Running toward success

Written by Alec Calvillo

Riverside City College cross-country runner earns All-American status

Leading the Riverside City College cross-country team (placing first among his teammates six out of seven times), Joshua Silva  has high expectations for his future despite some setbacks earlier in his athletic career.

The cross-country star finished first overall at the RCC Invitational back on Oct. 9, which was the first time he ever finished first in his young successful career. It was also the first time that the Tigers received a perfect score in head coach Jim McCarron’s nine years of coaching at RCC.

Silva is an 18-year-old freshmen from Corona High School who has learned the meaning of hard work when he was cut from his high school team, but worked aggressively to get back on the team.

“When I got kicked off the team, I just didn’t stop running,” Silva said. “ I would do workouts at 10 o’clock at night, all by myself.”

He transferred that hard work ethic to RCC.

“I want to step it up, so I can make it into a Pac-12 school, but this is where I have to put in all of the hard work, right here,” Silva said. “I Just want to make it to Olympic time trial one day, to get (a shot at the) Pac-12 is the way to go.”

According to Silva, he had the opportunity of getting into four-year universities such as Cal Baptist University, Cal Poly Pomona and University of California Irvine, but none of those teams were as good as RCC’s.

If he gets the chance, Silva wants to transfer to the University of Oregon or the University of Colorado because of their good cross-country and track programs. But for Silva it’s not just about athletics.

“I just want to go to a school that’s good at running, and good at academics,” he said.

The Tigers as a whole have been successful as they were ranked No. 3 in state and No. 2 in Southern California. The men’s cross-country team won four straight races with Silva leading the way.

Cross-country teammate Gilbert Robles also went to Corona High School and has known Silva since childhood.

“I’ve known Josh since elementary school, since like third grade,” Robles said. “We did track in elementary school too.”

He describes Silva off the track as a spontaneous guy.

“He’s very out going, crazy and down for anything like hiking late at night,” he said.

In their junior year of high school cross-country, Robles and Silva raced the 66th Mt. San Antonio cross-country Invitational only finishing within a second apart. Surprisingly Robles would finish before Silva just for this one time.

When it comes to teammates battling out for the first to finish for their team, it can get intense.

“It’s whoever wants it more,” Silva said.

Not everybody’s time in cross-country counts towards the final score, because only the top five finishers  scores are counted for each team.

“Cross-country is a team sport,” Silva said. “I can go out there and get first, but it doesn’t matter if the rest of the guys are getting 100th.”

Head coach Jim McCarron is pleased with Silva’s performance and work ethic.

“As an individual in cross-country I would definitely say he’s top three in the last nine years, and he’s a freshmen which is cool because he’s got another year,” McCarron said.

McCarron described Silva’s personality as thoughtful, intelligent and focused.

“He’s going to do some great things in life as a man and athlete,” he said. “(The coaching staff) all believe in helping young men, and helping them move forward in life.”

Silva had high expectations for the final and most important race of the season.

“Totally trying to win state as a team,” Silva said “I (have) to finish top five.”

Silva and the Tigers only fell a little short in the California Community College Athletic Association State Championship. Silva would finish the race 10th overall, and the team finished fourth.

Cross-country season may be over for Silva, but he also looks to make an impact in track and field in the spring.