Glendale High sprinter Mike Davis nabs last spot for State finals

Throughout the course of the track and field season, Glendale High junior Michael Davis earned a few prestigious titles, such as Pacific League champion.

Yet, on Friday evening, Davis earned the accolade and acknowledgment he worked all season to obtain at the CIF State Track and Field Championship preliminaries at Buchanan High in Clovis.

The sprinter finished third in his heat of the 200-meter dash and ninth overall in a time of 21.67 seconds, which was good for the final qualifying spot to Saturday's championships set for 8:38 p.m.

"I wanted to run a personal best today and qualify," Davis said. "I didn't run my best, but I have one more day and that's what I've wanted all year, to get to the state finals."

Davis entered Friday's affair as one of a contingent of five Southern Section runners who were seeded in the top 10 in an overall field of 29 runners.

As expected, all five Southern Section runners advanced with Davis finishing behind Sherman Oaks Notre Dame's Khalfani Muhammad (21.16) and Eleanor Roosevelt's Elijah Mitchell (21.52) in his heat.

"Michael ran his race tonight and did what he had to do. Now, we can all just breathe and go back to the hotel and relax," Glendale High sprints coach Marv Thompson said. "I know Michael's time wasn't his best and I'm not sure how much of that had to do with being under the bright lights.

"He may have been a little fatigued, but he qualified. Now we have some time to make some corrections and go forward."

Unlike last weekend's CIF Southern Section Masters Meet, Davis had a solid start and was within striking distance of Muhammad and Mitchell through the first 100 meters.

Yet, Davis began to fade at the midway point before rallying over the final 20 meters.

"I felt a little tired out of the straightaway," Davis said. "My start was pretty good, but I've got to work on my turns."

For Davis, his finish was a slight reversal of his order at Masters, where he took third in 21.61 and placed ahead of Mitchell (21.62).

"I try to not focus on who I'm running against. I forget about them and just run," Davis said. "All I want is for the other runners to be intimidated by me."

Davis' mark on Friday trails that of his personal best, hit at the CIF-SS Division I finals (21.40), and of his time at the divisional preliminaries (21.58).

"That's OK with us. He's reached the last day and that's all that matters," Thompson said. "Now he's with the elite, the best runners in the entire state and I'm looking forward to tomorrow. On Saturday, he's going to release the hounds."

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