February 1, 2012

Alysia Bennett, a senior at Sullivan High School, has been nominated by the Indiana High School Athletic Association for the National High School Spirit of Sport Award, an honor sponsored annually by the Indianapolis-based National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

The award seeks to recognize those individuals who exemplify the ideals of the positive spirit of sport that represent the core mission of education-based athletics. Bennett’s innovative design of a chest protector to help cancer patients following her own experience of more than a year of chemotherapy treatment was chosen from 14 nominations from around the state. Her story will be entered into regional competition with those nominees being considered for the national award by the NFHS. The overall national winner will be recognized at the NFHS Summer Meetings in Nashville, TN in July.

Bennett is a three-sport athlete earning varsity letters in soccer, basketball and softball. She has earned academic all-conference honors and has been a team captain in all three sports.

During Bennett’s sophomore year while playing soccer for the Golden Arrows, she was struggling with what was thought to be a hip injury. The hip continually worsened in the ensuing weeks and interrupted her basketball season. Further testing was done and she was diagnosed with Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma Stage 4 Non-Hodgkins. Bennett would endure 15 months of chemotherapy including an extremely aggressive treatment in the first eight weeks in which the medicine was injected directly into her spine. The chemotherapy created the need for blood transfusions followed by intense physical therapy on her hip.

Beyond what she learned about herself throughout her ordeal and the various life skills she attained in the athletic arena, Bennett set herself apart by showing innovation and ingenuity in helping to design a sports chest protector for cancer patients. The chest protector covers the port where chemotherapy is injected and helped speed up her return to the softball diamond. She is attempting to get the chest protector patented.

All the while, Bennett has been able to stay on course to graduate maintaining a 3.6 GPA. She also has been able to return to athletic competition in all three sports.

She has helped instruct at softball and basketball youth clinics and is a member of both Beta Club and the National Honor Society. Outside of school, she has volunteered at the Humane Society and at the Sullivan County Animal Hospital, has done charity work for The Friends of Library and has spoken on the radio for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The IHSAA is proud to join Sullivan High School in recognizing the wonderful example Bennett has set and that she represents everything that is right about education-based athletics.

Fox 38 in Terre Haute has covered her story with the following videos:
May 20, 2011: http://mywabashvalley.com/fulltext/?nxd_id=188307
April 15, 2010: http://mywabashvalley.com/fulltext/?nxd_id=113545
April 10, 2010: http://mywabashvalley.com/fulltext/?nxd_id=112445
March 29, 2010: http://mywabashvalley.com/fulltext/?nxd_id=109675




A total of 237 schools and 3,346 student-athletes are entered as the 38th Annual IHSAA Girls Swimming & Diving Tournament Series gets underway Thursday afternoon, Feb. 2, with sectional preliminary heats at 20 sites around the state. Diving prelims and semifinals start Saturday morning, Feb. 4, at each site with consolations and finals in each event scheduled for later in the day.

Top-ranked Carmel will look to extend its record of 25 consecutive state titles but the Greyhounds can set another mark this weekend. Should Carmel win its own sectional meet on Saturday, they’ll have captured their 28th straight crown. They currently share it with Columbus North which also won 27 in a row from 1983 to 2010.

All first place swimming event winners in each sectional will advance to the state meet along with any participant who equals or betters the state time standard in that event’s consolation or championship heat. The next fastest times in each event also will qualify in order to bring the field to 32 entrants. The top four divers at each sectional will advance to one of four diving regionals slated for Tuesday, Feb. 7, with the top eight advancing to the state meet. This year’s state finals are set for Feb. 10-11 at the Indiana University Natatorium in Indianapolis.

Results from each sectional site will be posted to the IHSAA website as they become available this weekend. State finals heat sheets will be available beginning Sunday, Feb. 5. Diving regional results and the order of participants for the state meet will be posted on Wednesday, Feb. 8.

Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012 (Swimming Preliminaries).
Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012 (Diving, Consolations & Finals in Swimming events).
Admission: $5 per session; $8 both sessions.
State Tournament Information


Defending Sectional Champions
Bloomington South, Carmel, Center Grove, Chesterton, Connersville, Crawfordsville, Fishers, Floyd Central, Homestead, Jasper, Lawrence North, McCutcheon, Mt. Vernon, Muncie Central, Munster, New Albany, North Central (Indianapolis), Northridge, Penn, Seymour, Warsaw, Zionsville.

Active Sectional Championship Streaks (Three or more years)
27: Carmel.
22: Center Grove.
12: Chesterton.
10: Northridge.
9: Crawfordsville, Penn.
7: Homestead.
6: Mount Vernon, Zionsville.
5: Jasper.
4: Floyd Central, Lawrence North, North Central (Indianapolis).
3: McCutcheon, Munster, Warsaw.

Most All-Time Consecutive Sectional Championships
27 by Columbus North, 1983-2010 and Carmel, 1984-2011.

Top 10 All-Time Sectional Championships
31: Columbus North.
28: Carmel.
23: Lafayette Jefferson, Munster.
22: Center Grove.
20: Anderson, Crawfordsville, Elkhart Central, Penn.
19: Chesterton.


