Boys cross country

Valpo's Davison fits cross country into busy schedule

2012-10-26T18:00:00Z 2012-10-31T00:27:05Z Valpo's Davison fits cross country into busy scheduleJim Peters jim.peters@nwi.com, (219) 548-4363 nwitimes.com
October 26, 2012 6:00 pm  • 

Just listening to what Landon Davison has on his daily schedule is enough to make you tired.

"I really thrive on being involved in a lot of different things, making myself a well-rounded kid," the Valparaiso senior said. "Ever since I can remember, I've had things happening all over the place. You name it, I've probably been to a meeting or two."

To name a few, Davison is involved in Boy Scouts, is a member of the school speech and debate team and is pursuing an international baccalaureate diploma. He spent his freshman year as an exchange student in Bogota, his sophomore summer as a camp counselor in New Mexico and several weeks last June and July on a cattle ranch in tiny Lodgepole, S.D.

"I'm a very social person," Davison said. "I like seeing how different people live, experiencing other cultures. I've always enjoyed running. I just have a lot of things on my plate that are important to me."

Vikings coach Mike Prow appreciates how well-rounded Davison is, but his question became, 'Where does cross country fit in?'

"He was within an eyelash of our top 12 as a sophomore, with no background, no summer running," Prow said. "We didn't take him to the state preview meet last year. He asked, 'Why aren't you taking me?' I told him we had some other guys who had earned it, seniors who deserved to go."

The moment had a big impact on Davison. He finished third in his next race and continued his ascent into the top seven. When the Vikings returned to Terre Haute for state, he was on the bus. He placed 57th, second among Valpo runners.

"I'm a pretty competitive person, some would say to a fault," Davison said. "I wanted to go out and prove to myself that I was a varsity runner. I think I surprised some people. There were a lot of question marks about me. I wanted to be a guy my teammates and coaches could count on. If you're going to be good, you have to put in the time. You have to make the commitment."

During his time in South Dakota, Davison ran almost every day, accumulating 143 miles over a 40-day stretch. Upon his return, he proudly presented Prow with a training log.

"It was 143 more than the previous summer," Prow said. "I told him it will pay big dividends. He's got a good set of lungs, despite the lack of training. He's usually our fastest guy the last (kilometer). He doesn't have the base speed, but at the end of it, he's maintaining speed and other guys are falling off. It's a case of him outlasting people."

Noted for his cautious starts, Davison got out better than ever in the New Prairie Semistate, and it resulted in a 10th-place finish.

"One thing I love about cross country is you're the one who decides how you do," he said. "There's nobody judging me. Everybody has their chance to perform. It's gratifying because you control your own destiny."

Today in Terre Haute, the Vikings will make their bid for a state title. It's a moment Davison has been thinking about since June back in Lodgepole.

"I've been visualizing it all summer," he said. "I spent a lot of time picturing that long, uphill stretch. I had a lot of motivation. I realized we had the chance to do something big and I wanted to be there to help the team. I think our best race is still to come."

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