IRONTON — To run competitively, one must have a drive that matches the skill and competitiveness that he or she shows.
Ironton’s Graci Davis has certainly shown off that skill during different points of her high school career.
The Ironton senior, who has proven to be a successful cross country and track athlete during her time with the Fighting Tigers’ running programs, will make her way to Shawnee State — beginning with the 2020-21 academic year on forward.
“I’m very excited and looking forward to being a part of such a great team,” Davis said. “I feel very blessed to be given the awesome opportunity to run for SSU. It’s exciting to run for a new team and to make new friendships. I’ve grown up in Southern Ohio and I’m excited to give back to my community.”
Davis, who led the Ironton cross country program to a regional qualifying berth this past fall, not only enjoyed a scoring spot on the unit from the jump, but proved to be one of the unit’s best athletes — as evidenced by her 13th-place finish (23:58) in the Ohio Valley Conference Cross Country Championships as a freshman and her 57th-place showing at the OHSAA Division III Southeast District Championships (24:36) as a sophomore.
In track, Davis proved to be a skilled relay runner in the 4-by-200, 4-by-400 and 4-by-800 meter relays, scoring a top-10 finish with Ironton in the 4-by-800 meter in OHSAA Division II Southeast District competition.
Davis also ran personal bests of 6:44.4 in the 1600 meters and, in indoor competition, a 1:11.27 mark this past winter at the Otterbein HS Invitational in the 400 meters — all while also performing in the 4-by-200 and 4-by-400 meter relays.
Along with her high school exploits, Davis also served as a part of Ironton’s National Honor Society while participating in Ironton’s Impact, Key, and Drama Clubs.
She also participated in 4-H outside of her extracurricular activities with Ironton.
“It has been so much fun attending Ironton,” Davis said. “The coaches there are very encouraging and loving, and it’s simply a great place to attend school and be a part of a caring community. There is a lot of tradition, team spirit, and pride as a Ironton Fighting Tiger.”
At Shawnee State, Davis is looking forward to developing a greater relationship with Eric Putnam and Ann Marie Allen.
The senior, who got to know both coaches at Rock Hill’s cross country camp at Shawnee State Park last summer, is looking forward to adding to a tradition that has already included 10 consecutive Mid-South Conference Championships and a 20th-place NAIA National Championship finish this past season.
Then, there’s the quality education that she’ll be getting while at SSU — which is a major plus in and of itself.
“While earning my degree, I hope to learn as much as I can.” Davis said. “I want to experience everything Shawnee State has to offer and make more great memories.”