TERRE HAUTE —
Posing side-by-side for photos following Terre Haute North High School’s Senior Awards ceremony, seniors Calvin Blank and Chanli Mundy couldn’t look more different.
The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Blank started at tight end and defensive end on the football field, earning a scholarship to Ball State University, and started on the frontline for the Patriots’ boys basketball team. He’s a big, burly bruiser who enjoyed knocking around the bodies of opponents.
On the other hand, nobody’s ever described the 5-61⁄2, 95-pound Mundy as a bruiser. Dwarfed by Blank outside North’s auditorium Wednesday evening, Mundy made her name as a long-distance runner for North’s girls cross country and track teams, earning a scholarship at Indiana University in the process.
They did have one similarity — actually, two, if you count their broad smiles — and that was the LaVerne K. McMillan Award they clutched near their contrasting physiques.
“I couldn’t be more proud,” North principal Robin Smith told the Tribune-Star. “This is such a prestigious honor. It’s county-wide. And for both of them to be from Terre Haute North, I am just extremely proud. These two individuals, we couldn’t have had two better ones represent Vigo County.”
Mundy, who qualified for the 2013 IHSAA state finals in girls track and field June 1 at Bloomington, became the sixth two-time winner of the award.
She received the female version of it as a junior in 2012.
“There’s not much difference [between last year and this year],” she said of her feelings on securing the award again.
The McMillan Awards annually go to the outstanding female and male high school athletes of Vigo County. The first McMillan Award, limited to boys until 1982, was presented to Paul Sobonya of Garfield in 1939.
“It’s still a great honor,” Mundy added. “Once I won it last year, I just wanted to continue to do the things I did then. … Definitely last year’s was more of a shock, being a junior.”
Mundy stressed that she wants to conclude her North athletic career with a “podium finish” (top nine) in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs at the state finals. “That’ll be on my future home track [at IU],” she pointed out.
Owner of a 3.83 grade-point average, Mundy will end up with nine varsity letters once the 2013 track season is over.
“She’s not only an outstanding runner and an outstanding athlete, she is an incredible person,” Smith noted. “She’s caring, giving, just wonderful.”
Mundy qualified for the state finals in cross country all four years of high school and she competed on North’s Class 4A state-finals softball team as a freshman in 2010. She also reached the state finals in track as a freshman, sophomore and junior.
Meanwhile, Blank admitted that he had considered the possibility of receiving the award for the first time.
“I thought about it all four years,” he said. “I wanted to work toward this. I wanted to be a good enough athlete to win this … so I accomplished a goal.
“It’s a great honor. All the best athletes to come out of Vigo County have received this award — Steve Weatherford , Ethan Tyler , Michael Russell . It’s just a great honor. It puts me up in a class with those guys, sort of. It’s definitely a confidence booster going into college. It just feels great to win the award.”
Carrying a 3.37 GPA, Blank was an eight-time letterwinner as a Patriot.
In football, he was an All-Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference (MIC) selection as a junior and senior while also being named to The Associated Press’ All-State first team in 2012.
In basketball, he was an All-MIC pick as a senior. He was named second-team All-State by Hoosier Basketball Magazine in 2013.
“With Calvin Blank, you couldn’t find a more dedicated athlete,” Smith mentioned. “He’s got that grit. He’s just a winner.”