Ashley Erba’s bid to earn a berth in the Foot Locker national championships came up short Saturday.
The Warsaw cross country star had an off day competing in the Foot Locker Midwest Championships held at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Erba, the 2012 Indiana cross country state runner-up, finished in 65th place in the meet in a time of 18:55.
The meet featured the top runners from 13 states, including Indiana. The top 10 finishers in both the girls and boys race advance to the Foot Locker Nationals Dec. 8 in San Diego.
Erba was coming off a pair of impressive performances the prior two weekends. The Providence College recruit won the Midwest Cross Country Championships Nov. 17 in Ohio in a record time of 17:21 to lead the Indiana All-Star team to victory. She also won the NIKE Cross Nationals Midwest Regional Qualifier Nov. 11 in Terre Haute in a time of 17:38.1.
Erba, who won the state cross country title in 2011, declined a spot in the NIKE Nationals Dec. 1 after her winning effort at the Midwest meet to concentrate on her other upcoming races.
Anna Rohrer of Mishawaka was the story on Saturday.
The talented Rohrer continued her amazing sophomore season in winning the Foot Locker race in record-setting fashion.
Rohrer, who won the cross country state title in Terre Haute on Oct. 27 in a state finals record time of 17:13, blazed to a meet record winning effort of 16:54. Her winning time, which was 12 seconds faster than the runner-up competitor Saturday, eclipsed the old meet record of 17:01 set by Claire Durkin from Ohio. It was the first time that Rohrer, who has opened eyes nationally this fall, had eclipsed the 17-minute mark in a 5,000-meter race.
Rohrer ran only one cross country race her freshman season in 2011 at Mishawaka High School, clocking in at 19:17. She then missed the rest of the season due to a broken foot. Rohrer returned to action this past spring during track season and was 17th in the 3,200 at the State Finals, a race won by Erba.
Rohrer’s tremendous effort Saturday, in her first race since the State Finals four weeks ago, was also the fastest time of any qualifier in the country. There is still one more Foot Locker qualifier to be run this coming weekend in California.
Senior Bobbie Burgess of West Lafayette, who finished in third place at the State Finals, placed ninth Saturday in a time of 17:35 to earn a spot in the Foot Locker Nationals.
No Indiana boys runner placed in the top 10 Saturday.