Silver takes gold |

Silver takes gold

Elias Silver looked over his shoulder to see only empty space and the track behind him. He covered the 800 meter distance effortlessly and unchallenged, and crossed the finish line in a cool two minutes flat.

This run was nothing new for the nearly undefeated Wolverine track star, who finished first in the open 800 event in every race except one for the last two years of his high school career.

What set this Saturday morning race apart from all the others, however, was that it was Silver’s last high school run for the Wolverines and perhaps more importantly, earned him the title of State Champion.

Silver’s gold medal finish was the only one for Truckee, despite hopes for three or more, yet the Wolverines did make it to the podium in several events. The defending State Champ 4X400 relay team of Silver, Casey Nelson, Evan Birchard and Danny Shannon came in just .3 seconds off the lead for a third place finish behind Rite of Passage and Moapa Valley.

Amidst hot and windy conditions in Vegas, Kyle Shane pulled out a fifth place high jump effort and Casey Nelson finished eighth overall in the open 200 meter event. The foursome of Nelson, Birchard, Shane and Colin Flauta had the best time in the boys’ 4X200 relay heading into States, but were disqualified midway through the race. The 4X100 m boys clenched fifth place in a solid run for TTHS.

Kristine Bena just missed first place in the girls’ 100 m race in a photo finish with her Spring Creek rival. Coming off her silver performance, Bena joined teammates Jacqueline Diaz, Stacey Kendrick and Julie Ruckheim for third place finishes in both the 4X400 and 4X200 relays. The Spartans won gold in both relay events.

Diaz also competed in the long jump and high jump for sixth and fifth place respective finishes, with a 15’2″ effort in the former and a 4’8″ high jump. Betsy Van Blarigan, Julie Ruckheim, Krista Anderson and Katie Grodan landed in eighth place in the 4X800 event – a strong finish for the group of young runners.

“I am very satisfied with the progress we made over the year and am looking forward to next year as some new athletes move up,” said Coach Rich Silver.

The loss of senior Elias Silver will be felt as the team reconvenes in 2002, but the largely young team will be mostly intact next season.

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