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Glendale's Michael Davis looks to chase down legends

Nitros senior hoping to add his name to school lore.

May 30, 2013|By Andrew J. Campa, andrew.campa@latimes.com
  • ARCHIVE PHOTO: Glendale High's Michael Davis is looking to make himself one of the Nitros all-time legends at the CIF State Track and Field Meet.
ARCHIVE PHOTO: Glendale High's Michael Davis is… (Cheryl A. Guerrero/Staff…)

GLENDALE — As he practiced alone on a solitary track at Moyse Field, Glendale High senior Michael Davis found himself in a familiar position.

The 18-year-old was putting in whatever final work he deemed necessary Thursday afternoon on the eve of the CIF State Track and Field Championship preliminaries at Buchanan High in Clovis.

With a lacrosse scrimmage just wrapping up and football practice not yet underway, the stadium belonged to Davis. As has been the case most of his career, there was no competition for Davis on Thursday.

That, however, will change soon.

“I’m really excited about this week and have been hitting the gym,” Davis said before the start of his final practice Thursday afternoon. “I’ve been doing more squats, more running on the treadmill and have been trying to get my endurance up. Hopefully, it will work out tomorrow, but we’ll see what happens.”

Regardless of what Davis accomplishes this weekend at Clovis, Thursday represented the end of an era as the Brigham Young University-bound Davis made his final runs at Moyse.

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“Michael has had a great four-year run at Glendale High. He’s generated a type of excitement that we used to have at Glendale during it’s track heyday,” said Glendale High long-time fixture Pat Lancaster, currently the school’s athletic director. “He’s brought a level of pride and excitement.”

Davis heads to Friday’s preliminaries to compete in the 200-meter dash at 8:50 p.m. He either needs to win one of three heats or produce one of the next six fastest times to advance to Saturday’ state final at 8:38 p.m.

Davis enters with a vaunted field that includes state-leader Khalfani Muhammad of Sherman Oaks Notre Dame.

However, Davis isn’t just chasing Muhammad, but past Nitros legends.

“If you look at the history of Glendale High, this was a real track hotbed in the 30s and 40s,” Lancaster said. “We’ve had some great champions like Frank Wykoff up to Lee Balkin and Dwight Stones in the 70s. Even Hoover had some great champions like Forrest Beaty. If I were to say Michael is similar to one, I’d probably say Beaty.”

Beaty was a two-time state champion in the 100-yard dash in 1961 and 1962, winning each year with a time of 9.5 seconds. Beaty also captured a 200-yard title in 1961 in the 200-yard dash in 21.5 seconds.

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