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May 13, 2003

Davis seeks discus title

From: Indianapolis Star, IN - May 13, 2003

Indiana School for the Deaf senior has won past 2 event championships in City meet.

By Pat McKee

One look at Indiana School for the Deaf senior Onye Davis, and it easy to see why he stands out in track and field.

The 6-2, 235-pound athlete strikes an imposing figure and is one of the area's best at the discus throw with a career best of 165 feet, 10 inches.

But as much as Davis likes to compete, he also has a sensitive side that drives him to succeed.

"I have seen children without homes and parents, and I feel very fortunate to have a home and parent," said Davis, 18, who will seek his third consecutive championship in the 70th annual City meet that begins at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at Tech.

"My mother, Barbara, tells me to do my best and live my dreams. She keeps telling me when you fall to get right back up and never give up."

It is a philosophy that has worked well for Davis, who also starred in football and plans to pursue that sport in the fall at Gallaudet University. He set school records with 360 yards rushing and seven touchdowns in a game, but for now he is determined to excel in the discus.

"Winning the City for a third time is very important because I will be the first athlete at ISD to do that," Davis said. "I started throwing in middle school when several friends encouraged me to try it, and I realized I have talent. I am competitive and like doing well."

In addition to his City success, Davis also grabbed attention when he won last year's North Central Regional with his personal-best mark. Despite a 16th-place finish at the state meet, both he and Deaf Hoosiers coach Michael McGeath think Davis can do better this year.

"I have more big-meet experience, and I have improved my techniques in practice," said Davis, whose season best is 164-8.

McGeath said Davis has an excellent combination of speed and strength and should do well for years.

"Onye has a laid-back personality, and he strives for perfection in a short time," the coach said. "We hope to improve his best by 15 feet and set a new personal mark. To do that, he needs to be more patient. In the center of the ring, he needs to set a power position better. Sometimes he goes too quick and over-rotates."

Still, McGeath expects Davis to have an extended future in track as part of the World Games for the Deaf.

"Discus throwers have long careers, and I'm sure he will be active," McGeath said. "He will be successful in his chosen career."

For his part, Davis said he plans to study computer engineering and eventually move to Florida. Then, showing his sensitive side again, he said family always will be the most important part of his life.

"In 10 years, I will have a great wife and a great family," Davis said.

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