Name: Liz Otte Brownlee
Current residence: Crothersville
Current occupation: Executive director of the Oak Heritage Conservancy and running a sustainable farm, Nightfall Farm
Family: Husband, Nate
High school and graduating year: Crothersville High School, 2005
Sports: Cross-country, volleyball, basketball and track and field, all four years; softball, one year
Athletics accomplishments: “I’m most proud of my 800-meter run school record and breaking the rebounding record.”
College: Hanover College
Sports: Cross-country and basketball
Who or what got you into sports?
“My brother (Matt Otte) was a runner and loved playing basketball. I’ve always looked up to my brother, so I followed his footsteps from the start. I remember being at his college cross-country meets thinking how strong all of the runners must be. As soon as I got the chance to run cross-country, I did”
What is your favorite memory of high school sports?
“The best times were pushing hard during a cross-country meet, say up the hills at Hardy Lake. The parents and boys team would cheer the girls on, and we would all goof off after the meet. Those were fun nights.”
What was your biggest accomplishment?
“My biggest accomplishment was being welcomed onto the cross-country team at Hanover College.”
Why did you choose to do sports in college?
“I loved to compete. I wanted to see how good I could become — how fast, how strong. I knew that competing in college would push me to a different level.”
What did you get out of that experience?
“Playing sports in college taught me very different lessons than I expected. First, I realized that playing sports wasn’t exactly about pushing myself for the best time or the strongest performance. It was more about finding the calm and confidence that competing gave me. Second, I got injured my sophomore year, and I couldn’t run anymore. I still can’t. I learned that sometimes, you have to adapt in a big way. I still miss running. But I’ve found other loves — road biking, farming, hiking. These things push my body and let me connect with other people. For me, that’s the beauty of sports.”
Are you still involved in sports today?
“Yes, but in a different role lately. I’ve been helping with the Crothersville girls basketball teams a bit, and I’m the Crothersville Middle School boys track coach this year. So many people from Crothersville gave me their time and their energy, either as coaches or fans. I’m excited to start paying that forward.”
How did sports affect your life?
“Honestly, in every way. I’ve learned how to handle criticism and setbacks as well as appreciate success. I’ve learned how to support my teammates. I’ve learned the importance of planning and commitment. I’ve learned that in addition to competition, there’s also just a joy in being active.”
Do you have any advice for kids about getting involved in sports?
“Don’t be afraid to push yourself. Go play!”
Do you have any hobbies?
“This time of year, just before the farming season gets crazy, I spend my free time reading and listening to frogs.”
Do you have a favorite sports team?
Do you have a favorite athlete?