Mike Davis has dedicated much of his track season, if not career, with the Glendale High track team to mastering the 200-meter dash.
It's fitting then that the Nitro's outstanding junior campaign comes down to Friday night's CIF Southern Section Masters Meet at Cerritos College, where Davis will have a chance to extend his season one more week by attempting to qualify for the state meet.
Davis was the only local athlete to earn a ticket to the Masters at Saturday's CIF Southern Section Track and Field Championships by placing second in Division I and fifth overall across all divisions in the 200 with a mark of 21.40 seconds, which broke Craig Harzmann's school record (21.45) that had stood since 1992.
"It feels pretty good to achieve that," said Davis, who needed a top-nine mark to move on to the Masters, which pits the best from each division in the Southern Section head to head. "[I'm hoping to] just run a faster time and not to let the other team intimidate me and just run my own race."
If he lands within the top five times in the 200 Friday, which is set to begin at 8 p.m., Davis will advance to the state meet prelims, which will be held June 1 in Clovis.
Davis said he doesn't plan to alter his strategy from Saturday.
"[The key is] the curve," Davis said. "Run the curve real fast and then let them chase me in the straightaway."
Davis also attempted to qualify for Masters in the 100, but came up short with a third-place finish in Division I in a time of 10.76, the 12th-best mark overall.
However, that shortcoming, along with not having to worry about the relays he typically runs at track meets, may ultimately help Davis perform his best in the 200, according to his longtime sprinting Coach Marv Thompson.
"He doesn't have the 4x100 [relay] to worry about, he doesn't have the 4x400 to worry about and now the 100 is out of the way," Thompson said. "All of his focus and energy is going to be right there in the 200.
"If he runs the 200 the way, if not better than he did last week, he'll be in the top five to go to state."
That's the top remaining goal now for Davis, who hopes one more burst of speed will ultimately carry him much farther than 200 meters.
"I would be pretty proud of myself to do that," Davis said, "and also for [Thompson] for helping me out and everything."
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