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Poinciana state-qualifier Davila signs with USF to hurdle

Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2018 at 6:00 am

By Ken Jackson
Sports Editor

The month of April had five weekends in it.

So if it was a whirlwind for you, imagine it’s impact on Poinciana High hurdler and sprinter Shaneylix Davila.

The senior won championships at the Orange Belt Conference and District 3A-8 track meets in both the 100 and 300 hurdles, and at last week’s Region 3A-2 meet, she qualified for this weekend’s FHSAA state track meet in the 100 hurdles for the third time.

While all that was going on, she locked down where she’d be jumping over hurdles after this month’s graduation, when she recently signed a Letter of Intent and scholarship to run track at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

Undefeated in any 100 hurdles race this season until the regional meet, she sent March out with a bang, too, when she won the girls 100-meter hurdles in a time of 14.26 seconds on March 30 at the Florida Relays in Gainesville.

Submitted photo/
Poinciana hurdler Shaneylix Davila, after racing at the Class 3A state meet, has signed on to leap hurdles at USF in Tampa.

USF chose her, and Davila chose the Bulls over offers from Chicago State, Northwestern (La.) State and Johnson and Wales.

“They had started scouting me last year, and when I visited I really liked the USF staff, campus and team,” she said.

Davila began running track in middle school, where she was a sprinter and just “hurdled for fun,” she said.

“One time, during a meet, I saw a hurdle just sitting in the infield and I jumped over it and it was very easy, so I started doing it in meets,” she said.

While she sprinted full-time as a freshman, when her 4×100 team advanced to the Class 3A state meet, Davila became a full-time hurdler as a sophomore, when she made her first appearance at state in the 100 high hurdles and finished 10th. Last year she qualified for state in both hurdles and on both relay teams, and was fourth in the 300 hurdles in 43.28 seconds.

This year she’s been running the hurdles and the 4×100 and 4×400 for the Eagles, and qualified for state in the 100 hurdles. Her qualifying time of 15.28, off of what she ran in Gainesville, leaves her in the middle of a tight pack of seeded runners.

“I’ve been time-managing it all, it’s been exciting and this year has been the best so far,” Davila said. She’ll strictly be a hurdler in college, where any hard workout won’t be such a shock compared to how hard she’s worked at Poinciana, she said.

“Coach Rudy and Coach (Cathy) Esposito have really pushed me really hard.”