By SCOTT DAVIDSON
WARSAW – It’s been a stellar season full of exceptional accomplishments and record-setting performances by the Warsaw girls track team.
Coach Scott Erba hopes his talented Tigers have saved their best for last though.
A strong contingent of WCHS athletes look to shine on the state’s biggest stage Friday at the State Finals. The meet will be contested starting at 3 p.m. on the Indiana University campus in Bloomington.
The No. 14 Tigers have prepared and planned all season long for this moment.
“We want to have great efforts Friday,” said coach Erba, whose team adopted the slogan Best. Season. Ever. this year as its rallying cry. “The regional and state have been our main focus all year. We’ve planned for this.
“The first thing we want to do Friday is to have our best performances of the year. If we do that, you can’t be upset. We’ve got goal sheets for the girls too in regards to moving up the list of school record performances.”
“The mindset is different now, but our focus is very good,” said Erba following practice Tuesday night. “These are all exciting things for the program. The success keeps the motivation going. Our kids do a great job coming from middle school to high school to compete. They want high expectations.”
The Warsaw contingent of state qualifiers is led by Ashley Erba. The star junior distance runner is the top seed for the 3,200 with a state best time this season of 10:33.61, more than three seconds better than the second fastest time in the field. Erba is shooting for her second state title after winning the state cross country championship this past fall.
“Ashley feels very good where she’s at right now mentally and physically and that makes me feel good too,” said the elder Erba, Ashley’s coach and father.
Lauren Burish knows her way around the finals. The WCHS senior placed 18th in the discus at State in 2011 with a throw of 118-4. She hopes to better that in her final high school meet Friday.
“My goal is the top 10,” said Burish, who is seeded 19th with a throw of 125-05. I think I can do it. I feel very confident and I’ve had great practices. I know what to expect having been there last year and that makes me feel comfortable going in. I just have to stay positive and keep in mind that it’s just another meet.” Sophomore Ann Harvuot, who will compete in the 100, admits to being nervous for her first trip to State.
“I’m really excited, but nervous too,” Harvuot said. “My big goal is to make it into the finals. It’s a high goal and I have a chance, but it’s not a set deal.”
Harvuot is seeded 11th for the trials in the 100 with a time of 12.43. The top nine finishers in the trials earn a spot in the finals.
Warsaw will be well represented by pole vaulter Claire Hickerson and a pair of relay teams. Hickerson, a sophomore, is the 9th seed with a height of 11-2. The 3,200 relay team of senior Brooke Kline, junior Kristin Quick, sophomore Anna Bearss and freshman Kendra Paton is seeded 14th with a time of 9:37.48. Paton is replacing senior Lilly Fleming in the lineup as Fleming is out due to recent surgery. The quartet of sophomore Jackie Ferguson and freshmen Nicole Eckert, Megan Kratzsch and Tennie Worrell is seeded 17th in the 1,600 relay for the Tigers with a time of 4:03.44.
“It’s been a great season,” said coach Erba. “I just want to see us put an exclamation point on it Friday.”
Girls Track State Finals
Friday, June 1
Robert C. Haugh Track and Field Complex
Indiana University, Bloomington
Schedule of Events
3 p.m.: Pole Vault, Long Jump Discus
3:30: High Jump, Shot Put
4:15: 3,200 Relay Finals
5:00: 100 Dash Trials
5:15: 100 Hurdles Trials
5:40: 200 Dash Trials
6:10: Opening Ceremonies
6:15: 100 Hurdles Finals
6:25: 100 Dash Finals
6:35: 1,600 Finals
6:45: 400 Relay Finals
7:05: 400 Finals
7:20: 300 Hurdles Finals
7:45: 800 Finals
8:05: 200 Dash Finals
8:15: 3,200 Finals
8:30: 1,600 Relay Finals
Top Seed Times for Friday and State Records
3,200 Relay: 9:18.64; 9:03.77.
100: 11.92; 11.52.
100 Hurdles: 14.24; 13.95.
200: 24.47; 23.12.
1,600: 4:53.23; 4:43.46.
400 Relay: 47.23; 45.75.
400: 55.92; 52.42.
300 Hurdles: 42.31; 42.03.
800: 2:10.75; 2:08.91.
3,200: 10:33.61; 10:20.66.
1,600 Relay: 3:51.15; 3:47.37.
Pole Vault: 12-6; 13-06.25.
Shot Put: 47-7; 50-9.
Discus: 144-10; 165-4.
High Jump: 5-7; 6-0.
Long Jump: 18-05.75; 20-4.