CLOVIS — Although he didn't walk away with a top three medal, Glendale High junior Michael Davis earned something he can carry with him into next season.
Davis can consider himself one of the state's best athletes, having advanced to Saturday's final day of the prep track and field season at the CIF State Championships at Buchanan High after finishing seventh in the 200-meter run with a time of 21.82 seconds.
"I didn't do my best, so I'm a little disappointed," Davis said. "The sweet thing is that I get to say that I'm one of the top seven guys in state."
The junior was slotted on Lane No. 1, the far inside lane, and struggled out of the blocks, particularly on the opening curve before falling as far back as ninth.
"It was the curve that got me, I don't know what to say," Davis said. "My goal was to come out and hit a personal record and I didn't do that."
Davis did rally over his final two laps in sprinting ahead of one of his main rivals, Eleanor Roosevelt's Elijah Mitchell (22.10), who finished eighth.
In finishing ahead of Mitchell, Davis topped the fellow 11th-grader for only the second time this season, having also beaten him at the CIF Southern Section Masters Meet.
Previously, Mitchell had topped Davis at Friday's preliminaries, at the Division I finals and preliminaries, the Mt. San Antonio College Relays and at the Arcadia Invitational.
Davis, who entered Saturday's affair ninth-seeded, was his school's first athlete to advance to the CIF State Meet since Richard Erbes finished 10th in the 3,200-meter run in 1986.
His finish was the school's best since Dan Palma earned fourth in the 3,200 in 1984.
Davis punched his ticket to Saturday's final day of the prep calendar by finishing third in his heat of the 200 with a time of 21.67 at Friday evening's preliminaries.
The junior anxiously waited for the subsequent three heats of the 200 to finish before hearing that he was ninth overall and earned the day's final qualifying spot.
"To get this far is truly amazing and a testament to this young man's skill," Glendale sprints Coach Marv Thompson said. "He's made everyone in the program proud and I can't wait until next year.
"The best thing about all this success is that there is a next year and he'll have a chance to do even better."
Davis' personal best heading into Saturday was accomplished two weeks ago at the CIF-SS Division I championships at Mt. San Antonio College, when he finished fifth with a time of 21.40.
The following week, Davis was third overall at the Masters Meet at Cerritos College with a mark of 21.61.
"This is all motivation for next season," Davis said. "I'm going to work hard all year to make sure I get back here and get a state title next year."