Female Athlete of the Week: Versatility is key for Davis

Grace Davis Rich Cooley/Daily

STRASBURG – Grace Davis’ versatility was on full display in last week’s Shenandoah County meet.

The Strasburg sophomore didn’t win any individual event, but she was the top female point scorer in the meet.

It was the second straight year she was named the high point scorer in the meet. She finished with 17.5 points for the Rams.

“It was really cool,” Davis said. “It was exciting to get it two years in a row – back-to-back.”

Davis finished second in the 100-meter dash (13.50), the 200-meter dash (28.82), the long jump (15-07.00) and the triple jump (31-05.00). She was also part of the winning 4×100 relay team (56.82) along with teammates Ally Cooper, Cassie Cooper and Kelsey Jenkins.

“She came out as a freshman and she won high point (at the Shenandoah County meet) as a freshman and as a sophomore. That is unheard of,” Strasburg coach Emily Brandon said. “To win two years in a row, and both as underclassmen, so that really kind of impressed us very much.”

Her strong week last week helped Davis earn The Northern Virginia Daily’s Female Athlete of the Week for the week of May 2-May 8.

The Shenandoah County meet was held over two days due to rain. The meet was suspended at Strasburg that Monday and resumed at Central that Wednesday.

Davis participated in the long and triple jump and the 100 on Monday, and then did the 4×100 relay and the 200 on Wednesday. The 4×100 relay was the first event on Wednesday and Davis said it was tough to get refocused and have to start out doing the first event.

“We were scared, because the other team was good competition so we were nervous,” Davis said. “They pushed us and it helped us.”

Davis said that the 200 was probably the best event she did in the Shenandoah County meet. She finished second to Stonewall Jackson’s Destiny Neff in a close race.

“I didn’t get a good start, but I think I finished out well,” Davis said. “She’s really good, that was some of my biggest competition. … It was good having that competition.”

Davis said that she ran track in middle school and then went out for varsity last year and was surprised at how well she did last season.

She did the same events last year and made regionals in the triple jump. However, she said this year she is doing better at long jump than triple jump.

Her top leap in the long jump this season is 15 feet, 10.25 inches. She said she enjoys doing the jumps more than the sprints.

“It’s just something different,” Davis said. “You can run at any sport, but you don’t get to jump.”

Davis also plays volleyball and basketball, but said track is her favorite sport.

She said she enjoys sprinting because there are a lot of good runners and she enjoys the competition.

Brandon said that as good as Davis was last year, she’s been even better this season for the Rams.

“She’s really coming into her own,” Brandon said. “She’s out there working because she knows she can do it. As a freshman you don’t really know what you can do and what you can’t do. You have all these older girls out here, and now she kind of knows her place. She knows that she can do it. She knows she can excel. She knows she can do it, so just having that mentality has really pushed her to be even better.”

Davis said her biggest goal is to make it to the Group 2A state meet this year. She said she’s close to qualifying in both the 200 and the long jump.

She will have another chance to qualify today in the Bull Run District track meet at Strasburg.

Brandon said one of the best things about Davis is that the team knows they can rely on her.

“We know when we put Grace in that she will score points,” Brandon said. “Whether she wins or comes in third. There will be points in every single event she’s in which is huge, especially when we’re a team that doesn’t have that many people. To get someone that can score in every event they’re in is really helpful.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com