She will graduate from Stanford

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 2, 2006

She will graduate from Stanford in June, and between now and then plans to define which events she should focus on for her pro career. &8220;Right now I&8217;m a 1, 2, 4 runner (100- 200- and 400-meter), but I haven&8217;t really specialized yet,&8221; Davis said. &8220;My coach and I are going to have weekly meetings to see how I&8217;m doing and what I need to work on. I want to find what I can peak at. This is it. I don&8217;t have another year of college after this one.&8221; Since arriving at Stanford, Davis has been named an All-American twice and ran off with four school records. Her time there has been a tremendous success, but Davis said she hadn&8217;t even considered going to Stanford until late in the recruiting game. &8220;I wasn&8217;t initially even considering Stanford,&8221; she said. &8220;I was planning on going to UCLA, because I had always wanted to be a Bruin. I don&8217;t know where that came from, but I always did. I was also considering Texas and Miami. I didn&8217;t like Texas that much, and I loved Miami. The coaches (from Stanford) came by to visit me that summer (before my senior year) and I went for a visit. &8220;(Stanford) answered all my questions. My dad made me put together a list of questions of what I&8217;d want academically, athletically and socially, and Stanford answered all of them. It wasn&8217;t an easy decision. I didn&8217;t like it at first, but now I&8217;m glad I went there.&8221; One reason Davis had a hard time at Stanford to begin with was finding herself &8212; for the first time &8212; not the smartest student in the room. &8220;It was tough at first,&8221; she said. &8220;I had a hard time with working as hard as I was just to be average. Before I could work hard and make high As, but now I was having trouble making Bs. It made me a better student.&8221; That competitiveness also translated over into the Cardinal track program, where everyone was expected to chip in. &8220;It&8217;s been pretty competitive,&8221; she said. &8220;We&8217;re not a powerhouse, so everyone has to pick up the slack. Sometimes thing haven&8217;t gone the way we&8217;ve hoped, but it&8217;s gone pretty well overall.&8221; Davis currently has two dates in 2007 on her mind &8212; June 17, when she will graduate, and August 24, when the IAAF World Championships will begin in Osaka, Japan. &8220;I&8217;m hoping to establish

myself and be on a team by the time the World Championships start,&8221; she said. &8220;Hopefully I can do that by that time.&8221; Some might be surprised to see a young woman from Natchez thriving on the West Coast, but Davis had plenty of advice for others on how to make it big in the world. &8220;Make sure you look at the long-term benefit in what you&8217;re doing,&8221; she said. &8220;Don&8217;t go for the instant gratification. I could&8217;ve gone to Miami, because I loved it, but it was better for me to go to Stanford in the long run. Let things grow on you. You might find yourself a long way from home, but you&8217;ll get used to it. Just work hard. It isn&8217;t easy to do, but it&8217;s what you have to do.&8221;

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