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Kristi Buerkle earns All-America honor

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sports Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Kristi Buerkle accomplished her goal of becoming an All-America athlete Saturday as the Bemidji State University senior finished fifth in the 400-meter dash at the NCAA II national championships in Albuquerque, N.M.

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During Friday's preliminaries Buerkle finished sixth with a time of 55.76. In Saturday's finals she bettered her time and her placement as she improved to fifth in a time of 55.34.

"Kristi's mission was to become an All-American," said BSU coach Craig Hougen. "We have had a few All-Americans in the last few years and now Kristi joins our list of two-time All-Americans in indoor track and field.

"We feel very good about her performance," Hougen continued. "Kristi ran better on Saturday than she did in the preliminaries and she ended her indoor career on the podium."

Raphael Gelo also competed Saturday at the national meet as the BSU sophomore was among 13 pole vault athletes vying for All-America honors.

Gelo cleared 15-11 during the competition and officially was credited with 11th place. His height tied for ninth but he dropped to 11th because of more misses.

"Raph had a great day," Hougen said. "For a little sophomore and for this being his first time at nationals he performed very well and he is happy."

There was little separation among Saturday's pole vaulters. Gelo went 15-11 but he was only three inches out of fourth place.

"The experience Raph gained will help him in the future," Hougen said. "Now he knows that he can compete with the best vaulters in the country."

"He already has set a goal of getting back to the nationals for the outdoor season."

Y pmiller@bemidjipioneer.com

Kristi Buerkle accomplished her goal of becoming an All-America athlete Saturday as the Bemidji State University senior finished fifth in the 400-meter dash at the NCAA II national championships in Albuquerque, N.M.

During Friday's preliminaries Buerkle finished sixth with a time of 55.76. In Saturday's finals she bettered her time and her placement as she improved to fifth in a time of 55.34.

"Kristi's mission was to become an All-American," said BSU coach Craig Hougen. "We have had a few All-Americans in the last few years and now Kristi joins our list of two-time All-Americans in indoor track and field.

"We feel very good about her performance," Hougen continued. "Kristi ran better on Saturday than she did in the preliminaries and she ended her indoor career on the podium."

Raphael Gelo also competed Saturday at the national meet as the BSU sophomore was among 13 pole vault athletes vying for All-America honors.

Gelo cleared 15-11 during the competition and officially was credited with 11th place. His height tied for ninth but he dropped to 11th because of more misses.

"Raph had a great day," Hougen said. "For a little sophomore and for this being his first time at nationals he performed very well and he is happy."

There was little separation among Saturday's pole vaulters. Gelo went 15-11 but he was only three inches out of fourth place.

"The experience Raph gained will help him in the future," Hougen said. "Now he knows that he can compete with the best vaulters in the country."

"He already has set a goal of getting back to the nationals for the outdoor season."

pmiller@bemidjipioneer.com

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Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

(218) 333-9200
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