Glendale High's Michael Davis medals at state

CLOVIS — Having set his sights on hitting a personal record and potentially winning a medal, all that was left for Glendale High senior Michael Davis was to conclude his prep career with one or perhaps both lofty aspirations at Saturday evening’s 95th annual CIF State Track and Field Championships. The Brigham Young University-bound Davis was entered in the championship 200-meter run with a star-studded field that included state leader Khalfani Muhammad (UC Berkeley) of Sherman Oaks Notre Dame and Morgan Simon (UCLA) of Loyola. Despite not hitting his first goal of producing a new career-best mark, the evening was far from disappointing, as Davis ran away with a fifth-place medal in a time of 21.58 seconds at Memorial Stadium in Buchanan High of Clovis. “It’s not a PR, but I’ll take it. This feels amazing,” Davis said. “You work hard for four years and you finally get to this day and all you want is a medal and I got it, I can’t believe I got it.” For a second straight afternoon, Davis broke strong out of the blocks and was in third place behind Muhammad and Simon at the midway point. Down the final 100 meters, though, Muhammad (20.86) and Simon (21.17) both broke away from the pack, while Jesuit’s Austin Mitsch (21.30, third) and West Ranch sophomore John McDonald (21.42, fourth) passed up Davis. Even though Davis didn’t best his time of 21.47 hit at Friday evening’s preliminaries, his fifth-place finish was still two spots better than Friday.
One reason the move up came occurred right before the race when Upland sophomore Myles Valentine bowed out because of a hamstring issue. Valentine was the reigning CIF Southern Section Division I champion and had posted a preliminaries mark of 21.37. “It’s too bad he didn’t race because he’s one of my boys,” said Davis, the Division I runner-up. “I respect Myles and I would have loved to run with him, but the good thing for him is that he still has two more years. This was my last run.” The race was also the final between Muhammad and Davis, both of whom competed against each other at the youth track level. “My mindset today was to go out and get a victory,” said Muhammad, who won the 100-meter and 200-meter runs for a second straight year. “This was a great way to cap an incredible career.” Immediately following the race, both sprinters, who also play football, embraced. “This is it for us man. We’ve been going at it for years and it’s kind of sad it’s over,” said Davis, whose career-best 200 time will remain 21.39. “I hope that maybe I can see him in college. Maybe Cal will play BYU. Hey, it could happen.” The hope prior to Saturday’s event is that Davis could become the city of Glendale’s first champion since Anita Siraki of Hoover captured the 3,200-meter run in 2000. Glendale High’s Lee Balkin remains the Nitros’ last champion as his winning mark of 7 feet, 3 1/4 inches in the high jump set in 1979 still stands as a state record.

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