Growing up in Wilmington, Jordan Davis has tried several different sports.
Soccer, basketball, baseball and karate have been among the options his parents have given him over the years.
But the Wilmington High School sophomore had just one sport that he felt in his gut could be something he’d enjoy long term.
“I was only ever passionate for swimming,” he said. “I attended swim lessons when I was six months old. When I was five years old, I started swimming in the summer with the Barracudas and Fins.”
Davis and that early love for swimming will have him competing Thursday in Canton at the OHSAA Division II State Swimming and Diving Championship at McKinley High School’s C.T. Branin Natatorium.
Davis will compete in the 100-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke events. He was third in the 100 free and fifth in the 100 back at last week’s Div. II Southwest District meet at Miami University.
Davis is the lone swimmer from Clinton County’s three high school swim programs to advance to the state meet.
Davis has the seventh fastest time from district tournaments in the 100 free. His 47.99 is just over 2.5 seconds behind Will Rose of Alliance who had the fastest time at statewide district tournaments.
In the 100 back, Davis has the 10th fastest time at 53.68. The fastest time was turned in by Cincinnati Seven Hills’ swimmer Tim Kalin at 50.30 seconds.
“I was proud of my 100 freestyle,” said Davis, who swims with the Dayton Raiders club team. “It was my goal to achieve a time under 48 seconds, which I did. I was disappointed with my 100 backstroke time of 53.68, which is a 0.7 second add from my best time of 52.98. I hope to do better in both this weekend.”
The Division II swimming preliminaries begin 5 p.m. Thursday with the championship (top 8) and consolation (9 through 16) finals in all events set to start at 5 p.m. Friday.
Davis came close to qualifying for the state last season, missing out in the 200 individual medley by 1.57 seconds and by 0.46 seconds in the 100 fly.
“Going into the (2018-2019) season I believed that I had a great chance at making it to state,” he said. “Later in the season, that belief lessened. I was incredibly disappointed when I did not make it to state.”
This season, after working with his coaches to select the best events to advance in, Davis’ goal of reaching Canton was renewed.
“I had looked at last year’s qualifying times for both the 100 free and 100 back and compared them to my own times and I was fairly confident that my times would get me good placements at the end of the season,” he said.
And placement is the key to Davis’ goals this week. Times, while obviously important in the grand scheme of things, are not top of the list on the goal sheet.
“I’d like to achieve a top eight placement in both of my events,” said Davis. “I honestly care more about placement at this point, but if I go a best time at state then I will be happy.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @wnjsports