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Glendale High's Mike Davis ready for one last statement

Nitros sprinter has high hopes as 2013 season gets underway.

February 27, 2013|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com
  • ARCHIVE PHOTO: Glendale High sprinter Michael Davis, center, is ready for his final run with the Nitros.
ARCHIVE PHOTO: Glendale High sprinter Michael Davis,… (Raul Roa/Staff…)

Before heading off to Brigham Young University in the summer to prepare for college football, Mike Davis will have a few items of business to tackle during the next several months.

As the linchpin to the Glendale High boys’ track and field team once again, Davis will look to successfully defend his Pacific League championships in the 100- and 200-meter races with the ultimate goal of returning to the CIF-State Meet in June.

The standout sprinter posted All-Area best times in the 100- (10.67) and 200-meter (21.40) events last season. Davis became the first Nitro to participate in the state meet since Richard Erbes in 1986 and joined an impressive list of Nitros to qualify for state, including former Olympian Dwight Stones and state high jump record-holder Lee Balkin.

New Glendale Coach Andrew Dakopolos, who succeeds Bob Bailey, said he’s eager to find out how Davis will fare in the spotlight again.

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“We have very high hopes for him, and the biggest thing will be for him to stay healthy,” Dakopolos said. “He’s taken some time off with his training, but he has the natural athletic talent and he’s blazing fast.

“If Michael wants to go back to state, then he will go back to state. It’s exciting to be able to coach him and we will do everything in our power to get him back to state.”

Davis, who earned All-Area first-team accolades in football last season, should find himself surrounded by some budding talent at Glendale. He will be joined by sprinters Carlos Navarro and Daniel Jung, both of whom will work with Davis in the relays.

Brian Shieh will lead Glendale’s distance runners and also participate in the long jump.

“I like our versatility and depth,” Dakopolos said. “We should have formidable relay teams to go with our long-distance crew.”

Flintridge Prep captured its first Prep League championship last season. While the Rebels sneaked up on several teams to win the league title for the first time since 2003, things figure to be a bit tougher this season.

“Right now, we are hoping to win it again,” Flintridge Prep Coach Nick Ponticello said. “At the same time, we have to make sure we are not overconfident.

“Last year, it was more about the element of surprise. We are looking forward to a good season. We want to try to be even more cohesive.”

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