Boone senior pole vaulter Sebastian Silva qualified to compete in his first very state meet competition two weeks ago and made the most of it earning All-State honors grabbing the 8th and final spot on the podium for the 4A boys pole vault with a personal best clearance of 3.9 meters (12'9.50"). Silva was the Metro East Conference champion this spring in the pole vault and competed all 4 years of high school for Boone in Orlando.
Below are his answers from our Salute to Seniors series Q&A as a final farewell to all of our class of 2022 Florida high school track & field athletes. If like to contribute your own, more details can be found here.
Salute to Seniors: Sebastian Silva (Boone)
What was your most memorable race/throw/jump/vault/moment?
My most memorable vault was at states this year when after 2 misses, one of my coaches scrambled to bring me a pole I had never used and I ended up getting a PR because of it
Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?
My biggest competition was my teammate Drew, we were right beside each other beating each other's records in practice and at meets and it pushed both of us all the way to the end. I wouldn't have done anywhere as well as I did without him pushing me along.
What was your greatest accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment was placing 8th at states after what seemed like the worst week of jumping I had throughout my entire 4 years of vaulting. My goal as a freshman was just to make it to the state meet, but I overcame that and actually placed which was an amazing moment for me.
Who would you consider your biggest role model over your four years competing?
My biggest role model was definitely Mondo Duplantis, seeing him for the first time my sophomore year, I couldn't imagine myself just a few years later jumping anywhere near what he was doing as even a 13 or 14 year old. Seeing his jumps over and over again allowed me to see what a real perfect jump would look like and I used that to my advantage.
If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running or field career in high school?
I would've believed in myself more, especially at the beginning of my high school career, I could barely get over 6 feet for the first few months and it almost made me quit. If I had known I could've actually done well, I feel as if I would've improved greatly those first 2 years.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome? How did you overcome them?
The most difficult obstacle was myself, every day at practice I would complain about something, whether it be the wind or my legs hurting or even just how I was feeling that day, I let it affect me day to day. I learned finally this year that none of that matters and to just push forward no matter the cost.
What will you miss the most?
I'm going to miss the camaraderie between my teammates and coaches, nowhere else can you get a group of people so genuine and enthusiastic about something. It's a part of life I will never forget nor regret as it really did shape me into the person I am today.
What advice would you give to younger athletes?
Don't ever think you aren't good enough, everyone in this world has the power to do something great. Whether it be small or large, greatness can be found everywhere. If you believe in yourself enough and push hard enough, you will become a better athlete than you would've ever dreamt of in the past. Never shy away from your dreams as those will be standards in the future.
What influence has your coach had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?
My coach taught me about life a lot, life isn't something that is just sunshine and rainbows, we all have bad days, days we don't want to be there, days we wish everything could just end. But we need to all focus as a team and get something done together. He taught me how to believe in myself and take care of other people, and how to take care of myself even more. I could never thank him enough.
What are your post-high school or college plans?
I'm going to go to Valencia College and then finish out my bachelors degree in music at Full Sail University. I'm going to work as hard as I can to live a comfortable but amazing life that I can be proud to tell my future kids about.
Who would you like to say 'thank you' to?
I would like to say thank you to my coach, John Stromberg for believing in me and my teammates more than anyone else ever did. The amount of time and money he put into us is unimaginable and I really don't know where I'd be now without him. After getting through his own hardships of his own, he still felt the need to make sure we had the most fun, while also having the best meet every single week. And that really is something special, so thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Don't ever give up on your dreams, regardless of the cliché, it is true. The second you let that go, everything else falls apart with it. There is no one in this world other than yourself that can fix problems you're having in and out of track and field. You need to hold yourself accountable for your actions on and off the track, and once you understand that, you will succeed further than you ever hoped.