IHSAA moves cross-county semistate from college facing suit

Photo Supplied/IHSAA

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s governing body for high school athletics has moved its upcoming cross-country semistate competition from Huntington University following allegations by two former runners for the private college that they were doped and sexually assaulted.

The Indiana High School Athletic Association said Monday the competition that had been scheduled for Oct. 22 at Huntington University’s campus in the northeastern Indiana will be moved to Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, The Indianapolis Star reported.

IHSAA commissioner Paul Neidig said in a statement that “with the issues surrounding the cross-country program at Huntington we felt the potential for a significant distraction was just too great.”

The semistate qualifies cross-county teams and runners for the Oct. 29 state meet at Terre Haute.

Huntington University officials placed the school’s women’s cross country head coach, Lauren Johnson, and assistant coach Curtis Hines on leave last week after two former runners at the private, Christian liberal arts university claimed in a federal lawsuit they were doped and sexually assaulted.

Hines and Johnson are named as defendants in that lawsuit, along with former coach Nicholas Johnson — who is Johnson’s husband — the university; its trustees; and unnamed administrators.

The runners are seeking damages from all of the defendants.

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