NORWALK — For a second straight year, the track and field aspirations of the greater Glendale area will rest on the broad shoulders of Glendale High senior Michael Davis.
The Brigham Young University-bound football star was one of three locals, including St. Francis’ Caleb Simmeth and Crescenta Valley’s Megan Melnyk, to advance to Friday evening’s CIF Southern Section Masters Meet.
Yet, Davis was the lone athlete to qualify to next week’s CIF State Track and Field Championships at Buchanan High in Clovis.
“It’s like what was written, ‘All the pressure was on me,’” Davis said. “I’m excited and proud to represent my school and my area and I can’t wait to get another chance at state. That’s what I was working for.”
Davis is heading back to Clovis in the 200-meter dash after finishing fourth in the event in a time of 21.42 seconds.
“It wasn’t my best time, but I’m happy that I’ll get another chance to do better next week,” said Davis, who also easily eclipsed the at-large berth mark of 21.63.
Davis’ personal record heading into Friday night was 21.39, which was achieved at last weekend’s CIF Southern Section Division I Championships.
Out of the blocks, Davis raced into second place after 50 meters and trailed only prep star Khalfani Muhammad (20.73) of Sherman Oaks Notre Dame.
Davis eventually slipped into fourth behind Loyola’s Morgan Simon (21.05) and Upland’s Myles Valentine (21.15), but will get an opportunity to see the trio at Friday’s preliminaries in the hopes of advancing to Saturday’s Finals.
A week earlier, St. Francis senior Simmeth and Crescenta Valley sophomore Melnyk both turned in monster efforts at the CIF Southern Section Divisional Championships in advancing to Masters.
On Friday afternoon, both found duplicating such a feat a task too tall, as neither finished in a state-qualifying top-six place or hit an automatic at-large berth time.
Simmeth appeared to dart out to the type of start he would need in the 110-meter hurdles, as he trailed only event winner Lloyd Siscard (13.96) of Serra after the first hurdle.
Yet, Simmeth appeared to lose some steam after the second hurdle in falling to fourth place and didn’t recover in eventually finishing ninth in 14.93, which missed the state at-large time of 14.26.
“It just didn’t work out the way I wanted it to. It’s a disappointing race,” said Simmeth, who ran a personal-best time of 14.63 last Saturday. “I felt good after the first [hurdle], but after the second one, I just felt off.”