By Dana Lance, Chickasaw Times -
Determination and dedication are two words that describe Chickasaw Alex Davis perfectly.
A true runner at heart, Alex was introduced to the sport as a third grader at Oakhall School in Ardmore, Okla.
It was then she set a goal to be a runner at Plainview High School in Ardmore. She worked hard to achieve her dream of competing for one of the best “running schools” in the state.
She is now helping Plainview cross country and track and field teams build on their legacy of 34 state championships.
At Plainview, the girls cross country team has earned 14 State Championships. The girls track and field team has won 15 State Championships. The boys cross country team has won three State Championships and the boys track and field team has won two State Championships.
Now a junior, Alex has won several accolades in many track and cross-country events throughout the nation; shattering records and picking up many medals and trophies along the way.
When asked about the mountains of medals, trophies and rings, she remains humble and modest, and gives credit to a higher power.
“I can’t perform on my own, I can only perform with God on my side. On those days I don’t want to run I’m just like, ‘this is a gift God has given me, I have to do it because he gave it to me and this is what I love to do.”
Alex routinely runs solo for the Plainview Indians in the Oklahoma scorching heat, gusty winds and bitter cold, and has worn out hundreds of pairs of track shoes on the path to greatness.
For all of her efforts, Alex was recently named the 2011 Gatorade Runner of the Year for Oklahoma in Cross Country.
She is the first girls’ cross-country runner and non-senior from Plainview to win the state’s top individual honor.
“I am so honored to be called the Gatorade Athlete for Oklahoma, I am so thrilled,” said Alex.
Plainview cross country coach Jerry Naylor said “I think it’s well deserved. I would have been kind of surprised if she didn’t get it. No female runner in the state performed the way she did no matter what the classification.”
The award is based not only on athletic achievement, but also academics and character.
Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby said that Alex is a “fine example” for all Chickasaws.
“Alex is a young lady who personifies zest for life, perseverance, commitment to family and strong faith,” said Gov. Anoatubby
She also maintains a 3.79 grade point average and volunteers at her church, First Baptist Church in Ardmore.
Davis is also the first Oklahoma athlete to qualify for the Nike Cross Nationals, an invitational cross country event conducted in Portland, Ore., that serves as the unofficial team national championship of United States high school cross country.
She also broke the Plainview school record for the 3200 meter at the 2011 Track and Field Meet of Champions.
Her most recent achievement occurred in March, when she set a new state record in the 3200 meter run of 10:49.61; shattering the record of 10:50.34 set by a Jenks High School student at the 2003 state track meet.
Last year, Alex helped Plainview earn its sixth consecutive girls team championship and she won the Class 3A individual title. She also won the Oklahoma Meet of Champions and the Oklahoma-Arkansas All-Star meet in 2011.
Deeply spiritual, she draws upon her faith when facing a hard run and feels like she cannot finish the race.
“Running is a selfish sport; it is really hard mentally, but it is not my strength, it comes from God. I have to remember to stay positive and push through it.”
She also helped start a mission project in her neighborhood; gathering a group of teens to visit a few of her older neighbors and helping them with any projects that they needed.
She has gone on mission trips with her church to Tulsa, Okla., and Chicago, Ill, where the group helped clean up the communities, helped the local churches’ clothing projects and she shared her faith with people on the street.
“That is humbling, I love working with seniors.”
Alex has also been a part of a mentoring program at church. She has a mentor and she is a mentor to a younger girl.
She has also volunteered at a soup kitchen, and helped with a water station for a local marathon
But her true passion is running.
Her favorite running buddy is her father, Doug Davis, who is also Chickasaw. She says running with her dad is a bonding experience.
“Maybe because you are in pain together,” she laughed.
A junior, she is keeping her college plans open. She hopes to run but wants to focus on her education.
When asked to share advice for a young girl who hopes to following in her track shoes, Alex said, “Never look down and always keep your focus on God. That’s when it gets easier is when you focus on God.”
Coach Naylor calls Alex an “outstanding runner.”
“She has a great work ethic and has turned into one of the best runners in the state of Oklahoma, and Texas for that matter.”
Alex is one of about 70 runners in the Plainview program.
(Story provided to us by the Chickasaw Times @ www.chickasawtimes.net)