Bemidji State Track & Field slotted 7th in NSIC Preseason Coaches’ Poll
Bemidji State University indoor track & field has been picked to finish seventh overall as the 2021-22 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll was revealed. Senior pentathlete Aneesa Tucker was tabbed the team’s Field Athlete to Watch while junior mid-distance runner Maryse Mbenoun was named the team’s Track Athlete to Watch.
The Beavers received 106 points in the preseason coaches’ poll, coming in after Northern State University and the University of Minnesota Duluth tied at fifth with 129 points each. Minnesota State University, Mankato was selected to finish first with 194 points and 12 first-place votes, followed by Augustana University with 181 points and two first-place votes. The University of Mary received the final first-place vote with 172 points to finish third.
Minnesota State sophomore sprinter/hurdler Denisha Cartwright was named the NSIC Track Athlete of the Year and UMary senior jumper D’Andra Morris was selected as the Field Athlete of the Year.
Bemidji State Indoor Track & Field comes off its best season since 2008 after taking sixth at the 2021 NSIC Indoor Championships. The Beavers return eight point-scoring athletes from the conference meet, including senior mid-distance runner Ryne Prigge in the 800m run, junior thrower Tierra Doss in the shot put, three of four legs of the 4x400m relay, the distance medley relay and BSU’s Track Athlete to Watch, Maryse Mbenoun. Mbenoun won the NSIC 600m run title with a BSU record time of 1:35.37 to become the program’s first individual indoor champion since 2011. BSU’s Field Athlete to Watch, Aneesa Tucker, competed in the pentathlon twice during the 2020-21 season with a season-best mark of 2,789. She previously set a personal record of 3,108 in the pentathlon at the 2020 NSIC Indoor Championships. Tucker was also a part of the point-scoring 4x400m relay team at the conference meet.
Head Coach Kevin Kean, entering his seventh season leading Bemidji State, helped the team earn 13 2020-21 Winter NSIC All-Academic Team selections, including seven on the All-Academic Team of Excellence. The program saw four records broken last season, including marks set by Mbenoun in the 600m run, Prigge in the 800m and 1,000m runs, and senior jumper Analise Fabre in the triple jump.
BSU begins its 2021-22 indoor season Friday, Dec. 3 with a trip to compete at the Dakota Alumni Classic hosted by North Dakota State University. Events begin at 11:50 a.m. at the Shelly Ellig Indoor Track & Field Facility in Fargo, N.D.