Perhaps Edward Davis was just born to run.
At least it seemed that way when he was a baby and Meagan White would pick her son up and hold him up toward the ceiling.
“He would just start kicking his legs like he was running,” she recalled with a laugh.
Fast forward to the present and Davis’ legs are still churning at a rapid pace.
The Edna Karr senior is one of the top sprinters in the Greater New Orleans area.
Last Saturday, he won the 60 meters at the LSU Indoor Classic in a time of 6.99 seconds. It is the 13th-fastest time in the nation this season.
Not bad considering it’s an event that Davis doesn’t consider to be his best race.
He said his favorite race is the 200 meters.
And his best race is the 400.
“He could win the 800 if we let him do that, but we aren’t going to push him like that,” Karr track coach Nile Legania said. “He’s a special breed.”
Davis, who turns 18 on Sunday, is hoping to finish his high school career with a bang after being hindered most of the outdoor season of his junior year by a groin injury.
He’ll compete in the prestigious Nu Balance National championships in March, the same event where he first tweaked his groin in 2014.
He credits his success to his work ethic.
“The only day I take off is Sunday,” he said.
Davis said the speed comes from his father’s side of the family.
It was on the football field playing park ball when he first realized he was fast. He continued playing football in middle school, first at John Curtis and then as an eighth-grader at Rummel before transferring to Karr.
Despite being at a school known for its football prowess, Davis decided to give up football to concentrate on track. He knew that was his future.
“Football was too much of a risk,” he said. “I miss it sometimes, but I knew it was too much of a risk.”
The decision wasn’t a hard one, especially since most of his peers had long passed him in size. Davis stands 5-feet-8 and 145 pounds.
“I was better in football when I played park ball,” he said. “Once I got to middle school, everybody caught up with me.”
They passed him in size, but not on the track.
It didn’t take long for Legania, an assistant at the time, to realize that Davis was a special talent.
“You knew you had something, you just didn’t know what it was,” Legania said. “We put him on a relay, and we were like ‘wow.’ He was just a natural. Then the older he got, the more he started understanding the technique side of things. The hard work came, and it’s been a deadly combination.”
His goals this season are to run a 10.3 in the 100 and a 20.7 in the 200. His personal best in the 60 meters is 6.96.
“The 60 is a fast race,” Davis said. “It’s not like the 100. It’s over in the blink of an eye. One mistake and you can lose the race. You have to make sure it’s perfect.”
Davis makes sure his races are perfect.
His really picky about certain things on race day.
Breakfast has to be something light.
If a race requires zip ties be worn during races, Davis makes sure his are tucked neatly under his laces.
“I can’t have them flapping around,” he said. “That distracts me.”
He’s a stickler for details, which may explain some of the things he likes off the track. He dabbles in photography, and he likes fashion.
He is a huge Kanye West fan but has to listen to the likes of Chief Keef or Future right before a race.
“I like to get really hype right before the race,” he said. “Once I get to the blocks, I just want to focus on what I have to do. I don’t worry about the people next to me. I just think about it as me and the clock.”
He’d like to run professionally one day, just like the guys he looks up to like Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell, Yohan Blake and Justin Gatlin.
“I have to keep working hard and see where it takes me,” Davis said.
He has a scholarship offer from Southern Miss, but is expecting to get plenty more with a healthy senior season.
“I think I can make it pro,” he said. “I just have to stay healthy and work hard. All of it has been a blessing. It shows me that my hard work is paying off.”