Jefferson senior cross-country runner David Silver, who won Saturday's Bull Run invitational, was misidentified in Sunday's editions. (Published 10/13/1999)

Jefferson High senior David Silva has worked four years for a first-place finish, and yesterday that work finally paid dividends.

Silva broke away from Oakton's Matt Maline on a steep uphill stretch at the mile and one-quarter mark, then pulled away to win his first race ever in a time of 15 minutes 47 seconds at the eighth annual Bull Run Cross-Country Invitational in Fairfax.

"Coach [Matt Ryan] told us yesterday to work the hill in the middle mile, because it would be a good place to move up on some people," Silva said. "I hit the hill and tried to hold the pace I held in the first mile. It's an example of phenomenal coaching."

Silva and Maline were shoulder to shoulder when they hit the steepest part of the hill. But Silva surged in front, did not let up and won by 14 seconds.

"Mentally, Dave's on top of things," Ryan said. "Dave can make the move, stick the move and keep on going. That's what it takes to win. Day in and day out at practice he's there, 100 percent. There's no let downs with him."

As a team Jefferson finished fourth. Robinson won the boys team title, its second in as many weeks, followed by Lake Braddock and Whitman.

In the girls race, Lake Braddock's Erin Swain won for the third time this season in a time of 18:15. She outdistanced George Mason's Colleen Winzeler by 30 seconds.

"I worked really hard over the summer to get ready for this season," Swain said. "The days I didn't feel like running, I ran. I also did a lot of weightlifting and my arms don't get weak during the race anymore."

Swain battled Winzeler and Jefferson's Kelley Otstott for the first half of the race, but pulled away at the mile and three-quarter mark. The victory was Swain's first when going head to head against Otstott, who is struggling with a sinus infection. Otstott finished fourth.

"It's a great accomplishment, but I just hope she gets better so we can compete with each other on the same level," Swain said.

Lake Braddock also won the girls team title, with West Springfield finishing a close second.

A notable absent from the boys race was South Lakes's Alan Webb, who has won every time he has competed this season.

"It was good to have a race where I could get out there and not have to worry about him getting in front of us," Silva said. "He's on another level."