04/28/04 — CBA's Davis makes Campbell her choice

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CBA's Davis makes Campbell her choice

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on April 28, 2004 2:05 PM

PIKEVILLE -- Charles B. Aycock's Liza Davis has been a large part of the Golden Falcons' growth as a cross country and track and field program over the past four years.

The senior, who has qualified for the state meet each of her four seasons in both cross country and distance running, will take that level of excellence to Campbell University in the fall of 2004.

Davis will be the first Aycock female cross country/track and field athlete to compete at the Division I level. The daughter of Gary and Kathy Davis, Liza received an athletic scholarship -- covering room and board -- to go with her academic Presidential Scholarship.

She considered a number of North Carolina colleges, but Campbell proved to be the best fit due to its academic and athletic reputation. Davis plans to major in pre-physical therapy with hopes to go to medical school after her four years at Buies Creek.

"They have a really good physical therapy program," Davis said. "It's been a dream of mine to get that degree. North Carolina was always my dream growing up, but I think a small school will work better for me."

The Lady Camels cross-country team finished second in the Atlantic-Sun championships last fall. Also, they were recently recognized by the Women's Intercollegiate Cross Country Coaches Association as a 2003 Academic All-American team with a 3.13 team GPA.

Davis began cross country and distance running as a freshman to gear up for the upcoming basketball season. She played on the Aycock basketball team for three years, before doing almost the complete opposite this year -- taking basketball season off to train for this upcoming spring.

"I started out running to get in shape for basketball, and never thought I would be a runner," she said. "Now, I didn't play basketball to get geared up for running."

At the 3-A East Regional at Bertie High School as a junior, Davis out-ran Eastern Wayne's Jamie Vogt in the 3200 meters. It was a feat she had never accomplished before as she posted a personal best of 12:33.

Then, her dream of becoming a Division I athlete began to take stronger shape.

Davis and her cross-country teammates captured another first in the fall of 2003, when the Golden Falcons defeated Eastern Wayne for the first time as a team at the Wayne County cross-country meet.

"That's always been our dream to beat Eastern Wayne, and this year we finally did it," Davis said. "The running program was unheard of before our freshman class came along, and it's gained respect and recognition since we've been here."

Her personal best cross-country finish was 20:02 this fall at West Carteret.

"We won the conference and the regional her freshman year," Aycock girls' cross-country coach Jane Hamm said. "Liza has been first or second in every meet for Aycock her junior and senior year. "She has a very good work ethic and the desire to do the best she can do.

"I never had to worry about her goofing off in practice. I knew should would put forth the effort to show improvement."