Avery Davis left her mark on Brookside history books that will never fade.

When the sophomore triumphed in the Division II 300 hurdles state championship on June 1, she accomplished something unprecedented for the school.

Davis is the first state champion in any sport for the Cardinals in the school’s 100-year history.

“It’s amazing and it means a lot to hold that title,” Davis said. “This is a really big accomplishment that I’m very happy about. It still blows my mind, it’s very surreal.”

As explained by Davis, it can take some time for this achievement to really register. She is still processing what happened on the track the previous weekend, after all.

She ran the race of her life knowing that it would take everything to win. Davis broke her previous PR of 44.10 seconds, which she had set the week before in regionals, with a personal record of 42.91 seconds. It was an unforgettable postseason campaign.“I’d say (it has sunk in) about 50%. It’s still so surreal to me,” Davis said. “I’ve been very working hard toward it, so the fact that I achieved it, I’m really grateful and happy about it.”

It appeared impossible for Brookside approximately six years ago, but Davis performed the unimaginable. In 2018, it was a significant accomplishment for a Cardinal to advance to the Division II state meet thanks to the qualifying efforts of Madissyn Valdez (100) and David Chambers (400).

Since then, Brookside has participated in every state meet. Jessica Gower qualified again in 2022 after finishing fifth in the 300 hurdles in 2021. In the same year, Heaven Vanzant placed seventh in the long jump and Drew Pospisil placed sixth in the discus.

Lincoln Barnhart qualified for the long jump the previous two years, placing eighth each time. Zuriah Radeff-Koonce qualified for the long jump last year and placed sixth in the shot throw this year. Davis overcame a significant obstacle, and the Cardinals have been growing more at ease on the big stage.

“This is a whole new realm,” Brookside coach Brad Barhorst explained. “This is a whole new accomplishment and level. To think that our school has never had anyone do this, it’s unreal. It’s an unbelievable accomplishment and she’s only a sophomore.”

How Davis was able to run so fast in the finals still defies explanation when compared to her times earlier in the season. She ran a time of 48.81 seconds at the Vermilion Invitational one month ago. At the conference meet a week later, she ran 48.74, even though she tripped over a hurdle, which caused her time to increase.

During the entire postseason, Davis discovered a new gear, just like in the championship race. She ran a mark of 44.35 seconds at the district competition a week later, out of nowhere. On the route to the regional title at 44.10, the time further accelerated. Isabel Evans of Johnstown Northridge established a PR in an attempt to retain her state title, but Davis prevented it and advanced even more quickly.

“She has unbelievable athletic ability,” Barhorst explained. “She also has a very strong work ethic, but the ultimate thing there is that she’s a competitor. She wants to win so badly and always has that chip on her shoulder to try and get the next thing. Yet, she’s been able to manage that. … That’s what it took to win. The competitor in her wanted the win so badly.”

The rivalry fire is still burning strong now. Davis is an athlete that participates in three sports and is always moving, switching between them. Not included in it is summer track, which begins this week. After winning the state championship, Davis didn’t get much sleep, but he prefers it that way.

The New Balance Nationals in Philadelphia the following weekend are the next event on the schedule. A lot of people have taken note of Davis lately because of her breakthrough performances.

The sophomore’s week has flown by, but summer is here, and she’s already working hard to have a strong junior year.

Davis is the only person in Brookside history, regardless of what happens next, but her journey is far from over.

“The support has been absolutely huge,” Davis explained. “I’m just so grateful for every single person that has reached out or has supported me since day one. Hopefully it carries over once I get to Philadelphia.

Topics #Avery Davis Makes History #Brookside Track #first-ever #State Winner