WINSTON-SALEM — Former Surry Central athlete Daniel Alvarez-Orlachia was last seen in the area winning multiple state championships. He was already committed to Davidson College when he won his fourth individual state championship in his final prep meet, in the 800 meters last May 19 in Greensboro.
He hasn’t won any national championships yet, but the Wildcats’ freshman middle-distance runner already has an event win to his credit at the collegiate level.
Alvarez represented Davidson in the 800 meters and the 4×400 relay during the Wake Forest Outdoor Opener, held last Saturday, March 24 at Kentner Stadium in Winston-Salem, finishing in the top 10 of his individual event, but then taking part on the Wildcats’ winning 4×400 team in a field that included Davidson, host Wake Forest, Duke, several mid-major Division I teams from the area, and Harvard University.
In the 800, nine runners posted times under two minutes. Alvarez finished seventh overall in a time of 1:59.46 and was only one of two freshmen who made it into the top 10.
In the 4×400 relay, the Wildcats were challenged strongly by Harvard, but their team of Alvarez, Miles Hollimon, Jacob Hostetler and Garrett Nickelson beat the Crimson “A” team in a time of 3:28.88, eight seconds ahead of the Ivy League representatives.
It was actually the second event win of his career. On Feb. 8, Alvarez had run for Davidson at the JDL College Team Challenge in Winston-Salem and finished first in the 800, posting a time of 2:00.18. However, this was an indoor meet mostly contested by freshmen and sophomores from various area college teams, rather than one where teams were competing at full strength.
While at Central, Alvarez won the 2015-16 and 2016-17 indoor state titles at 1000 meters and the 2016 outdoor title in the 800. He was upset in the conference finals at 800 meters in his senior season, but still qualified for state easily and repeated as 800 outdoor champ in a rain-soaked race by a tenth of a second.
He committed to Davidson shortly before Thanksgiving in 2016, in the fall of his senior season at Central.
During the fall, Alvarez competed for the Wildcats in cross country, making his collegiate debut on Sept. 1 in the Charlotte Preview and finishing 24th in a 5K run. He ran in a dozen cross country meets and finished as high as 10th, then competed for Davidson’s track and field team during the indoor season this past winter.
Davidson’s outdoor season is ongoing, and the Alvarez and the Wildcats will be back in action this Saturday in Columbia, S.C. for the Gamecock Invitational.