BURNSVILLE -- The Bemidji State women’s track and field team was picked to finish ninth in the 2019-20 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Preseason Indoor Track and Field Coaches’ Poll, which was released Thursday.

Senior sprinter Jada Barker was named the Beavers’ Track Athlete to Watch, while sophomore thrower Zoe Christensen was selected as the team’s Field Athlete to Watch.

BSU collected 87 points in the poll to rank ninth, ahead of six other programs. The team’s ninth-place selection is the highest for the program since the 2011-12 season.

Bemidji State, which finished 11th at last season’s NSIC Indoor Championships, will look to continue its record-breaking ways after setting 10 program records last season.

Barker, who hails from Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, recorded 15 top-five finishes and was part of the program record-breaking 4x400-meter relay team a season ago.

Christensen, a Glencoe native, placed sixth in the shot put at last year’s NSIC Indoor Championships and holds two of the program’s top five marks ever in the weight throw.

Another returning standout is junior sprinter Venice Stewart. The Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., native advanced to the 2018-19 NCAA DII Indoor Championship in the 200m dash last year, taking 17th with a time of 24.84.

University of Mary was picked to win the NSIC with 190 points, including 10 first-place votes, while Minnesota State Mankato was voted to finish second with 183 points and four first-place votes.

U-Mary’s Ida Narbuvoll was named the NSIC Preseason Track Athlete of the Year for the second season in a row. Augustana’s Olivia Montez Brown was named the NSIC Preseason Field Athlete of the Year in the pentathlon.

The Beavers will open the season Friday, Dec. 6, at the Dakota Classic in Fargo, N.D. The team will also travel to Duluth on Saturday, Dec. 7, to compete in The Opener hosted by the College of St. Scholastica.

2019-20 NSIC Preseason Coaches’ Poll

Team (First Place Votes) Total Points

1. University of Mary (10) 190

2. Minnesota State (4) 183

3. Augustana 172

4. Winona State (1) 156

5. Minnesota Duluth 131

6. Sioux Falls 119

7. St. Cloud State 99

8. Northern State 92

9. Bemidji State 87

10. Concordia-St. Paul 82

11. Wayne State 73

12. MSU Moorhead 69

13. Minot State 53

14. Upper Iowa 41

15. Southwest Minn. State 28