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Indian Creek sophomore wins state title, Homestead girls claim first team crown

Posted: October 28, 2023
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Photo Credit: Double Edge Media @demllc

TERRE HAUTE - Libby Dowty of Indian Creek won the individual championship and the Homestead Spartans claimed the team title during the 43rd Annual IHSAA Girls Cross Country State Finals.

Dowty covered the 5,000 meter LaVern Gibson Cross Country Course in Terre Haute, also known as Cross Country Town USA, in a record time of 17:06.7.

Just a sophomore, Dowty finished nearly nine seconds faster than the next finisher, becoming her school's first state champion and bettering the previous state record time of 17:08.8 set by Mishawaka's Anna Rohrer on this course in 2014.

Delta senior Nicki Southerland, who traded the lead with Dowty during the final kilometer, finished as the state runner-up for the third consecutive year clocking in at 17:15.8. It was also her four straight top 10 finish in this meet.

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Indian Creek sophomore Libby Dowty streaks down the homestretch with Delta's Nicki Southerland in the background (Photo credit: Double Edge Media @demllc).


Julia Score of Indianapolis Bishop Chatard (17:23.7), Addison Knoblauch of Homestead (17:37.6) and Whitney Anderson of Valparaiso (17:46.1) finished third, fourth and fifth, respectively.

Knoblauch led the way for her Homestead teammates who edged another Fort Wayne school - Concordia Lutheran - to win its first state championship in the sport. Homestead's 108-115 spread tied for the third-closest margin of victory in meet history.

Valparaiso (146), North Central (152) and Franklin Central (178) took the three other podium spots. Noblesville, ranked No. 1 and defending state champion, finished eighth with 226.

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The Homestead Spartans won the school's first state championship in girls cross country (Photo credit: Double Edge Media @demllc).


Delta's Nicki Southerland presented the Mental Attitude Award

Following the race, Nicole (Nicki) Southerland of Delta High School was announced as the recipient of this year's Mental Attitude Award.

The annual recipient is nominated by their principal and coach, and was determined by the IHSAA Executive Committee to have best demonstrated mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability during their four years of high school.

Southerland, this year's state runner-up for her fourth straight top 10 finish, is the daughter of Shane and Jen Southerland of Muncie, Ind.

Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance presented a $1,000 scholarship to Delta High School's general scholarship fund in the name of Nicole Southerland.

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Following the meet, Nicole (Nicki) Southerland of Delta High School was honored with the Mental Attitude Award (Photo credit: Double Edge Media @demllc).