By CAREY FOX
Times Sports Editor
The spring sports season is in the home stretch for local high school grads that are competing at the collegiate level. Former Eels and Knights have made a big impact for their college squads in a variety of sports.
Northview alum Cam Trout may have missed out on the fall cross country season at Indiana State due to injury, but has made a splash this spring with the Sycamores. His latest accomplishment was winning the 5,000 meter race at the Auburn Tiger Track Classic on April 13.
Trout topped a field of 27 other distance runners to finish with a time of 14:47.96, which was over three seconds faster than the runner-up time of 14:51.17. The time was a life-time best for Trout and was good for fourth in the Missouri Valley Conference season-best list. A week earlier on his home track at the Gibson Invite in Terre Haute, Trout placed fourth while running a time of 15:08.
In Indianapolis, it has been a strong year on the track as well as in the classroom for Northview alum Ashley Kidwell.
She closed out the regular season for the Jaguars by running a time of 18:51.86 in the 5,000 meter race at the Illinois Twilight race and took 21 seconds off of her best time in the event for a 14th-place finish. Just one week later Kidwell competed in Michigan at the Al Owens Classic and shed another three seconds off her best 5,000 meter time. Kidwell placed 18th out of 50 runners with a time of 18:48.46.
Kidwell was also named to the Horizon League All-Academic Team in February following the indoor track and field season.
Clay City graduate Logan Thomas made the collegiate choice to head south for his education and has continued his running career as well.
Thomas competes in track and cross country at Division II Harding University in Arkansas. A strong fall debut in cross country was cut short due to injury, which held him out of the start of the track season as well. However, Thomas has returned to compete during the outdoor season.
Competing in the Great America Conference Track and Field Championship on April 19-21, Thomas helped his team to a third-place finish as a team. He placed 22nd in the 5,000 meters with a time of 16:52 in the meet and produced a season-best time of 16:38 at the Rhodes Invite on March 16-17. Running in the Little Rock Open on April 6-7, Thomas competed in the 1,500 meters and crossed the finish line in 4:31.65 for 13th-place.
On the softball diamond, Ball State recently completed its home schedule and has rang up a 29-16 overall record this season, which includes an 11-6 conference mark. The team swept a pair of Saturday games against Central Michigan and heads to Eastern Michigan for the upcoming weekend games.
Northview graduate Stacy Payton has hit a solid .273 during her freshman season with the Cardinals and has three home runs and 19 RBIs. She has added eight doubles and a triple and has scored 14 times.
The Cardinals wrap up their regular season with Mid-America Conference West Division leader Toledo on the road. Toledo is currently 14-3 in Mac West play with Ball State posting an 11-6 mark.
In West Virginia, Clay City graduate Raven Allender has aided a 29-19 softball squad at King University. The Tornado has gone 13-7 in conference play and wrapped up regular season play with a split of games against Mars Hill in North Carolina.
Allender has made 18 appearances as a pitcher for the Tornado and has pitched in 41 innings with a 2.37 earned run average with a 3-1 record.
Former Clay City Eel, Whitney Jeffers is in her senior season at Oakland City College and is a pitcher for the softball program. The Oaks have been plagued by cancellations this season and have gone 13-11 overall despite having 36 games postponed or canceled due to weather.
Jeffers has hit .289 for the Oaks over 38 at-bats with four RBIs and a pair of doubles. In the circle she has pitched 69 innings and has an 8-5 record with 34 strikeouts and a 4.64 earned run average.
Over at Rose-Hulman, the softball squad has struggled to a 7-21 overall record this season and 0-12 in conference play after getting off to a solid start on its spring break trip in February.
The Fightin’ Engineers have gotten a solid sophomore season from Clay City graduate Alexis Price, who has produced a 4.99 earned run average over 14 appearances and 13 starts in the circle. Price has pitched 60 innings for Rose-Hulman this season and has a 3-8 record and six complete games. She has also hit .200 over 28 plate appearances..