Binghamton University senior cross country standout Allison Davis has emerged as a confident leader of her squad. Her career began as a freshman walk-on and she quickly gained the attention of BU head coach Annette Acuff. Although she was actively recruited by BU, she was not offered a scholarship as a freshman.
“[Davis] made a great impression on us her freshman year, and we had a very good feeling she would develop well,” Acuff said.
Acuff praised Davis for her admirable work ethic and consistent growth over the years. Davis recalls her struggles the last couple years of high school and how she hit a plateau. Unfazed by the collegiate stage, she persisted to challenge herself to make an impact on the team, even as a walk-on. Drawing support from several people in her life, Davis’ mother helped her discover the joys and pains of running distance competitively.
“My mom is actually the one who got me into running, because in her early 20s she got really into running,” Davis said. “I was never a runner growing up, though. After a road race, she said, ‘Imagine what you could do if you trained,’ so a couple days after I changed my permission slip from soccer to cross country.”
She also credits her accomplishments to her Binghamton coach and the work ethic she embodies. The kind of intensive training program that Acuff employs has undoubtedly garnered successful results throughout her tenure.
“My favorite part about coaching Allison is watching how hard she works,” Acuff said. “She’s such a hard worker, very dedicated, she’s very passionate about everything that she does and she’s also a great communicator, which really helps a lot in coaching her.”
Davis also stressed the importance of teammates in cross country, despite it being known as an individual sport. A longtime teammate, junior Erika Yamazaki, said she looks up to Davis not only as a runner and a teammate, but also as a role model.
“I met Allison on my official visit in my senior year of high school,” Yamazaki said. “I felt it during the visit and I still feel it now being her housemate and teammate, that she is genuinely one of the nicest people I have ever met.”
Davis’ career has been defined by progress. As a distance runner, Davis also competes in both indoor and outdoor track and field for Binghamton. She has seen an abundance of success in track, most notably a fifth-place finish in the America East (AE) Outdoor Championships in the 5K race as a sophomore.
“Allison’s consistent progress is very inspiring,” Yamazaki added. “During distance runs and workouts, she runs with pep and enthusiasm that is contagious.”
The talented senior recognizes the significance of strong working relationships within track and cross country teams. One of her favorite moments of her Binghamton career was running the 4×8 relay at the AE Indoor Championships as a junior.
“I really thought I’d never run a relay again at a conference championship,” Davis said. “I was coming off a huge [personal record] in the 5K the night before. I just remember being so excited to be a part of a relay.”
Davis seeks to bring her hard work and determination to help a young team in an extremely strong conference. The BU distance runners will be put to the test this season, competing in meets at the University at Buffalo, Princeton and Lehigh to prepare them for the tough AE Championship ahead.
“I want to continue improving, just as an athlete; as a person,” Davis said. “As much as my confidence has grown, I know I can get a little more.”
As a senior, the dark cloud of postgraduation life is always looming. Davis, however, is excited for the new opportunities that she will be provided with, as she will graduate from the Decker School of Nursing.
“I’ll graduate with my BSN and take my NCLEX [exam] probably next summer, and hopefully pass the first time, and then hopefully begin my career as a nurse, which I’m really excited about,” she added.