West Platte’s Davies secures elusive state title

JEFFERSON CITY — Max Davies got the elusive state championship he has tried to secure for four years.

One of the more talented distance runners in cross country and track and field, Davies had come close but never got that first-place medal.

That changed on Friday, May 17, when the West Platte senior won the Class 1 1,600-meter run at Adkins Stadium in Jefferson City.

“It is very emotional for me, I have been trying to get a victory in any state event for my whole career,” said Davies, who will start boot camp soon. “It is very, very amazing it happened in my favorite race. It meant a lot to me. I have wanted to really push myself.”

Davies was a runner-up in the 1,600 last year and this was his third medal in the race — the first two in Class 1.

“It was very rewarding race for Max,” West Platte boys coach Steve Feiden said. “He had been chasing the opportunity to get under 4:30 and really pushing hard to become a champion in the mile race. It was a great experience. 

“For him, he has been a distance program with cross country as well as track the last four years and for him to go down there and accomplish the one goal he had to be a champion was pretty special.”

The West Platte senior finished in 4 minutes, 29.10 seconds – the first time in his career he ran below 4:30. It was almost seven seconds off his best time in the event.

Davies led throughout the event, starting with a 1:03 split in the first of his four laps. His second fastest time was his last, at 1:07, helping him keep Bramwell Havi of Principia from overtaking him last.

“I kept telling myself if you are going to try, you have to go all the way. There is no halfway and I can’t let this guy pass me,” Davies said of his win on Friday.

On Friday, Davies ran in two individual events. He took fourth place in the 800 . On Saturday, he ran only two laps in the 3,200-meter before pulling out and not finishing.

Davies ran in a second race as well on Saturday, the first race of the day, the 4x800-meter relay. He ran the last leg on a team featuring seniors Matik Heskin and Zach Howerton and junior Drake Stelljes that took sixth.

The only other event to score points for West Platte was the 300-meter hurdles, where Cole Vandel took sixth place. Vandel advanced out of prelims on Friday and was sitting in a top-four spot around the corner on Saturday, but got tripped over a hurdle late in the race.

South Shelby’s Brock Wood won the race, one of four gold medals for him over the weekend.

West Platte finished 11th overall with 21 points in the standings.