A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade State Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year selection process, resulting in winners based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2011 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.
THE WINNER: Ashley Erba
School: Warsaw Community (Ind.)
Athletic achievement: Erba raced to the individual state championship this past season, clocking a meet-record time of 18:05.6. She also won her sectional, regional and semi-state championships, and finished first at the New Prairie Invitational, the New Haven Classic, the Warsaw Tiger Invitational, the Huntington North Invitational and the Baron Classic.
Academic excellence: Erba has maintained an A average in the classroom.
Exemplary character: A member of the local Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter, she has volunteered locally on behalf of youth sports programs.
“She’s a very disciplined runner and her progress this year was wonderful,” said Culver Academies head coach Mike Chastain. “She is coached well, she has the attitude of a winner and she keeps everything on target. She was consistent the entire year.”
THE FUTURE: Erba will begin her senior year of high school this fall.