News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Given to Fly

February 14, 2009

Given to Fly: Northview standout runner Thacker coming to ISU

TERRE HAUTE — Doc Brown told an old-timer in a saloon in “Back to the Future III” that despite having automobiles in the future people run for recreation.

“Run for fun? What the [heck] kind of fun is that?” the saloon patron asked.

For Kylee Thacker of Northview, last year’s foot injuries put a dent in her recreation time.

Thacker doesn’t want to go back to 1985 like Marty McFly — she actually can’t since she was born in 1990, and the jury’s still out on the possibility of time travel — but Thacker wouldn’t mind going back in time to 2007 when she was healthy and among the state’s distance runners.

Being in a boot for six months as she was last year was not fun. But despite suffering three stress fractures in her right foot, two in her heel one in the metatarsal, Thacker recently signed to run at Indiana State.

During that standout sophomore season, Thacker took 37th in the 2007 IHSAA state cross country finals at LaVern Gibson, broke the school record in the 3,200 (11:20) on the track, won the Western Indiana Conference and reached the state finals on the track. Thacker also has school records in cross country in the 4K (15:36) and 5K (19:04).

Going from running 40 to 50 miles a week to nothing wasn’t easy.

“My friends tried to keep me entertained — my closest friends aren’t runners so they always keep me entertained,” a “very excited” Thacker said the day she signed her national letter-of-intent. “I always wanted to run Division I.”

About six weeks ago, Thacker got back to training and the foot’s been feeling strong.

ISU women’s track and cross country coach John Gartland sees great potential.

“She has had a long stretch of being injured but she has remained positive in her approach to everything,” Gartland said. “If she can return to her form of 2007 next year, she will run in our top five in cross country.”

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