Davis signs with Mississippi Valley State University

Published 12:02 am Saturday, June 13, 2015

NATCHEZ — Six years ago, Kenya Davis was a seventh grader receiving a standing ovation in the state championship meet for her efforts in the 2-mile run. Today, Natchez High School’s Davis is a Mississippi Valley State University signee, planning to attend the school in the fall.

“Back then, I could run to the mailbox and back, but I certainly didn’t have any form,” Davis said. “I never thought I would be good enough to run on a collegiate level, but practice makes you better. You could be the fastest person in the world and not know how to run track, but if you stick to it, you can really make something of yourself.”

Davis, who made it to state as a seventh grader, eighth grader, ninth grader, 11th grader and 12th grader, became the top distance runner in Region 6-6A as a ninth grader. The following year devastated Davis, when she became inches shy of qualifying for state in a distance run.

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“I let myself down,” said Davis, acknowledging that sophomore race fueled her as a junior and senior. “I didn’t want to feel devastated like that again.”

Natchez head track coach Larry Wesley said he saw Davis’ potential at an early age, asking her to come run with the varsity team when she was a seventh grader. He joked it may be tough putting up with him for so many years, but the hard work Davis put in paid off.

“She was so small out there as a seventh grader,” Wesley said. “But she worked hard. I’m really proud of her. She’s one of those ones I’m really going to miss.”

Along with excelling in track and cross country, Davis was a cheerleader and a standout in the classroom. Davis graduated as the salutatorian with a 4.11 GPA in May and recorded a 23 on her ACT. Davis said her work ethic stemmed from both track and lessons taught by her parents Marie Queen and Charles Davis.

“At my momma’s house, academics always comes first,” Davis said. “She wouldn’t accept a C because she knew I could do better than that.”

Davis plans on majoring in biology at Mississippi Valley with hopes to enter the Obstetrics and Gynecology field.