Brock Davee has never shied away from being honest.
Swagger and confidence are in his DNA.
So, should we be surprised about his lofty goal for this Saturday at the IHSA Class 2A State Cross Country Championships?
“I’ve been thinking about All-State for the last month,” said Davee.
The easy answer is no. Davee’s season PR of 14:54.8 ranks fifth on Athletic.net’s rankings. However, Davee acknowledged that his time is a tad fast and maybe ranked higher than it should be given the nature of Mattoon’s fast course that is on the pavement. However, a simple way to differentiate the variance is adding 30 to 40 seconds to a time that comes off as fast.
Even if we do that, Davee would be right around the top-25 in the state, which is where Davee would need to finish if he wants to finish his senior year All-State. Davee isn’t worried about time these days. He knows he is in the mix. He just wants to chase down his goals.
“I don’t want to give up because I will probably jinx myself, but I want to chase All-State,” said Davee. “That would be pretty cool. I will probably have to go 15:20s or faster. It’s doable and going to be hard, but I want to go out with a boom to end my high school career. Have a good time and a medal on my chest. Being in the top-25 in Class 2A would be really cool.”
Davee said he will need to display a better performance than last week at the Sectional. After winning the Class 2A Olney Regional, Davee finished 11th, losing to Joseph Scheele and Kyle Novziger of Mahomet-Seymour, Urbana’s Sam Lambert, and Olney’s Gavin Kirby.
All of these runners were people Davee had beat a week ago, while his time of 16:22.8 at the Decatur MacArthur Sectional was particularly slow on a rather fast course.
“It wasn’t the best race of my life,” said Davee. “I lost to three guys that I beat the previous week. Brendan Heitzig has a pretty good run. Alex Partlow is amazing. I came in at the first mile around 5:05 and then I just tanked. I think I let it go to my head. Coach Schumacher, Haacke, Perry, and Dale told me they were proud of me and the whole team was there, so that was cool, but I wish I ran better.”
Conditions were a factor as it had rained two days leading up to the sectional. The course was muddy and sloppy, but Davee doesn’t want to use that as an excuse. Instead, he has been focusing on the future and his preparation for this Saturday.
Davee said that last year was a great learning experience for him. Davee ran at the unofficial state championships, presented by Shazam due to the cancelation of the IHSA state finals due to COVID.
After running a 16:23.8 at the sectional last year, he followed that up with his state performance of 17:26.7 for a 5,000-meter course, placing 62nd overall. Davee said that he wants to redeem himself for last year, but also break the 16-minute barrier on Detweiler, something he has yet to accomplish in his career.
“Shazam wasn’t that great because I was hurt going into it with shin splints,” said Davee. “I have run at Detweiler twice this year and I haven’t run well both times, haven’t even broken 16 minutes yet and it’s an insanely fast course. I don’t think my preparation was great. I was working out extra and probably not eating the best. Leading up to Peoria this time, I just need to go out and maintain pace.”
Davee said he expects to get out pretty quick. The sectional champion, Partlow, is ranked No. 1 in the state, so he is not expecting to go out at his speed. However, to reach his goal of placing in the top-25, he said the coaches and him expect the first mile to be under five minutes.
“It’s going to be impossible to not go out fast,” said Davee. “I was talking with the coaches and we’re expecting that first mile to be around 4:55. I have to stay up with the front pack and stay in the top-15 for the first mile and then see where it goes. I just need to be consistent. My cap is a 5:10 pace for the next two miles. Then, I just need to close it out at home and leave it all on the course. Practice has been great. I feel really smooth. I’m really confident for this weekend.”
Outside of workouts, physical preparation, and enjoying the moment, Davee had extra support this week at practice. The team, which qualified for the Sectional together, decided to not end their season on Saturday, but instead stick around with their state qualifying teammate. According to Davee, the boys have taken turns running with Davee helping him practice for running at state.
“It just means I have insanely the nicest, best teammates ever,” said Davee. “People not even running on Saturday are still running with me and coming to the workouts. Honestly, it helps a lot. It feels like someone is always behind me. I’m not running alone. When we did intervals, someone each ran a repeat with me. It was awesome. I have felt really good about this week.”