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Charger Spotlight: Max Davis

By Tyler Bradford

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(Kierstin Brown / Photo)

Senior Max Davis has overcome a plethora of obstacles throughout his high school running career. (Kierstin Brown / Photo)

By Tyler Bradford | Staff Writer

March 6, 2013

No crowd lines the course.

Or maybe one does, but anything that isn’t part of the course is lost in a muddled, murky haze.

All he sees is a blur of singlets, scenery, and sweat.

There’s a burn in his lungs and an ache that makes itself known with every stride, but his body moves as smooth as ever.

He surges past his opponents leaving behind nothing except dust and a heavy breath.

This is a race for Max Davis.

Davis, a senior at Dos Pueblos, has faced plenty of challenges in his running career thus far and has been put through both a physical and mental gauntlet of immeasurable stress.

Anemia, personal expectations, and competing in the shadow of teammate and cross country state champion Bryan Fernandez have all been obstacles in his four years of running.

And the physical strain all started last year.

Early in his junior year of track, Davis noticed that the work he was putting into his training simply wasn’t showing up in his races.

“If I were in a two mile race, after a half of a mile I felt like I couldn’t move any more,” says Davis. That fatigue Davis felt is one of the affects of anemia, which, in Davis’ case, was caused by an iron deficiency.

“It was really frustrating as a competitive runner, knowing that I was falling apart so early in a race.”

But Davis’ anemia did even more than cause bouts of extreme fatigue: it drained him in other aspects.

“It wasn’t just physically difficult. It was emotionally and mentally draining as well [and] was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through in my entire life.”

However for Davis, giving up or giving in is never an option. For Davis, there is only resilience and determination.

“The biggest thing that helped me get through that time period was a positive mentality,” Davis says. “And a refusal to let anything deprive me of what I wanted.”

Since his struggle with anemia, Davis has made quite the comeback. He finished 3rd at league finals for track and field and qualified for CIF in the 3200m.

And so he began training again, this time with a confidence that he had never known before.

Over the summer and well into the cross country season, Davis was training consistently and put in 60 to 70 miles a week. From late July to early November he was doing two-a-day practices two to three times a week.

Davis practicing with fellow teammates John Linehan and Brian Fernandz

Davis in the foreground practicing with fellow teammates John Linehan and Bryan Fernandez. (Photo courtesy of Max Davis)

 

All of his training done with friend and competitor with current state champion Bryan Fernandez.

“I am so grateful for my situation. I  have this great athlete to watch and someone to chase in my workouts,” Davis says regarding his relationship with his friend and teammate.

And what’s even more is that despite the talent he’s up against, Davis is an optimist.

“I have someone pushing me every single day, I’m really lucky to have that.”

It’s Davis’ winning character and commendable work ethic that earned him not only an 8th place finish in CIF Southern Section for cross country this year, but also a 12th place finish in state.

Not only did his performance at state prove that he isn’t a person keen on giving up, it showed college recruiters that they had more reasons to look at Dos Pueblos than just for Bryan Fernandez.

Since his incredible performance at the state meet, Davis has committed to UCLA to run both cross country and track and field.

“My freshmen year I heard a speech from the school two mile record holder Tom Phillips. He talked about realizing your potential as a runner and I really took that to heart. I decided then that I wanted to run cross country.”

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Charger Spotlight: Max Davis