By LARRY GAGE
Special to the PRESS
Port Isabel Tarpon hurdler Omar Silva has advanced to regional competition in both the 110-meter and 300-meter hurdles events.
He qualified by placing second in the 110’s in the time of 15.47 seconds and winning the 300’s with a clocking of 39.88 seconds at last Thursday’s area track and field meet at Kingsville. He will return to Texas A&M Kingsville’s Javelina Stadium for this week’s regional meet. The top four finishers at area all advance to regionals. The top two finishers at the regional meet will move on to the state meet in Austin next month.
“He didn’t have a very good start (110-m. hurdles) but once he got going he ran very well,” Head Tarpon track coach Ryan Stanage said Monday at the stadium. If he gets a better start he’s going to be right there with the kid that beat him.”
“In the 300’s he looked pretty good. He got in front and led the whole way. It was a good race for him and he did a good job.”
“I was really nervous going into the 110’s,” Silva said this week. “I had a bad start and I clipped (hurdle number) six or seven and then my form was going out of hand. I liked my start very much in the 300’s. It was just my ending that messed me up. I hit the last hurdle with my leading leg – it was just a little clip but it could have messed up my timing.”
“It’s about surviving and advancing”, Stanage said this week. “We don’t really care what it looks like as long as we’re getting to where we need to get to.”
As Silva is the only Tarpon to qualify for the regional meet, practice this week has been a solitary experience. “It’s very different because I’m practicing by myself now. I have nobody else to run against, or push me or talk to me.”
“So, is your star hurdler in a good frame of mind these days?,” Coach Stanage was asked. “I think he worries a little more about what he’s got to do instead of worrying about everybody else, which is a really big thing for young kids to understand. I’m sure he’s going to be a little nervous but I don’t mind him being a little nervous. Sometimes that’s a good thing.”
“I’m very, very happy to get a chance to compete at regionals,” Silva said this week.
“Right now he looks pretty smooth,” Stanage added. “Comfort level is big right now. So you’re not going to come out here and change a bunch of bad habits in a few days and you shouldn’t even try in my opinion. That’s why I told him the other day you have to do what you’re doing right now. ”
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