Senior Swan Song: Davis Helmerich

Name: Davis Helmerich

School: Mountain Vista High School

Q) What was your most memorable race/throw/jump/vault/moment?

My most memorable race from high school, would have to be the Liberty Bell 5k my sophomore year. My goal that year was to break 18 minutes in the 5k and everyone kept telling me Liberty Bell was the course to do it. The race was in the afternoon and I remember not being able to focus in school all day because of how nervous I was for that race. But the second that gun went off I knew it was going to happen. I turned the final corner and headed up the parking lot towards the finish. The clock was around 17:20 and I knew I was going to beat it. I ran the last 100 meters with the biggest smile on my face, pumping my fists like I had just won a gold medal. I crossed in 17:38 and couldn't have been happier.

Q) Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?

Obviously the guys from Dakota Ridge have been Vista's biggest rival these past couple years, but we wouldn't be anywhere without them. They constantly pushed us to be our best and we did the same for them. Lots of great head to head battles with them, including a one point win at Pat Patten, two close State Races, and a couple great performances at NXR and NXN.

Q) What was your greatest accomplishment?

My greatest accomplishment would be winning the 4x800 relay at the State track meet last year. Going into the race as a bit of an underdog and coming out on top was one of the best feelings in the world. It's a bummer we likely won't get another shot at it, but that was one for the books.

Q) If you could do it all over again what would you change about your career in high school?

The only thing I would change if I could do this all over again, would be to take running more seriously my first two years of high school. Going into my freshman year, I still thought I was going to be a NBA Superstar and running was just a side activity. But after my sophomore year, I realized I could have a future in running and maybe basketball wasn't my thing. Once I realized this, and started taking running more serious, I began to make huge improvements.

Q) What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?

Thankfully, I never had to deal with any serious injuries throughout high school. So, the most difficult obstacle for me was staying motivated sometimes. Running can really take a toll on you and if you aren't having fun with it, it can really get to you. So during the summers and winters when I wasn't racing I always have to find something to keep me going, such as my teammates counting on me or making the varsity seven.

Q) What will you miss the most?

I'm going to miss my teammates more than anything. The relationships we have built over these four years are stronger than I could ever imagine. I honestly can't imagine what next year is going to be like without these guys by my side. My teammates mean everything to me and I don't know what I'm going to do without them next year. But obviously I wish them the best of luck and I know we have created a friendship for life.

Q) What advice would you give to younger athletes?

The best piece of advice I can give is to be patient and consistent. You probably aren't going to drop a minute off your mile overnight. But, if you stay consistent with your training, you can see improvement like that over the course of the season. Another piece of advice I would give is to set real, trackable goals for yourself. When you have something to work towards, you aren't going to stop until you reach it.

Q) What influence has your coach had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?

I owe it all to my coaches. My coaches have believed in me since day 1. They push me to my limits every single day, and I couldn't be more thankful for that. Coach Dalby, Coach Selle, Coach Lowell, and Coach Palmer have been some of the most influential people in my life these past four years. They have allowed me to be the best possible runner I can be and it has really shown over the past couple years.

Q) What are your college plans?

I will be running at the University of Missouri next year, where I'll be studying Journalism.

Q) Who would you like to say 'thank you' to?

I would like to say thank you to all the coaches, teammates, competitors I've crossed paths with over my high school career. Thank you to everyone that pushed me to my limits during any race, workout, or run. To my teammates, thank you for always making running fun and bringing out the best in me. Most importantly, thank you to my family who have been my #1 fans at every race, thank you for driving me to those 7am practices every morning in the summer and thank you for believing in me and this crazy sport we call running.

Q) Is there anything else you'd like to add?

I just want to say don't take anything for granted in life and in running. As my senior year came to an end in the blink of an eye, I realized how much everything meant to me. You don't realize this until it's all gone. So, appreciate everything you have in life right now and continue to cherish every moment you get to spend in your high school jersey.  I would do anything to get one more race in a Vista Jersey. But now that it's over, I'm excited to see what the future holds and I'm extremely grateful for everything Colorado high school running gave to me.