Princeton junior Teegan Davis enjoys competing in a variety of events in track and field.
“I think it’s cool to do different events,” Davis said.
He’s always done the high jump, long jump, triple jump and sprints.
This season, he added the pole vault.
“(I added it) to get points to help the team get points and because it was a new event to try and see if maybe I could do it next year too,” Davis said. “It’s a lot harder than people think it would be. There’s a lot of technique and it takes a lot of practice to learn.”
Davis said next season he may run more 100-meter dashes or 400s.
While he “won’t say I would be very good,” Davis said he could maybe throw the shot put and discus, and said he thinks he could run some distance because “I have some long legs.”
Davis is so versatile, in fact, that Princeton coach Dan Foes wouldn’t mind the IHSA adding the decathlon.
“I’ve always been impressed with his athleticism,” Foes said. “That’s always been there. You could ask him to do just about anything. He’s probably the one kid I’ve had over the time that I wish they had decathletes in high school. I’m sure he would be able to do that. We’d love to not be limited to four events with him because he certainly would go out and compete to the best of his abilities.”
Davis certainly made the most of his four events this season.
He qualified for the IHSA Class 2A State Meet in the high jump, long jump and the triple jump while running the first leg of the Tigers’ state-qualifying 4x100 relay.
Davis went undefeated in the high jump this spring, including clearing 6 feet, 6 ¼ inches to win the state title, while also bringing home a seventh-place medal in the long jump, finishing 11th in the triple jump and helping PHS to a 10th-place finish in the 4x100.
He also led the area in the high jump, long jump, triple jump and tied for third in the pole vault and won all four of his events at the Three Rivers Conference Meet to help the Tigers finish second as a team.
For all he accomplished this season, Davis is the 2022 NewsTribune Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year.
“It was pretty unbelievable considering we had him in three of four jumping events,” said PHS assistant Rob Jensen, who coaches Davis in the jumps. “To be able to qualify for state in all three is a pretty phenomenal feat in my opinion. Then to run the leadoff for our 4x100 on top of that, he had a pretty full day every time he took to the track.”
While everyone agrees Davis has a leg up on most of his competition due to his natural athleticism, he takes it to an elite level by working hard.
“Teegan is certainly one of the best athletes I’ve ever been able to coach,” Foes said. “His athletic abilities are absolutely crazy. He can really jump and he can really run. One of the great things about Teegan is he is very much a student of everything he does. He’s always looking for advantages as far as studying the event and diving into them more than your average athlete.”
That includes accepting critiques from his coaches, learning the ins and outs of techniques and staying after practices to get extra work.
“He has the talent, but he also puts a lot of hard work into it too,” Jensen said. “Some kids are good at their sports because they have talent and some are good because they work hard and he’s both. He’s willing to stick around after hours if needed and work on things. He pays a lot of attention to the technical side of the jumps. He’s a coachable kid. He always listens to what we tell him to do as far as any corrections. I think he’s also a studier of it. I think he picks up a lot of that himself on top of the natural gift he’s been given with his athleticism.”
Davis said he is motivated to do extra work by “just trying to be better.”
He’ll take that attitude into next season as he hopes to repeat as state high jump champion, break the school record of 6-10 and win other state medals as well.
“I think his potential is as high as he wants to make it,” Jensen said. “I think he can do really well again next year. I know he’ll have goals. He’s a goal oriented type of kid. He’ll do everything he can to achieve those.”