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The Daily Ardmoreite
  • PHS's Davis named state's top runner for 2nd time

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  • It would have been easy for Alex Davis to just pack it in after a successful junior year in cross country.
    Instead, the best runner in Oklahoma got even better.
    Following another individual state championship and team title, and a postseason on the national circuit, Davis was named the Gatorade Oklahoma Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year on Thursday. Davis also won the award as a junior, making her Oklahoma's first two-time recipient of the award in cross country.
    Davis is expected to sign her National Letter of Intent with Baylor University in Feb. 6.
    "I guess I don't think about it," Davis said. "I guess I feel pretty good. I'm honored. It's crazy to think about when I was younger how much I wanted to be like Tess (Lackey), like Jessie Gordon. I'm just really blessed."
    Davis capped her career in Oklahoma cross country career in October with her second consecutive Class 3A individual state title, simultaneously pacing the Indians to their seventh consecutive team title. The 18-year-old completed her final two seasons of competition for Plainview cross country unbeaten.
    Davis went on to qualify for both the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships and the Nike Cross Nationals, after finishing fourth and fifth, respectively, at regional meets. Davis placed 38th out of 194 runners at Nike Cross Nationals in Portland, Ore., and was 26th out of 38 runners at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships in San Diego.
    "It was definitely worth it, I wouldn't have changed a thing," Davis said of her busy senior season. "I learned so much and experienced things that were just amazing."
    The Gatorade award recognizes athletic excellence, academic achievement and character demonstrated on and off the course. Davis maintained a 3.74 grade points average and has volunteered locally as a youth mentor, and as a volunteer for the Arbuckles to Ardmore Race for Mercy.
    Plainview coach Jerry Naylor said Davis is well-deserving of the Gatorade honor for the second time.
    "I don't know that many juniors get it, but she actually has run better this year than last year," Naylor said. "Her times have been outstanding and she's done really good.
    "I would have been surprised if she hadn't got it. It's a real honor for our program, our school and our community."
    Davis' back-to-back awards marks the fourth Gatorade Oklahoma Player of the Year honor for Plainview in three years. Danielle Nowell was the Girls Track Athlete of the Year in 2009-10, and Andrew Leahey was the Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year in 2010-11.
    "That just shows the beastliness of coach Naylor," Davis said. "There's a guy that's really fast ... a girl that's really fast ... a legit pole vaulter. That's covering all areas."
    Erik K. Horne
    Page 2 of 2 - 221-6522

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