A prediction made at the end of the 2018 4A state track meet nearly proved prophetic for South Kitsap hurdler Deyondre Davis.
Following the 300-meter hurdles event, Germain Barnes, a senior from Chiwana who won both of the hurdles events last year, approached Davis and told him that next year the event would belong to him.
It almost came true — Davis did take home a state championship in the 110-meter hurdles on Day Two, but on the cold, rainy Saturday at Mount Tahoma, he finished third in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 37.95. He did improve, though, on his state time from a year ago and came close to his personal record in the event despite the conditions.
A versatile athlete who played football for two years at South Kitsap and this year took home a sixth-place finish at the 4A state wrestling tournament, Davis is 2019’s Port Orchard Independent Male Athlete of the Year.
And if Davis has it his way, his state championship this season is just the beginning of a solid career on the track.
“I have big goals,” Davis said.
A potential Division I runner, Davis’s focus will continue to be on the hurdles, but at practice, he’s known to try anything from short sprints to long workouts with the distance runners.
“He’s one of the hardest working kids I’ve seen,” South Kitsap track coach Ed Santos said.
That athleticism paid off in other sports as well. Davis reached the semifinals of the 4A 160-pound weight class at this year’s Mat Classic. As an unorthodox wrestler who uses his quickness to score points and escape holds, he was able to win his first match by technical fall and then enjoyed two more victories before running into Cameron Crawford of Mead.
He also enjoys his team’s success just as much or more than his own. Following South Kitsap’s third-place finish in the 4×400 relay, Davis was visibly more excited to join teammate Ryan Thoma, Alex Lopez and Jacob Laws on the podium than after his own individual hurdles race. The South Kitsap boys team also finished the state meet fifth overall.
With his junior season behind him, Davis now has to turn his attention toward his individual goals. He knows recruiters will be watching him at every big meet over the next year, hoping to improve on his best times at South Kitsap — 14.18 in the 110 and 37.77 in the 300.
It’s believed that he will compete in longer races in college — he trains most heavily in the 400-meter hurdles event — he continues to surprise in the shorter events as well. His senior season at South Kitsap will be one to watch.
“He keeps astounding me,” Santos added. “I keep think he’s going to be a better 300 hurdler than a 110 hurdler, but he’s just good at the 110s now.”
Past Independent Male Athlete of the Year Recipients
2018: Mason Eaglin
2017: Nolan Van Amen
2016: Albert MacArthur
2015: Marshaud Dewalt
2014: Logan Knowles
2013: Bryce Broome
2012: Eddie Meisner
2011: Conner Hartmann
2010: Gordy Anderson
2009: Leon La Deaux
2008: Matt Foxworthy
2007: Renard Williams
2006: Brent Chriswell & Josiah Kipperberg
2005: Brent Chriswell
2004: Pat Kelly
Mark Krulish is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MKrulishKDN.