January 14, 2012

Former Spartan All-American Esther Erb Places 27th at U.S. Olympic Trials; Will Air on NBC at 3 p.m.

HOUSTON, Texas – Former Case Western Reserve University cross country and track & field All-American and 2008 NCAA Division III National Champion Esther Erb placed 27th at the United States Olympic Trials Marathon on Saturday. Erb also performed the national anthem prior to the event, which will be televised on NBC at 3:00 p.m. (EST).

Erb’s time of two hours, 37 minutes and 21 seconds was well within the top echelon of the 152-runner field that finished the 26.2-mile marathon at Avenida de las Americas in front of the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston.

Shalane Flanagan posted the winning time of 2:25.38 and will be joined on the U.S. Olympic Team during the 2012 Games in London by second and third-place finishers, Desiree Davila and Kara Goucher.

photo by Smiley N. Pool/Houston Chronicle

Erb was one of the most decorated student-athletes to ever don a Case Western Reserve uniform. A nine-time national qualifier and the 2008 NCAA Division III National Champion in the outdoor 10,000-meter run (35:45.01), she earned six All-American finishes during her career. Erb became the first female in University Athletic Association history to achieve the Triple Crown, as she earned Most Outstanding Performer (Running Events) in both indoor and outdoor track & field as well as the individual title in women's cross country in 2007. The 16-time All-UAA selection and eight-time UAA champion earned All-America status twice in cross country (2006 & 2007), three times in outdoor track (2007, fifth in 5,000-meter - 17:01.30; 2008, sixth in 5,000-meter – 16:58.87; 2008, national champion in 10,000-meter – 35:45.01) and once more in indoor track (2008, fourth in 5,000-meter – 17:17.21).

Erb also earned a highly touted honor off the track as she was awarded both an Austrian-American Fulbright Commission English Teaching Assistantship and a Fulbright Commission English Teaching Assistantship in Germany – eventually landing in Vienna, Austria. She taught English as a second language [ESL] 12-15 hours a week to area youth in grades 5-13, and was also selected to become a member of the Arnold Schoenberg Choir, one of the top choirs in the world.

Although a highly-decorated student-athlete at Case, Erb didn't begin running until her late teens. However, her music career began much earlier. She began singing in choirs at age five and was a member of numerous musical groups while in University Circle. She sang the national anthem at multiple Spartan sporting events – including three baseball games at Progressive Field, home of Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Indians – and was selected to sing the anthem at an actual Indians’ game.

She graduated from Case Western Reserve University with a degree in music and cognitive science where she was named six times to the Dean’s High Honors List and twice to the Dean’s Honors List. A 2005-06 CoSIDA Academic All-American, she concluded her studies at Case with a 3.86 grade point average.

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