Spring has indeed not sprung just yet despite unseasonably warm weather outside. However, collegiate athletes have begun the indoor track and field season, which includes several local athletes.
St. Joseph's College sophomore Leanna Knight is back in action after missing the end of the outdoor track and field season last spring following knee surgery.
The former Northview High School standout is working her way quickly back to the top of the long jump standings during the early stages of the indoor season for the Pumas.
Knight placed eighth overall over the weekend with a jump of 17-feet, which she accomplished in the third of six jumps on Saturday. She also clocked in a 8.72 seconds in the 60 meter dash prelims in the Mike Lints Alumni Open at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. The Puma sophomore opened the indoor season by placing third in the long jump at the Northwest Ohio Invite with a jump of 17-feet 1 1/4 inches.
As a freshman, Knight placed fifth in the Great Lakes Valley Conference long jump and placed first in the long jump by clearing 18-feet, one half inch in the Greyhound Track and Field Classic.
Nikki Thiede, a Terre Haute North graduate, is also a sophomore with St. Joseph's. She placed 15th in the mile on Saturday with a time of 5:25.39.
Thiede ran a career-best time of 5:20.11 in the 1,500 meters last season as a freshman and 18:31.01 in the 5,000 meters. She placed 15th in the Great Lakes Valley Conference in the 5,000 meters.
Over at IUPUI the indoor track season has also began for former Northview distance runner Ashley Kidwell.
While at Northview, Kidwell was the Valedictorian and was a three-time semi-state qualifier in cross country.
The Jaguars freshman has seen action in the mile and 3,000 meters so far and Kidwell ran to a 17th-place finish at the IPFW Duals on Jan. 23. Kidwell clocked a time of 12:11.22. Former Shakamak runner Savannah Turner is also a member of the Jaguars' program and the junior placed fourth in the 3,000 meters last weekend at the Indianapolis Track and Field Challenge with a time of 10:42.63. In the same meet, Kidwell placed eighth in the 5,000 meter run with a time of 21:08.13. Bloomfield graduate Julie Riggins has also ran well during her time with the Jaguars. The senior has earned Summit League Academic Distinguished Scholar awards last year (3.6 grade point average or above).