With the state of Indiana firmly in the grip of winter's icy embrace, most of the focus of high school sports fans is understandably on the hardwood as basketball reaches the stretch run. While sectional action is on the horizon for boys basketball and arriving quickly for the girls, prep track and field is just getting underway.
The indoor season got underway around the state in December with large meets at the University of Indianapolis and in Ft. Wayne. Last weekend, DePauw University hosted the Western Indiana Track Club Invite, which featured members of Northview's track and field teams along with competitors from Vigo County as well.
For Northview junior Leeanna Knight, the season has gotten off to a great start already.
In her opening indoor meet of the season, Knight soared to a distance of 18-0 ½ in the long jump, which is the top jump of any junior in the state thus far and third best in the state behind Homestead senior Ari Nelson (18-8 ¾) and Ft. Wayne Northrop freshman Taryn Milton (18-8 ½).
For Knight, the leap is an extension of an outstanding sophomore campaign that culminated with her reaching the IHSAA State Track and Field Finals last spring.
The Northview junior captured a sectional title with a leap of 16-11 ½ and was also a champion in the 100 meters where she crossed the finish line in 13.12. In the Evansville Central Regional, Knight went even faster in placing seventh with a time of 13.07. Knight had more success in the long jump, winning the event by an inch with a leap of 16-9 ¼ to move on to the state finals.
In Bloomington, Knight logged a jump of 16-9 ½ to finish in 18th overall. The winning jump came from Westview's Skyler Carpenter with a distance of 18-10 ½.
The Knights advanced the 4x100 relay squad to the regional round as Gracie Geswein, Carrie Duregger, Andrea Schultz and Knight raced to a second-place finish at the sectional with a time of 53.39.
Geswein also advanced out of the sectional round with a fourth-place finish in the 100 hurdles (16.83). Geswein's trip to the regional included an 11th-place finish as part of the 4x100 relay team and ended with a disappointing 14th-place finish in the 100 hurdles as she finished in 17.88 to cap a strong freshman campaign.
Northview's boys' contingent was led Cam Trout, who finished second in the 3,200 meters with a time of 10:50.47 and by a fourth-place finish from junior Nic Yocom, who placed fourth in the 1,600 with a time of 4:37.09. The winner was Kyle Burks, competing unattached. He ran a 4:31.64. Yocom also placed fourth in the 800 meters with a time of 2:06.63.
Other top finishes for the Knights, Travis Beil finished sixth in the 3,200 with a time of 11:44.38. The 4x800 relay team of Devon Cooksey, Ian Heffner, Trout and Yocom placed eighth in 3:57l.41.