The Warsaw Community High School cross country star won the Nike Cross Nationals Mid-West Regional Qualifier meet on a very windy and mild day at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course.
Erba, who was second Oct. 27 at the IHSAA State Finals meet held on the same course, prevailed against some of the top runners and teams from Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri and Michigan. There are eight Regionals nationwide with the top two teams and top five individuals advancing to the National meet in Portland, Oregon on Dec. 1. However, due to other running commitments, Erba declined her spot to focus on the Mid-East Meet of Champions (Nov. 17), Foot Locker Regional Qualifier (Nov. 24) and Foot Locker Nationals in San Diego (Dec. 8).
During the race, an fast early pace was set with Erba tucking into the lead pack throughout the first 2.5 kilometers to avoid the gusting winds. At the halfway point, Erba and Madeline Perez (the Illinois state champion) pulled away from the pack as they used a tailwind to increase their lead on the strung out pack. With one kilometer to go, Erba made a move that Perez could not match and went on to finish with an eight-second victory.
Erba, who captured the state cross country title in 2011, won the race in a time of 17:38.1, while Perez crossed the finish line in 17:46.6.
While the air temperature was mild for November, the winds were steady 25-30 mph with gusts over 40 mphs.
Erba, who has committed to run at Providence College starting next year, will compete in the Mid-East Meet of Champions in Kettering, Ohio this Saturday to represent Indiana against top seniors from Ohio, Michigan and Illinois. The following Saturday she will be racing for one of the Top 10 qualifying spots at Foot Locker Regionals in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Full results and information of NXN can be found at: