Five schools in Wayne, Henry, Randolph and Union counties showed off their fine arts knowledge at the state level. 

One won a championship, while other local teams placed second and third. 

After several local and regional competitions earlier this year, teams competed May 4 at the Indiana Academic Super Bowl State Finals on Purdue University’s campus in West Lafayette. 

Students studied the 1980s and ’90s this year.  


Tri Junior-Senior High School in Straughn won the top award in Class 4 for the state’s smallest schools. 

Runner-up in Class 4 was Marquette Catholic High School in Michigan City, and third place went to Indiana Academy for Science, Math & Humanities in Muncie. Other state finalists were Cloverdale, Morgan Township (Valparaiso), Trinity Lutheran (Seymour) and Crown Point. 

Tri’s team members Marki Stevens, Daniel Lopez and Isaiah Waymire were coached by Austin Custer. 

“We are very proud of Daniel, Isaiah and Marki and the hours of hard work that they put in to win the fine arts state championship this school year,” Todd Lunsford, Tri’s interim principal, told WWN. “This marks our seventh state championship in school history and Mr. Custer’s second state championship in four years. We are proud of the way that they represented our school at the state meet at Purdue University, and I am confident this is the beginning of many great things to come for all three of these young people in the years to come during and after their time at Tri Junior-Senior High School.”


In Class 1, Richmond finished third to champion Penn (Mishawaka) and Northridge (Middlebury). Other state finalists in Class 1 were Bedford North Lawrence, Chesterton, Crown Point, Lake Central and St. John. 

RHS’ team members were captain Hannah Cravens, Dio Goss and Marcy Hartman. Art teacher Robin Nicholson was their coach.

This has been Nicholson’s seventh year coaching fine arts students, and she said she’s had some great members over the years. 

She said this year’s trio worked hard studying but had a good time.

“It was pretty fun to study this year, watching films ‘Indiana Jones,’ ‘Star Wars,’ ‘Batman,’ looking at artwork from visual artists like Jean Michael Basquiat, Maya Lin and Indiana native architect Michael Graves, and we listened to music samples from Weird Al to Public Enemy,” Nicholson said. 

Nicholson said the team had a good season, but when the students had an almost-perfect round, scoring 23 of 25 — and 18 in a row correctly — at April’s regional meet, it seemed likely they’d qualify for state. 

A few days later, they learned RHS earned the highest qualifying fine arts score in the state of any class division.

Nicholson said the state meet was an exciting day. 

“We felt really proud to be up there in the Class 1 division which includes some of the largest and most affluent high schools in the state,” Nicholson said.  

She said state was an awesome senior capstone, especially for Cravens, who has been on the team for her four years at RHS. 

In 2021, the Red Devils qualified for state and placed sixth during Cravens’ first year, but they had to compete online because of COVID restrictions.

“Being a member of the fine arts academic team has been such a life-enriching experience for me as it has allowed me to develop a deep passion and love for a variety of forms of art,” Cravens said.


In Class 3, Centerville Senior High School also finished in the state’s Top 6. Austin won the state championship, and Winchester Community High School was runner-up. Greencastle was third. Other competitors were Mater Dei High School in Evansville and Union County High School in Liberty.

Centerville’s team members were Savannah Davis, Delaney Foster, Lorelei Guenther, Benjamin Homer, Zack Hugo, Sydney Miles and Kyleigh Thompson. Music teacher Jonathan Lucy was their coach.


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A version of this article appeared in the May 22 2024 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Millicent Martin Emery is a reporter and editor for the Western Wayne News.