring Buerkle claimed runner-up honors clocking a school-record time of 53.85.

Juell, the 2011 NSIC decathlon champion not only remains in contention for the national championship after day one with 3,373 points, he is just five points off his personal-best pace in the 10-discipline event.

Brad Gamble, a senior from Chadron State University, leads the 12-man field, garnering 3,941 points on day one using first-place, 6-foot, 8-inch mark in the high jump to take a 140-point advantage over Central Missouri University’s Brent Vogel (3,801) and the other 10 competitors.

Juell opened the championships garnering 872 points with third place in the 100-meter dash clocking a season-best time of 11.15 seconds.  He followed that by placing ninth, earning 628 points, in the long jump recording a leap of 20 feet, 3 3/4 inches on his third and final attempt.  

Seated fourth in the 12-competitor field after the first two disciplines, Juell fell into sixth place overall  with a sixth-place finish in the shot put.  He stretched the tape to 39 feet, 3 1/4 inches, falling just shy of his season-best throw (39-8 1/2), gathering 605 points.

The NSIC champion gained 593 points in the high jump clearing 5 feet, 9 1/4 inches.  The height was 12th among his counterparts and Juell slipped to seventh overall, just three points out of sixth.

The sophomore bounced back in the fifth and final event of the day--the 400-meter dash.  Juell crossed the finish line in sixth with a time of 52.10 seconds. Although he matched a season-best time in the event, he was unable to make a move in the overall standings and completed the first day of competition in seventh, 37 points out of sixth place with 3,373.

Juell is participating in the NCAA Championships for the first time.

Day two of the NCAA Championships begins tomorrow at noon with the final five events of the decathlon. Juell and the rest of the field will compete in the 110-meter hurdles, discus throw, pole vault, javelin throw and 1,500-meter run.  In addition, BSU sprinter Buerkle, who already qualified for the 400-meter dash finals, will be in action as she attempts to make the 200-meter dash finals at 8 p.m. in the 200-meter prelims.