WARSAW – To say that Scott Erba had a triumphant return to triathlon competition would be quite the understatement.
Erba, now the former girls track and cross country coach at WCHS, had an All-American return to the sport he loves.
The 47-year old Erba, who won all six area triathlons that he took part in after a long absence from competitors, earned USA Triathlon All-American status for his amazing return. That means that Erba was ranked in the top 10 percent of 45-49 year old men in the nation.
Erba focused his return on smaller triathlons in the area as he won events held in Winona Lake, Syracuse, Elkhart, Fort Wayne, Kendallville and Peru. He set new course records in three of the triathlons.
Erba, who is as focused, competitive and as detail-oriented a person as you will find, had not competed in a triathlon since 2004 before resuming his training in the Spring after stepping down as the WCHS girls track coach.
“Overall, I am very pleased with my performances and results for the races I chose to do,” said Erba via email. “I purposefully did not aim for larger or longer races in my return. My plan was to determine if I had the ability and desire to train and compete at a high level. After this summer, I believe I answered that for myself.”
“Earning All-American status from USA Triathlon is a tremendous honor and validates my training efforts this year. It motivates me to be among the very best in my age group (45-49) in the nation next year if I stay healthy. The greatest difference between my ranking and those above me has to do with the quality and distance of races they competed in during the year. I look forward to competing head-to-head with these athletes in common races. While I enjoy competing against fellow Masters (40 plus) athletes, I still have a strong desire to be among the fastest athletes in a race regardless of age.”
Erba announced on Wednesday that he was also stepping down as the WCHS girls track coach to focus his attention on training. He had an outstanding run as coach for 13 years, winning 11 conference titles, 10 straight sectional championships and six regional crowns, including the last five years in a row. He compiled an incredible 111-20 record and his teams have won 53 straight NLC meets. He coached a slew of state finals qualifiers, including his daughter Ashley, who won a state track championship as well as state cross country title during her prolific prep running career.
Erba, who also spent five very successful years as the WCHS girls cross country coach, is the Health/Physical Education Department Leader at WCHS.
He now has his sights set on bigger and better things next year.
“Hopefully in 2017, I will be able to race in two or three Half-Ironman (70.3 miles) distance races a Full Ironman (perhaps the Ironman Vineman in California) in addition to several local sprint races again,” said Erba. “I thoroughly enjoyed investing my energy in coaching since I last seriously competed but it feels wonderful and right to be back training and competing again after a 12-year absence.”