By SCOTT DAVIDSON
WARSAW – What will Ashley Erba do for an encore?
After shattering sectional records a week ago, the Warsaw star is primed to take aim at regional marks Tuesday night.
Erba, the state cross country champion this past fall, headlines the field for the Warsaw Regioinal to play out at the Tiger Athletic Complex at WCHS.
No. 14 Warsaw, which won its sixth straight sectional title last week with a dominating effort at home, has its eyes set on a regional championship.
Action begins Tuesday at WCHS with field events at 6 p.m. The 3,200 relay finals will be at 6:15 with running trials at 6:30 and running finals at 7:30.
The top three finishers in each event. along with anyone meeting the state standard, advance to the State Finals June 1 at Indiana University in Bloomington.
Erba, a junior, comes off an amazing sectional performance. She set both school and sectional records in dominating both the 1,600 and 3,200 races in winning times of 4:57.54 and 10:31.16 respectively. Her 3,200 time is not only the fastest in the state right now, but ties for the eighth fastest time in state history.
Erba finished third in the 1,600 and fourth in the 3,200 at the Bremen Regional in 2011. South Bend Adams won the regional team title, while the Tigers placed fourth.
Ann Harvuot will be another Tiger to watch. The speedy sophomore won both the 100 and 200 sectional titles. She is seeded 3rd in both events for the regional. Harvuot was fourth in the 100 at the regional as a freshman.
“The regional meet is always exciting because of the high stakes: win or be in the top 3 and you advance to the biggest high school meet in the State to compete with the best. Place 4-8th and you score points at a very competitive met but your season is over in a moment,” said Warsaw coach Scott Erba.
“We are looking forward to competing at home on Tuesday night under these circumstances. The girls have done their best to prepare mentally and physically and expect to perform their season’s best efforts. Comparing this year’s team to previous years, we certainly have greater depth and event coverage than ever before. We are represented in 14 events and have the opportunity to score points in every one of them; in some events (pole vault, 100m, 200m, 1600m and 3200m) we have the chance to score a lot of individual points. In terms of the relays, it has been a while since we have brought three highly seeded teams to this meet with all of them having a good shot to make it to State. We are going to rely on all the girls to perform their best to make it to State and score as many points as possible towards a team championship.”
The Tigers have high individual seeds in a number of individual events. Tennie Worrell is second seeded in the 400 and Claire Hickerson second in the pole vaut. Jackie Ferguson has the fourth fastest time in the 300 hurdles for WCHS. The Tigers 4 X 800 relay team boasts the second fastest time heading into the regional, while its 4 X 100 and 4 X 400 each have the third best effort.
Competitors from Wawasee, Triton and Tippecanoe Valley are also among the 37 teams represented in the regional.
Megan Howdeshell of Triton is the top seed and the defending regional champion in the discus. The senior won the sectional title with a throw of 135-2 last week.
Wawasee will be represented by Jordan Edington in the shot put and Breanna Robinson in the 800. Edington won the sectional title at Warsaw last week and has the fourth best toss at 38-0 in the regional field. Robinson boasts the second best time in the field of 800 competitors. Wawasee’s 4 X 800 relay team also qualified for the regional.
Tippecanoe Valley will be represented in the regional by Catherine Leadford (300 hurdles), Caylie Teel (100), Jazzmine Brown (400), Mikayla Wireman (long jump) and Connor Fraser (shot put).
Competing for Triton will be Autumn Kann in the high jump along with the Trojans’ 4 X 800 relay team.