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Track and Field

Former Bearcat Davis reaching new heights in vault and life


Former Bearcat Davis reaching new heights in vault and life

By Rick Mauch

The Community News

As a member of the Aledo Bearcats track team, Zach Davis pole vaulted to back-to-back Class 5A state championships in 2018-19.

Now competing for Texas A&M, Davis is soaring higher than ever — and not just in pole vaulting. Not only is he posting the best vaults of his career, he’s also an academic standout.

Davis graduated a year early from Mays Business School and did so Magna Cum Laude. He’s already enrolled in a masters program and is planning on a career in technical consulting.

“As much as I have enjoyed my vaulting success, I am excited about what lies ahead of me in the business world,” Davis said.

And speaking of the vaulting success…

Davis set a personal record when he cleared 17 feet, 7 inches in the Michael Johnson Invitational at Baylor University in the spring, taking second in that prestigious meet. It was the ninth highest outdoor vault in Texas A&M history.

Earlier, he cleared 17-03 to win the SEC Indoor Championships, the 12th highest indoor vault in Aggies history.

“All of my clears (this season) I had a lot of space. I knew I had it in me,” Davis said.

Though he’s graduated, Davis is technically a junior athletically — remember, the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out part of the 2020 indoor and all of the 2020 outdoor season. His success this season included two first-place performances, three runner-up finishes and placing third four times.

All the while, he’s maintained his academic success by being named named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll and garnering U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic honors.

“Not only is he starting to arrive as an athlete, he’s one of our best students academically,” said his vault coach, Sean Brady.

Davis has scored points for the team in every meet since his freshman year, but this year he went to heights (pardon the pun). He cleared at least 16-10 in seven meets after not having reached that height at all previously.

Davis said coming back to being able to get full workouts in after the return from the COVID shutdown made a huge difference.

“During the whole COVID thing I had time to regroup,” he said. “It was a shock (when the season ended). We took a little spring break and then it was all over with. I went home and did some coaching.

“But I felt like I could jump this high for a while now. I’m happy with how it’s going. Eighteen (feet) is the bar I’m waiting on now.”

Brady said Davis made a switch to a 16-foot pole at the meet at Baylor, whereas he had been using a 15-6 pole.

“It’s not just the length of the pole, it’s the weight. It has a higher bend,” Brady said.

Davis fell short of reaching the NCAA national meet this season, but Brady said if he does return for his final year of eligibility (Davis was undecided as of this article), he believes it could happen next season. He said Davis is vaulting with more confidence than ever before.

“A lot of that has to do with winning the SEC Indoor Championships, that’s not an easy thing to do. He feels he’s arrived on the national scene,” Brady said. “He’s training that way. You can see it in his body language. Those are the traits of the best in the business.”


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