Nash Central senior Damian Silver set out Friday to bring at least one gold medal home from the NCHSAA 3-A state championship meet. While it was what he expected to do, it was never a guarantee. That was until he cleared the third hurdle in the 110-meter race.
Silver won the 110 hurdles and the 300 hurdles, bringing a pair of state championships back from N.C. A&T in Greensboro.
“It feels pretty good,” Silver said. “It’s what I was expecting.”
Silver and his teammates fell short of a third gold medal in the 4x400 relay, but even without that championship, Silver still has a pair of championships in just one season – one of the rarer achievements in high school track. He had to use every bit of his training to win both titles.
With flawless technique and form, Silver won the 110 hurdles in a time of 14.28, .45 seconds ahead of second place.
In the 300 hurdles, his endurance held off West Carteret’s Andrew Spear, who finished third in the 110 hurdles, by .07 seconds. Silver posted a time of 39.63.
“He was very determined all week long that he was going to come back with nothing less than a championship in his individual races,” Nash Central boys’ coach Juan Jackson said.
Jackson watched from the side as Silver pulled away early in the 110 and the 300 hurdles. In both, it took just a few hurdles before Silver stretched his lead from his competitors.
While Silver was disappointed immediately after the race because the favored Bulldogs’ 4x400 relay – the last race of the day – finished off the medal stand, his coach knows that his achievement will resonate.
“It means a lot,” Jackson said. “His senior leadership has been tremendous this year. Hopefully, the young guys have watched and learned from his work ethic and what it takes to be a champion.”
3-A state meet results
Justin Alford, Southern Nash – pole vault (ninth)
Krystal Atkinson, Nash Central – 300 hurdles (ninth)
Jaquell Bryant, Rocky Mount High – high jump (fifth)
Mavren Crawford, Rocky Mount High – 400 (13th)
Rhema Hedgepeth, Northern Nash – 100 hurdles (sixth)
Asia High, Southern Nash – discus throw (11th)
Amanda Johnson, Southern Nash – 400 (12th)
Khadijah Kale, Southern Nash – shot put (fifth)
Kambria Lynch, Northern Nash – triple jump (15th), 300 hurdles (12th)
Jaquay Mitchell, Southern Nash – triple jump (third)
Damian Silver, Nash Central – 110 hurdles (first), 300 hurdles (first)
Takeyra Thomas, Rocky Mount High – high jump (eighth), long jump (15th)
Stephen Whitehead, Northern Nash – 3200 (13th)
Rocky Mount High girls’ 4x100 relay (12th)
Nash Central boys’ 4x200 relay (seventh)
Nash Central girls’ 4x200 relay (12th)
Rocky Mount High girls’ 4x200 relay (10th)
Nash Central boys’ 4x400 relay (seventh)
Nash Central girls’ 4x400 relay (fourth)
Nash Central boys’ 4x800 relay (14th)
Nash Central girls' 4x800 relay (11th)
Justin Hite can be reached at 407-9951 or firstname.lastname@example.org