Desi Davila story
By Elliott Denman
Hilltop High School (California) is her alma mater but alumna
Desiree Davila summited few great heights back in her scholastic days
(1998-2001.) She was hardly a great ascender at Arizona State
University (2002-2005), either.
But just look at Davila now. Desi is reaching dizzying levels of
achievement, it seems, just about every time she laces ’em up.
At age 28, Desi appears destined to reach the very top of the
distance game and recognition as a very-very big-timer. She ran that
sensational marathon, 2:22.38, a nearly four-minute PR, on the albeit
not record-eligible Boston course in April.
She turned back to the track in late June and blazed a 31:37.14
10,000, a 29-second best-ever, placing fourth in the USA Nationals in
Eugene. Very next day, she stepped down to the 5,000 and snared sixth
place in 15:25.35, one more PR.
By early August, she was ready to slice nearly 17 more seconds off
her 5,000 best, clocking 15:08.64 running fourth in the Aviva London
So where’s all this leading?
Presumably, everywhere, with Houston (January’s Olympic Trial
marathon), Eugene (June’s Olympic track trials) and London (the Games of
the XXX Olympic Games in late July) prominent on her lineup of hilltops
Her hometown may be Chula Vista (just a few K’s north of the Mexican
border and site of the USOC Training Center) but she’s had to beat a
long retreat, north and east to the Upper Midwest, to reach the top.
All the way to Michigan, to join the famed Hanson-Brooks Distance
Project team, and train under visionary brothers Kevin and Keith Hanson.
This is World Championships time but Desi’s not doing Daegu. Even
though the last edition of the Worlds did so much to build the “yes I
can” attitude she now carries into every start. Two years ago, the
Hansons modestly predicted “Desi is going to break 2:30.”
Desi did a whole lot more in the Berlin marathon. Desi dazzled,
with her 2:27:53 in 11th place that elevated her into USA’s all-time
women’s top 10.
Davila’s not running the Worlds marathon – where Kenya’s Edna
Kiplagat, Ethiopia’s Aselefech Mergia, China’s Zhou Chunxiu and Zhu
Xiaolin, Japan’s Yukiko Akaba and Remi Nakazato are among the early
This show will go on without her. A psychology major at Arizona
State, she’s already putting her mind to work on her own next big test
just over four months ahead. That’s Houston. That’s her own hilltop,
and USA fans can’t wait to see her climb it.
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