Junior Olympics Bound: LaPlace’s Elijah Davis wins on track, in classroom

Published 12:14 am Saturday, July 22, 2017

LAPLACE — If Elijah Davis’ dad hadn’t gotten a job transfer from Kansas to LaPlace,  he might not be going to Michigan.

He also might not have gone to Texas, or Florida and his future might not be so bright.

All that did happen, though, and later this month 12-year-old Elijah and his family will be travelling to Detroit, where he will compete in the 2017 AAU Junior Olympics.

Specifically, Elijah will run in the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash and the long jump, hoping to add to his already vast collection of medals.

“I like getting medals,” he said. “I have them all on the wall in my room.”

Elijah qualified for the event last month at the 2017 Louisiana Governor’s Games at Tad Gormley Stadium in New Orleans, finishing first in the long jump and second in the 100 and 200.

He is the only member of his team to qualify for the national event.

It won’t be his first one, though. It’s actually his fifth.

Last year Elijah competed in Texas. A few years before that he competed in Florida.

He’s been running (and winning) track since he was 7, shortly after the family moved from Kansas.

In 2012, Michael Davis Jr. took a job offer back home in his birthplace, bringing his wife, Kameshia, daughter, Michaela, and Elijah home where there were aunts, uncles and cousins. They even got to stay with them for a while until everything got settled.

It was all a little too much for young Elijah.

“I just wanted to get out of the house,” he said.

So, young Elijah began going to track practice with his cousins, who ran for the local River Parishes Hornets, run by coach Bobby Davis (no relation).

He took to it right away.

“They said he had talent,” Kameshia said. “I don’t know where it came from. Neither my husband or I run.”

Perhaps it came from his grandfather, Michael Davis Sr., who apparently was a pretty good track athlete at East St. John High School back in the day.

“Coach Bobby said, ‘Oh man. He has talent,’” Kamesia said. “’He reminds me of his grandfather.’ I know he picks it up quick.”

All Elijah knows is, he likes to run the 100 (his best time is 12.16), isn’t crazy about the 200 (26.11) and loves the long jump (17-0).

“I watch videos of Usain Bolt and I watch how he might take off a little bit slow but then as the race continues on he gets stronger and he comes in first place. I like the 200, it’s just that it’s long. The coaches tell me to lean in the curve, but I have a hard time making it to the curve when I run it.  I love the long jump. That’s my favorite. What’s good about that one is, I always come in first.”

Also a very good football and basketball player, Elijah is a 3.0 student at LaPlace Elementary School and plays for the school’s football team.

He also is an active member at Destiny Church in LaPlace.

As a school project, Elijah elected to do a report on legendary track athlete Jesse Owens, who stunned the world with his athletic prowess at the 1936 Olympics.

“People were a little bit racist back then,” he said. “He had to overcome a lot. He was really good. He had to leave his family to go run track.”

Elijah just had to follow his.

The family has set up a Gofund to help pay for the trip to Michigan. Anyone wishing to help may visit gofundme.com/3ymuznc.