By SCOTT DAVIDSON
The recipe for success this season for the Warsaw girls track team has been quite simple really.
Mix a ton of talent with hard work and a winning tradition.
The No. 14 Tigers hope to combine those ingredients into another sectional championship Tuesday night.
Warsaw, fresh off a dominating effort at home in the Northern Lakes Conference Meet a week ago, looks to make it six straight sectional titles at the TAC Tuesday.
Tiger coach Scott Erba says a sectional title is another of the goals on his team’s checklist this spring.
“It has been one of our goals all season to win the sectional,” said Erba.
The WCHS coach knows there has to be a sense of urgency in every event this time around as the state tournament series commences. The top four individuals in each event and relays qualify for the Regional, which will be at Warsaw on May 22.
“While most of the teams and athletes competing will be the same as the NLC meet, there is a distinctive difference in atmosphere,” Erba noted. “Only the top four individuals and relays qualify for the regionals and only the top eight score points. Knowing that an athlete or a relay can be one race away from ending the season means there is an increased amount of pressure and excitement for each race/event.
” We feel confident about being able to advance many individuals and relays but understand that on any given night people can perform at much higher levels than they have previously; we just need to compete each throw, jump and race through the finish line.”
The Tigers blitzed the field at the NLC meet, piling up 180 points. The hosts won five individual events and two relays en route to their seventh straight NLC Meet title.
Warsaw will be led by the outstanding duo of Ashley Erba and Ann Harvuot. Junior Erba, who won the individual state cross country championship last fall, is the top sectional seed in the 1,600 (5:01.89) and No. 2 in the 3,200 (10:45.18). Sophomore sprinter Harvuot is seeded first in both the 100 (12.56) and 200 (26.28) dashes.
Erba set a school and NLC record in winning the 1,600 and a league mark in the 3,2000 at the NLC Meet. She was sectional champ in 2011 in the 1,600 and 3,200, setting a school record in the latter a year ago. Harvuot is the defending champ in the 100 and placed second in the 200 in 2011.
The Tigers also have the top seeds for all three relays in the sectional field; 3,200 (9:43.15), 400 (50.85) and 1,600 (4:03.89). Lauren Burish is the top seed in the discus (129-11), while seeded second for the Tigers are Tennie Worrell in the 400, Brooke Kline in the 800 and Claire Hickerson in the pole vault.
Warsaw also has its eyes on more record-setting efforts.
” In addition to qualifying for Regionals, girls have been looking to advance up our Top 10 (performances since 2004) and break records (personal, facility, school, meet),” said coach Erba. “With the great performances from the NLC meet, the girls are seeing how close they are to being truly some of the best performers Warsaw has ever witnessed.”
Wawasee comes into sectional action after placing eighth at the NLC Meet. Breanna Robinson is the third seed in the 800 and Jordan Edington is seeded fourth in the shot put for the Warriors. Edington won the shot put title at the NLC Meet.
Field events begin at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at WCHS. The 4 X 800 relay is scheduled for 5:45 with the trials in the 100/100 hurdles/200 set for 6:00.
Other area sectional sites Tuesday include Rochester and Bluffton. Tippecanoe Valley and Triton will compete at Rochester, while Whitko will be in action at Bluffton.