Beaver Outdoor Track & Field selected to finish seventh in NSIC Coaches’ Poll
Coming off a successful indoor season, Bemidji State University track & field will head outdoors after being selected to finish seventh overall in the 2021 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Outdoor Track & Field Preseason Coaches’ Poll. Juniors Zoe Christensen and Maryse Mbenoun were named as the BSU Athletes to Watch.
Bemidji State’s seventh-place ranking is the highest for the program in the outdoor poll since at least the 2010 season. BSU garnered 108 points in the poll, falling just behind the University of Minnesota Duluth in sixth with 110 points. Minnesota State University, Mankato earned the top billing with 195 points and 13 first-place votes, followed by Augustana University in second with 183 points and one first-place vote, and the University of Mary in third with 171 points and one first-place vote.
Christensen, a thrower from Glencoe, Minn., was selected as the BSU Field Athlete to Watch as she comes off a fourth-place finish in the shot put during the 2020-21 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships. Christensen finished among the top 30 nationally in the shot put outdoors in 2019 and finished fourth in the event during the 2019 NSIC Outdoor Track & Field Championships. She also took fifth in the hammer throw at the conference meet, and set BSU top-10 marks in both events during the meet.
“After another incredible Indoor season of finishing second place in the NSIC shot put with a new personal record of 14.79m (48-feet-6.25-inches) and ninth place finish in the weight throw, it is time for Zoe to move onto outdoors with a refreshing chance to improve upon her former mark of 51.05m in the hammer throw,” said Head Coach Kevin Kean. “It has been really great to watch her development over the years and consistency at the more important meets later in the year. I see her dedication to the campus environment, student organizations, social justice, and athletics providing yet another school record in the shot put and really would like to thank her for her focus throughout such a confusing season. Zoe will end this season atop the record boards.”
Mbenoun, a mid-distance runner from Le Mans, France, was named as the BSU Track Athlete to Watch after earning an NSIC title in the 600-meter run during the 2020-21 NSIC Indoor Track & Field Championships. She broke the BSU 600m run twice this past indoor season and will be competing outdoors with the Beavers for the first time in her career. Mbenoun previously set a personal record in the 800m run outdoor at Cloud County Community College with a time of 2:24.41. She was a NJCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championship participant in 2019 and placed third in the heptathlon during the 2019 NJCAA Region VI Outdoor Championships.
“Maryse has brought a new level of competitiveness to everything she does here at Bemidji State,” said Kean. “From the very first workout we could tell her intensity during training is second to none. Maryse if the type of workout warrior that loves the challenge of new expectations and will be successful at any event she competes in this outdoor season. Coming off of her Indoor 600m NSIC Championship experience it’s only a matter of time before her natural gifts and enthusiasm come together for amazing performances in the middle-distance realm. We are so proud to have her here at Bemidji State, and even more impressed with her perseverance through a difficult year.”
Senior distance runner Ida Narbuvall of the University of Mary was named as the NSIC Preseason Track Athlete of the Year and senior jumper D’Andra Morris of UMary was named as the NSIC Preseason Field Athlete of the Year.
Bemidji State begins its outdoor campaign March 26-27 at the Wildcat Outdoor Classic in Wayne, Neb.