CULVER — The awards continued pouring in for Culver Girls Academy senior Waverly Neer as she was named the Gatorade/ESPN RISE Indiana Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year a second straight year Thursday.
The award, now in its 26th year, recognizes outstanding athletic excellence, high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the race course. As a state runner of the year, Neer is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year award to be announced later this month.
Neer recently finished 14th at the Foot Locker Nationals at Balboa Park in San Diego, Cal. on December 11 with a 17:51, the fastest of any runner in CGA history and fifth all-time by any Indiana runner at the meet.
In her final state series ever this fall, Neer capped off record-breaking performances at sectional, regional and semistate en route to her first-ever state title while leading the Lady Eagles to a repeat regional team title on their home turf at the Academies and a fourth state finals appearance in five years.
She followed up that IHSAA title by pushing the Indiana All-Star Cross Country Team to a combined Mid-East Cross Country Championship title before narrowly qualifying for nationals in 10th with a PR 17:40 in the fastest Foot Locker Midwest Regional race on record.