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BSU track: Buerkle takes fourth at NCAA Championships

SAN ANGELO, Tex. -- Bemidji State University standout sprinter Kristi Buerkle capped her sophomore season at the 2009 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships as an All-American.

Buerkle finished fourth in the 400-meter dash Saturday at LeGrand Sports Complex to garner the second All-America accolade of her young career.

After qualifying sixth in the preliminaries with a school-record time of 54.83 seconds Friday, she finished .36 off the lead with a time of 55.19 to cross the finish line fourth.

In one of the most tightly-contested races of the day, Angelique Smith of St. Augustine¹s edged Abilene Christian¹s Kim Prather by an eyelash. She broke the tape in a time of 54.43 while Prather took second with a 54.44.

Back just .02 in third place was Michele Williams of Adams State with a time of 54.47 prior to Buerkle¹s finish.

Buerkle's All-America finish came on the heels of her seventh place finish at the 2009 indoor national championships in March.

Buerkle was also the NSIC outdoor champion in the 400 earlier this month.

She becomes the 15th All-American turned out by the Bemidji State track and field program since 2005 and the second this outdoor season.

BSU junior Zac Preble placed fourth in the decathlon Friday by setting a new BSU standard in the event (7,085).