Dowty Earns IN Gatorade Cross Country Player of the Year

Pictured: Libby Dowty at NXN where she would go on the place 17th in the country.
Photo by Bobby Reyes / MileSplit

Libby Dowty from Indian Creek High School has been named Gatorade Athlete of the Year for Indiana. The sophomore had herself an excellent cross country season this past fall where she would win the IHSAA State Meet as well as qualify Nike Cross Nationals where she would place 17th and Foot Locker Nationals where she would place 19th.

The selection committee likely had a tough decision to make between Libby and
Homestead standout Addison Knoblauch as both have had stellar seasons. Addison placed 5th at Foot Locker nationals and had a season best time of 16:59 both being better than Dowty. Dowty, however, did have a better record against Knoblauch this season as she placed higher in 4 of their 6 head to head matchups this season including races at Nike Twilight, the IHSAA State Meet, NXR Midwest, and Nike Cross Nationals. Interestingly all four of these head-to-head wins took place at LaVern Gibson.

Libby has already raced a few times this season including a win at the
MLK Invite where she ran a 4:59.29 in the mile (4:57.55 1600m conversion). She also raced this past weekend at the Indiana Runner Opener where she ran 5:00.75 to win the mile and 10:26.03 to place just ahead of Knoblauch in an exciting race.

The boys Gatorade Player of the Year will be announced ne
xt week. Read the complete press release from Gatorade below.

Official Press Release:

CHICAGO (January 22, 2024) - In its 39th year of honoring the nation's most elite high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Libby Dowty of Indian Creek High School is the 2023-24 Gatorade Indiana Girls Cross Country Player of the Year. Dowty is the first Gatorade Indiana Girls Cross Country Player of the Year to be chosen from Indian Creek High School.

The award, which celebrates the nation's top high school athletes for excellence on the field, in the classroom and in the community, distinguishes Dowty as Indiana's best high school girls cross country player. From CEOs and coaches to star athletes, Gatorade Player of the Year winners showcase the power of sport, touting an all-star group of alumni that includes Irene Riggs (2022-23, 2021-22 & 2020-21, Morgantown High School, Morgantown, W. Va.), Katelyn Tuohy (2019-20, 2018-19 & 2017-18, North Rockland High School, Thiels, N.Y.) and Jordan Hasay (2008-09, Mission College Preparatory Catholic High School, San Luis Obispo, Calif.).

The 5-foot-3 sophomore won the IHSAA individual state championship this past season, clocking a personal-best time of 17:06.70 to set a new state meet record. She was also the state's top prep girl at both the Nike Cross Midwest Regional and the NXN Final, where she crossed the line in 17th to earn All-American honors. Ranked No. 14 nationally in the 2023 MileSplit 50, she also took bronze at the Foot Locker Midwest Regional before finishing 19th at the national Foot Locker Cross Country Championships, making her one of only six prep girls in the country to finish in the Top 20 of both races.

Dowty is a devoted parishioner at Stonecrossing Church and has donated her time as a member of her school's Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter. She has also mentored youth runners. "Libby Dowty had a breakout season in just her second year of scholastic competition," said Rich Gonzalez of PrepCalTrack. "She's set herself up as someone to watch for nationally as an upperclassman."

Dowty has maintained a 4.29 weighted GPA in the classroom. She will begin her junior year of high school this fall.

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which leverages experts including coaches, scouts, media and others as sources to help evaluate and determine the state winners in each sport.

Dowty joins recent Gatorade Indiana Girls Cross Country Players of the Year Lily Cridge (2022-23 & 2021-22, Bishop Chatard High School), Karina James (2020-21, Lowell High School) and Erin Strzelecki (2019-20, Bishop Dwenger High School), among the state's list of former award winners.

As part of Gatorade's commitment to breaking down barriers in sport, every Player of the Year also receives a grant to donate to a social impact partner. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners' grants have totaled more than $4.9 million across more than 1,600 organizations.

To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student athletes, visit or follow us on social media on Facebook at, Instagram at and Twitter at