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Distance runner will be short drive away
pic haley silva n
Sierra Highs Haley Silva signed with the University of the Pacific to run track and cross country next year. She was joined on this National Letter of Intent early signing occasion by her folks Gabriela and Jason Aucello, and her brother Jason. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT / The Bulletin

Sierra High’s Haley Silva is staying close to home for college.

She chose to run cross country and track at the University of the Pacific next fall, committing to the Tigers during Wednesday’s National Letter of Intent early signing period.

“UOP was my first choice,” said Silva, who was joined by her folks Gabriela and Jason Aucello as well as her SHS coaches and administrators in marking this special occasion held inside the foyer of the school gymnasium.

Silva is enjoying another stellar season in cross country. She made it to the state meet in Fresno a year ago and is looking for a return trip but this time alongside her fellow Timberwolves – Sierra will be in Folsom on Saturday for the Sac-Joaquin section meet.

Individually, Silva finished second in last weekend’s subsections and was the runner-up in the Valley Oak League championships. She’s already qualified for state.

She was pursued by other colleges, including San Francisco State, Sacramento State and Oregon Institute of Technology, according to her mother Gabriela.

Silva will join a Tigers program led by coach Josh Jones. His team set records in the 6K distance while competing in the West Coast Conference.

She plans to live on campus during her first year at Pacific. “The good thing is that my parents will be nearby,” Silva said.

Gabriela Aucello is also thrilled with that. “I like that Haley is going to get a great education (at UOP),” the mother said.

Silva’s scholarship, for now, will pay for half of her expenses. She has other scholarships and financial resources to help foot the bill for that first year.

At UOP, she’s planning to major in electrical engineering, in particular, the Co-op Program that’s coordinated through the School of Engineering. This will give her the opportunity to experience the professional world prior to graduation.

Silva has been running competitively since she was 10 and continues to work on decreasing her time in cross country and track. She also plays basketball for the Timberwolves.

An honor student, she maintains a grade point average in the 4.0 range.