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Shelby Davidson Blog #9 - Finally, State Champion !

Published by
DrBob   Nov 25th 2011, 2:50pm
The feeling sunk in once I woke up the morning after the FHSAA State Cross Country Championships: I am finally a STATE CHAMPION! After a summer of extremely hard training putting in 800 miles as well as a cross country season which seemed to just fly by, all of the blood, sweat, and tears I put into the sport I love finally paid off.

            One week before states I obviously had my regional race, which I didn’t get around to making a blog about so I will just give a quick recap. Leading into this race I was in the mindset just to stay relaxed and not kill it, because that wouldn’t be the smartest thing to do considering states was rapidly approaching. Honestly this entire week my legs were beyond sore. I had ran a district race on hills on Saturday, did a long run on hills Sunday, ran on a hilly golf course on Monday, and then of course we had a bridge workout on Tuesday. By that time my legs were so exhausted but I continued to work hard that week because the workouts would hopefully pay off for states. Once the regionals race started, I felt great and very calm. I went on pace for about two miles but once I hit that mark, my legs were so tired so I decided the smart thing to do would be cruise into the finish. I placed first in this race with an 18:20, and my team also won the championship title. Overall I was very happy with this race because I got a chance to relax a little, and also it was my second year winning regionals and that is always a satisfying feeling.

            Once regionals was over, I immediately fixed my mind on the prize for state: winning. Not only as an individual, but I also wanted my girls and I to pull an upset and steal the team title. Last year at my junior state race, I placed second to Kacy Smith after a crazy finish with her and Stephanie Schappert, and my team got 3rd being only 2 points behind 2nd place Bolles. I was satisfied with that race, but at the same time I knew I wanted more. I wanted to be a state champion, not runner-up and so from there began the hunger to win the title as a senior.

            This year as a senior, I was the most excited I have ever been to run states. Even when I first started running in 10th grade and was able to run in the state meet, or even last year running it as a junior, this year was by far the most thrilling. My entire week of training leading up to the big day was great. I know I can always trust my coach as well her end of season workouts for the team, so I had faith in what I was doing and that I would be ready. When Saturday came around, just arriving at the course was so insane. My feelings were comparable to the first time you ride a roller coaster and your stomach feels as though it stays up in the sky on the drops. I knew this year was the year I had to make a big statement, and make my last time running on the beautiful Little Everglades Ranch course a memorable one.

            As my team and I prepared for the race, we were all so hyped up just at the thought of contending for a state championship title- as well as myself, for an individual title. We all wrote bible verses on our wrists to help guide us through the race, mine being 1 Corinthians 9:24 which states, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” This really was motivational while I was running and only increased my hunger for the champion title. When the gun went off around 10:20 AM, typical Florida weather made the conditions less than desirable. It was extremely hot, but I did not let that bother me. I knew the course was in good condition, and I was out there trying to achieve my goal without anything stopping me.

            Immediately Daesha Rogers took the lead which she normally does in every race, so I decided to sit back and be patient. I not only had her for great competition, but I also had girls like Kari Grippo, Ashley Heitling, and many others. A little before the 2 mile mark, I finally caught Daesha and was feeling very relaxed. She stayed with me until we were spit back out onto the regular course after running on the infield, which was a pleasant surprise because I think we pushed each other in a way. From there right before the smaller hill which precedes the long one we go up three times during the race, I decided to take off. I was feeling great, and I knew I had to make my move then if I wanted to win. I basically kicked it in for almost a half mile, which I was super excited about because I have been working hard to get some sort of kick at the end of my races. I finished in 1st place with a 17:55, and I seriously could not believe it. Coming across the finish line knowing that all of my hard work had finally paid off, and just knowing that I was the 2A state champion made me the happiest girl in the world. I was also very happy because a lot of my friends finished as state champions as well: Julie Wollrath in 1A, Olivia Ortiz in 3A, Bridget Blake in 4A, Ryan Gousse in 1A, and Elliot Clemente in 3A.

            My team ended up placing 3rd (4 points behind 2nd place Bolles) after a very emotional and tragic mix-up with shoe chips for the American Heritage
team, but in reality we placed 4th. It was not the result I had hoped for as a team, but we all ran our best and had a fantastic season by winning many local meets/post-season meets. I feel like runners either love or hate the Little Everglades Ranch course because there is no in between, but personally I love it and I will miss it! This coming weekend in 2 days I have the Footlocker South Regional Qualifier in North Carolina which I am more than excited to race in, much more excited than I was last year. Last year I qualified for Footlocker Nationals as a junior so hopefully I will qualify again! I know what I need to do, and I am looking forward to racing a very talented group of girls. Great job to everyone who ran in the State meet, and good luck at Footlocker/Nike Regionals this coming weekend! Happy Thanksgiving!



Editor's Note- Shelby will be keeping a blog for us this year as she is set to improve on a stellar junior year. Last year Davidson was a Footlocker Finalist and has had one of her best summers of her high school career.


Click here to follow all of her blog posts.


More on Shelby


2011 FHSAA State Cross Country Finals Post Race Interview

by Josh Karadeema


2011 Cape Coast Conference post race interview

2011 Katie Caples Post-race interview with Julie Wollrath from Holy Trinity


Post-Race Interview at the 37th

Astronaut-Rotary Invitational



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