Former Illinois Prep Legend Jon Davis Leads Off Alumni Report

Former Illinois prep legend Jon Davis was victorious at Midwest XC Regional (U of I photo credit)

Nov 6, 2017 - Nov 12, 2017

U of Illinois sports info press release:

NEW ORLEANS - Illinois men's cross country sophomore Jon Davis was named United States Track and Field (USTFCCCA) Midwest Region Athlete of the Year on Tuesday, as voted on coaches from the Midwest region. The second year Illini won the Midwest Regional race last Friday in Ames, Iowa, becoming the third ever Illini to do so.

"I think it speaks directly to the maturation of him as an athlete in cross country," said head coach Jake Stewwart. "There were, in his freshmen year, many ups and downs with him figuring out how to race against the best athletes in the country on grass. He took with he learned last year in cross country, and certainly in track, and applied it with a new-found confidence this fall. Friday's result was a direct correlation of everything he's done in the last 12 months to get himself prepared for races like that."

Davis is just the second Illini men's cross country runner to win the award since its inception in 1998, joining Trent Hoerr's 2007 accolade, and just the third Illini ever win the regional meet. Craig Virgin was the first to win the regional race, sweeping the 1974-76 competitions.

Running the second fastest time in school history, Davis won the 2017 Midwest Regional with a time of 29:06.2 to defeat runner-up Hassan Abdi (Oklahoma State) by five seconds. The first-place finish earned him an automatic bid to this Saturday's NCAA Championship meet in Louisville, Kentucky.

Davis' other notable finishes this season came at the Ed Nuttycombe Invite and Big Ten Championships. At Wisconsin, Davis placed sixth overall amongst a field that included 20 ranked teams. Two weeks later, Davis put himself among the best in the conference with a ninth-place finish to earn Second Team All-Big Ten honors.

"The way Jon leads the program in terms of performance speaks for itself. I don't think Jon puts any extra emphasis on having to go out there and do any specific thing in a race. Jon is very simple in his approach to racing. He wants to go compete, beat as many people as he can and he enjoys that component of this sport. Going into races, there is very little change in his demeanor in how he approaches race by race and he's continuing to show himself to be consistent when the races matter most.

A native of Fithian, Illinois, Davis will be making his second NCAA Cross Country Championships appearance. At last year's national meet, Davis finished fifth among freshmen, placing 80th overall.

NCAA Championships on Saturday, November 18, will begin with the women's race at 9:45 a.m. central time, followed by the men's race at 10:45 a.m. The meet can also be streamed online with a subscription to FloTrack with live results provided through Record Timing.

For complete coverage of Fighting Illini cross country, visit, follow the Illini on Twitter (@IlliniMXC) and Instagram (@IlliniMXC) and like Fighting Illini Men's Cross Country on Facebook. 


NJCAA DI Cross Country Championships

Nov 11, 2017 in Fort Dodge, IA

5,000 Meter Run

8000 Meter Run

NCAA DIII Central Regional

Nov 11, 2017 in , MN

NCAA DIII Great Lakes Regional

Nov 11, 2017 in Holland, MI

NCAA DI Great Lakes Regional

Nov 11, 2017 in Terre Haute, IN

5,000 Meter Run

NCAA DI Midwest Regional

Nov 10, 2017 in Iowa City, IA

6,000 Meter Run

10,000 Meter Run

NCAA DIII Midwest Regional

Nov 11, 2017 in Winneconne, WI

6,000 Meter Run

8000 Meter Run

NCAA DI Southeast Regional

Nov 10, 2017 in Earlysville, VA

NCAA DI South Regional

Nov 10, 2017 in Tuscaloosa, AL