Derailed by injuries, Jon Davis always gets back on track

Sports

CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — The college track hasn’t been kind to Illinois runner Jon Davis.

“The reason I’m still here is because I couldn’t stay healthy my first four years,” says Davis.

But each time he got down the Oakwood grad battled back, including rehabbing from stress fractures in his foot and femur.

“That took me out for a while,” says the fifth-year senior. “I didn’t run a step for four or five months. That set us way back, you lose almost everything fitness-wise. We definitely had to deal with that cycle a few times.”

Davis has had his highs to go with the lows. Like being named an All-American three times, recording the fastest mile in program history, and most recently setting a new personal best in the 1500 meter at a meet last month, before winning the Big Ten title in the event.

“I was really excited to have the work we put in as a team be put on display for everybody,” says Davis. “It was pretty cool to do that basically in my backyard. I biked to the prelims from my apartment, I felt like I was going to run a workout but it was the Big Ten prelim.”

“Davis was great in qualifying [at the Big Ten prelims], he’s had a special year,” says head coach Mike Turk. “Obviously he ran with a lot of confidence.”

Davis says he will be back for Year Six with the Illini thanks to an extra year of eligibility for the COVID pandemic. And he has high expectations but his career highlights have been made all the more sweeter competing just 30 minutes from where he grew up.

“It was pretty special to have some success right down the road, especially this weekend,” says Davis. “It’s something special, not a lot of people get to experience. Hopefully we have another year of that.”

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