Warsaw cross country senior standouts Robert Murphy, Ashley Erba and Jake Poyner competed for the Indiana All-Star team Saturday in the Mideast Cross Country Championships in Ohio. Erba led the girls team to victory with a record-setting performance.
KETTERING, Ohio – The Warsaw Community High School cross country trio of senior standouts Ashley Erba, Jake Poyner and Robert Murphy all had impressive efforts Saturday for the Indiana All-Star team in the Mideast Cross Country Championships.
Erba, fresh off her NXN Regional win on Sunday, dominated the girls race in a course record time to lead the Indiana girls squad to the championship for the second straight year at Indian Riffle Park near Dayton.
Erba, Indiana’s state champion in 2011 and runner-up in 2012, surged to the front of the racing pack after the first mile and took control of the race from there. She went on to finish in a course record-setting time of 17:21, breaking the previous record by Ohio’s Claire Durkin (17:24 in 2007) to lead the Indiana All-Stars over Ohio, Michigan and Illinois Saturday in the 26th annual championships.
The Mid-East Championships brings together the top senior runners from Indiana, Ohio, Illinois and Michigan each year. The Indiana girls and boys teams were selected based on their performances at the IHSAA State Finals Oct. 27.
Indiana runners, led by the dominating win by Providence College recruit Erba, finished 1-2-3 with Bobbie Burgess (West Lafayette) and Bethany Neeley (Eastern) completing the sweep. Indiana scored 29 points ahead of Ohio’s 37, Illinois’ 96 and Michigan’s 100. This was the second year in a row that the Indiana girls have won and the seventh time in the 26 year history of the meet.
The outstanding duo of Poyner and Murphy helped the Indiana boys team finish in a close third place in a highly-contested boys race. Poyner was the fourth runner for the Indiana team to cross the finish line, while Murphy was right behind as the fifth Hoosier.
Poyner and Murphy wrapped up incredible senior seasons by placing 13th and 14th overall in the boys field respectively. The duo, who helped lead coach Jim Mills’ WCHS boys team to a fourth-place finish at the State Finals three weeks ago, clocked in at 15:56 and 15:57.
Joel Hartman of Elkhart Christian Academy finished in 40th place in a time of 16:28.
Indiana posted a team score of 48 points on the boys’ side to finish a close third behind Michigan (42 points) and Illinois (42 points) and in front of Ohio (108 points).
For the combined results (girls’ and boys’ scored added together), Indiana tallied just 77 points, well ahead of Illinois’ 138, Michigan’s 142 and Ohio’s 145. A travelling trophy goes to Indiana and will have a 2012 plate attached to the trophy base.
Full results are available at:
Erba will be racing at the Foot Locker Mid-West Regional Qualifier on Nov. 24 in Kenosha, Wisconsin with the goal of qualifying for the Foot Locker National Meet in San Diego on Dec. 8.
The Indiana All-Star cross country teams combined to win the Mideast Cross Country Championships Saturday in Ohio. The squad included Ashley Erba, Jake Poyner and Robert Murphy of Warsaw.