Ryan Silva got a monkey off his back last week, when he decided to continue his running career at Stanford.
That, however, was only the beginning.
"I made the decision, but there's still a lot of work to be done," said Silva, who chose the Cardinal over Brown and MIT. "They're trying to build a really good team and they have a ton of good recruits.
"I'm going to have to step up my game to compete at Stanford."
The Rincon/University senior is hoping to win a Division I state championship in the 800 or 1,600 meters - or both - on Saturday at Mesa Community College, in the final day of the state meet.
"I'm going for it," he said. "It's my last race in high school. It's kind of a big deal."
Silva was part of a state championship relay team his freshman year but has yet to win an individual title in either cross country or track.
"It's not the same as winning an individual title," he said of the relay win. "It just wouldn't be right for me to go out of high school without a state championship."
To win either of those events, Silva will have to beat Yuma Cibola's Bernie Montoya, his nemesis the past four years in both sports. Montoya won the 3,200 on Wednesday night and is heading to ASU.
Silva finished third in the 3,200 and believes he has a strategy to finally knock Montoya off Saturday.
If it works, he could prove to his future coach, Chris Miltenberg, that he is ready to run for the Cardinal.
When Silva visited Stanford, Miltenberg questioned whether he was ready to run on his team.
"That was scary for me and that was definitely a part of my decision," Silva said. "Because he said that, that's where I want to go for running. He saw I had the ability, he just wanted to make sure I was prepared."
Two locals among candidates for Army All-American game
Salpointe Catholic receiver Cameron Denson and Sabino lineman Andrew Mike were listed among the candidates for the Army All-American football game scheduled for Jan. 4.
The two were among 10 nominees in Arizona and 400 in the nation. From that group, 90 will be selected to play in the game.
The last local player to be selected for the game was Salpointe offensive lineman Kris O'Dowd, who played in the nationally-televised showcase in 2007. He went on to play at USC.
Spring golf championships start today in Prescott
Tanque Verde begins its quest for a state title today at Antelope Hills Golf Course in Prescott.
Michael Rooyakkers will be the first to tee off for the Hawks at noon, followed by Robert Dybus, Cameron Moncada, Stephen Sprague and Greg Wheeler.
Tanque Verde is the only local team competing this weekend. Desert Christian's Jacob Barnes and Nick Latta will be on the course trying to win individual titles, as will Pusch Ridge Christian's Grayson Barghols and Jacob Giacome.
The final round will be Saturday.
More college signings
• Salpointe Catholic swimmer Laura Graziano, a team captain and four-year state finalist, will attend Pepperdine. She helped the Lancers win their first team title last fall.
• Ironwood Ridge baseball player Sean Dannenbaum will play at Chandler-Gilbert Community College. The right-handed pitcher is 3-1 with a 4.33 ERA this season.
• Tucson High grad Allison Rosas, who has been playing volleyball at Trinidad State Junior College in Colorado, recently signed with Division II Pfeiffer University in Misenheimer, N.C.