The following lists of statistical leaders are compiled by VarVee.com, the IHSAA’s official statistics gathering partner. The IHSAA encourages each of its member schools to participate by registering at www.varvee.com and updating statistics by each Monday through the end of the season.

Girls Swimming & Diving: State Leaders
Boys Swimming & Diving: State Leaders
Wrestling: State Leaders
Girls Basketball: State Leaders
Boys Basketball: State Leaders




Have an interesting note? A conference or school record, coaching milestone or something else of interest? Please e-mail IHSAA Sports Information Director Jason Wille at jwille@ihsaa.org.

On Jan. 21, Northwestern senior Kylie Ballard became the fifth member of the Lady Tigers 1,000 Point Club. She scored her milestone point on a step-back 3-pointer in a 44-20 victory over Maconaquah. Ballard’s basket fired up the Lady Tigers as they outscored the Lady Braves 27-5 over the final 18 minutes. Ballard, a University of Indianapolis recruit in basketball and track, is the 32nd member of the Howard County girls 1,000 Point Club and 60th member overall. With Ballard’s induction, Howard County has four active members of the 1,000 Point Club: Ballard, Evansville recruit D.J. Balentine of Kokomo, IUPUI recruit Nicole Rogers of Western, and Michigan State football recruit Josiah Price of Eastern (Greentown).

LaVille wrestling coach Mike Bottorff picked up his 300th career win on Jan. 12 against South Bend St. Joseph's, 50-16. Bottorff has coached 21 Northern State Conference champions, 20 sectional champions, 2 regional champions, one semi-state champion, and six state qualifiers. His current record is 302-222-1 since 1993.

Last Saturday night (Jan. 28), Wabash senior Kelsey Cromer passed the 1,000 point mark for her career. Kelsey, who scored a career high 36 points in a 64-44 win over Whitko, became the sixth girl in school history to pass the 1,000 point mark.

Speedway senior JoJo Daghe became the school's career leading scorer and the school's first female 1,000 point scorer during the Sparkplugs 63-44 victory over Lutheran on Tuesday (Jan. 24). JoJo scored 21 points in the game and currently stands at 1,011 career points.

Canterbury’s Bailey Farley scored her 1000th career point on Friday January 20 in the Cavaliers 99-41 win over Western Reserve Academy (OH).  Bailey is the 7th overall Lady Cavalier to reach that milestone joining an exclusive group including Natalie Huneau, Lindsey Swanson, Megan King, Aubrey Holle, Cassie Kreiger and Tabitha Gerardot.  Farley, a 5’10 junior who has a career average of 15.1 points per game, scored her 1000th point in her 67th high school contest during a season in which the team is currently 15-2.

Tierra Huntsman from Connersville scored her 1,000th career point in a loss to Pendleton Heights on Friday night (1/20/12) 46-43. Tierra was quoted in the News Examiner as saying:  “That is a huge accomplishment to me. It means a lot to be able to be in the same category as Laura Richards, Mandy McDivitt, Shana Sparks, Missy Taylor and April McDivitt,” Huntsman said. “I owe a lot of thanks to everyone who has helped me accomplish this, too. I couldn’t have done it without Coach Thompson or Coach Ruter (or my) teammates either.

Penn's girls swimming team won their 17th consecutive Northern Indiana Conference championship, a streak that started in the 1994-95 season. Their NIC consecutive win meet streak in girls' swimming is now at 140 straight meets. Their last loss in the NIC was to Karen Leeth's Elkhart Central squad led by Lindsay Benko in 1994-95.  When Penn beat Elkhart Central in 1995-96, Central's NIC win streak ended at 126 meets and 14 straight NIC titles from 1981-82.

On Jan. 28, Western senior and IUPUI recruit Nicole Rogers broke the Western school record with a 47 point outburst against Maconaquah. She also tied her own school record with nine 3-pointers in a 92-38 victory. She ended the afternoon with a double-double as she grabbed 10 rebounds. The previous record was 43 points set by Tiffany Reida.

Loogootee Lady Lions' senior Wynter Wagoner became the fifth member of the LHS girls' 1,000 point club when she hit for 28 in a 53-46 double overtime conference win against Blue Chip foe South Knox on January 26th.  Wagoner now has 1,023 career points with two regular season games to play.




About the Indiana High School Athletic Association, Inc. (IHSAA)
Founded in 1903, the purpose of the Indiana High School Athletic Association, Inc. (IHSAA) is to encourage, regulate and give direction to wholesome amateur interschool athletic competition between its 408 member schools. The Association provides state championship tournament series in 20 sports, 10 for girls and 10 for boys. Approximately 160,000 student athletes participate in IHSAA sports on an annual basis.

Media Contacts
Jason Wille, Sports Information Director or Chris Kaufman, Communications Director
Indiana High School Athletic Association, Inc.
PO Box 40650, Indianapolis, Indiana 46240-0650
jwille@ihsaa.org or ckaufman@ihsaa.org


IHSAA 11-12/26