Focus always has been Damian Silver’s forte, and after a year of having to relive and discuss a state runner-up, he’s eyeing a gold medal.
Actually, the Nash Central senior is hoping for three.
Silver, who won the 55-meter hurdles at the state indoor meet, will compete in three events tonight at the NCHSAA 3-A state outdoor meet.
Silver will run the 110 hurdles, the 300 hurdles and on the Nash Central 4x400 relay team. He lost the 110 hurdles at the state meet by .07 seconds a year ago. He’s doing everything he can to change that this year.
“He (has) been working very hard,” Nash Central boys’ track coach Juan Jackson said. “He’s determined that he’s going to come back as a state champion in both events – possibly three.”
Silver is one of more than a dozen Nash County athletes competing tonight at N.C. A&T in Greensboro.
He’s one of an even smaller number competing for a state title – or three.
“My goal is three,” Silver said. “It would feel pretty good, just to have that around my belt. If I go and get three medals, and that’d be the first time that anyone has ever done that. it would feel pretty good.”
Silver is the top seed in both hurdles events, and the Bulldogs hold the fastest qualifying relay time as well by almost two seconds.
Silver, who has yet to decide on a college to attend next year, has been working up until the last minute on his craft – perfecting his hip rotation, his trail leg and his speed.
He’s approaching tonight’s meet like it’s any other meet – with a hard workout to start the week and easing in the days leading up to the even. Once the meet begins, he knows there will be something different and a little more important on the line.
“I just try not to think about it as much,” said Silver, who likes to listen to a mix of songs before he runs. “If I think about it too much, I’ll start getting nervous.”
Silver isn’t the only Nash County athlete looking to bring home a gold medal. Rocky Mount High senior Jaquell Bryant is the defending state champion in the high jump and hopes to retain his title in his final meet.
“Winning it last year, people already knew who I was,” said Bryant, who is more relaxed at the bigger heights this year. “... I actually had more competition this year because of that. People were coming for my head.”
Northern Nash’s Kambria Lynch is the No. 2 seed in the triple jump, and the Nash Central girls’ 4x400 relay is also a second seed.
Justin Hite can be reached at 407-9951 or firstname.lastname@example.org