From the third-fastest runner on Nash Central’s team to the fastest in the state, from a shaky preliminary to a flawless final, from being last year’s runner up in the 110 hurdles to the 55 hurdles champion: Damian Silver shook off his pre-race jitters to win the 55 hurdles at the NCHSAA 3-A indoor state championship meet in Winston-Salem.
In his first race Friday, Silver won his preliminary heat but bumped multiple hurdles in the process.
He didn’t change anything in the finals.
He didn’t give it a second thought, knowing that he would be perfect when the time came.
“I didn’t think about it,” Silver said. “I didn’t work on anything. I knew in the finals I was going to have it right. I knew I wasn’t going to mess up.”
Silver finished in a time of 7.45, 0.3 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher. It was a gap that seemed even bigger to anyone attending the meet at the JDL Indoor Fast Track.
“He won that race by far,” Nash Central coach Marshall Leonard said. “There was no doubt that he was going to win that race. ... He was very confident going into the race, and it showed in his race with the way he attacked those hurdles.”
Silver showed no signs off worry after his prelims, and his coach wasn’t concerned either – even in an event reliant on timing and rhythm.
“I was never worried,” Leonard said. “Even when he hit those couple hurdles, he was a good stride length ahead of everybody. It was just about him focusing and getting his stride right. I knew he was going to win the state championship as long as he did those little things.
“He definitely stood out as the fastest hurdler in the state.”
Silver’s returned to the track later in the day to help his teammates recover as well. After Nash Central’s 4x800 team finished 20 seconds slower than their seed time and in eighth, Silver teamed with Nick Manning, Brian Williams and Alex Corbin for the 4x400 relay race.
The quartet finished second in the 4x400 race, the final event of the day.
“We really had to get them a medal,” Silver said. “That’s all I was thinking about, just getting them a medal.”
Justin Hite can be reached at 407-9951 or firstname.lastname@example.org