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Glendale High spinter Michael Davis moving on to CIF State Final

Track and field: Nitros senior places second in his preliminary heat and advances to championship race Saturday.

May 31, 2013|By Andrew J. Campa, andrew.campa@latimes.com

CLOVIS — A solid effort elongated the prep career of Glendale High’s Michael Davis one more day.

The Nitros’ senior and lone local qualifier to Friday evening’s 95th annual CIF State Track and Field Championship preliminaries at Buchanan High in Clovis qualified to Saturday evening’s final by finishing second in his 200-meter heat in a time of 21.47 seconds.

“It’s not my fastest time, but I’ll definitely take it. All I wanted to do was run with [Sherman Oak Notre Dame’s] Khalfani Muhammad today and I did that,” Davis said. “If I’m going to lose to anyone, I don’t mind it being him.”

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Davis’ mark was runner-up to the aforementioned Muhammad, who breezed to a heat victory in a day-best time of 20.94.

Overall, Davis posted the seventh-fastest time and earned a spot in Saturday’s final at 8:38 p.m.

“I thought I was doing well, but it wasn’t until the turn that I had an idea,” Davis said. “I saw Khalfani next me and I thought ‘Wow, I’m must be doing great.’”

Davis was in third after 20 meters, but rounded the race’s curve especially strong to jump in front of Poway’s Brandon Lucas (third, 21.75) and Novato’s Christian Corbin (fourth, 21.80) and within a near equal pace with the UC Berkeley-bound Muhammad.

However, on the straightaway, Muhammad spared no effort in blitzing the rest of the field and taking first.

“Today, it was all about qualifying,” Muhammad said after the race. “You want to have a good time to qualify, but winning and [personal-best times] are for tomorrow.”

The Brigham Young University-bound Davis was somewhat enthusiastic because his mark wasn’t as strong as previous weeks, leaving his hopes high for a big day Saturday.

“I think I can do something special tomorrow,” Davis said. “I didn’t run my best race. Hopefully, that will be tomorrow.”

Davis’ mark of 21.47 was slower than his sixth-seeded time of 21.42, which was gained at last week’s CIF Southern Section Masters Meet.

Davis’ personal record came two weeks earlier at the CIF Division I championships, where he took the silver with a time of 21.39.

On Thursday, Davis declared that his goal for Saturday was to hit a 21.1, which would easily eclipse his personal record.

Going by Friday’s marks, such a time would earn Davis a second-place medal.

As for Friday’s other competitors, Loyola’s Morgan Simon was second (21.15) with the third-through-sixth order followed with West Ranch’s John McDonald (21.32), Antelope Valley’s Robert Ellis (21.37), Upland’s Myles Valentine (21.37) and Jesuit’s Austin Mitsch (21.46).

Davis is also hoping to better his seventh-place effort (21.85) from last year’s championship.

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