By GEMMA SPICKA-PROFFIT
Despite this semester being his first at UMW, junior Davon Guerrier has already been able to contribute greatly to the team. He was named CAC Men’s Track Athlete of the Week last week after an outstanding performance at the UMW Opener. He won the 110 meter hurdles and the 400 meter hurdles, and he stated that his time for the 200 was one of the best that he had run in a couple years. Additionally, when Guerrier first arrived at UMW for the spring semester, he was able to break a school record for indoor track in the 60 meter hurdles in his first race as an Eagle.
Previously, Guerrier ran indoor and outdoor track at VMI. He was worried about being able to get adjusted to UMW, but he has come to feel much more comfortable. His teammates have been very helpful in welcoming him to the team and ease any of his concerns. He stated that the training at UMW is probably the best training he has ever had.
Guerrier began running in 2006 when his mom put him and his twin brother on the summer team, the Richmond Lightning. What originally started as a way to help keep him out of trouble, has since turned into a long term dedication to the sport. One of his favorite athletes is Ed Moses, an American Olympic gold medalist. Moses was able to analyze the 400 meter hurdle from a physics perspective, and he determined that the perfect number of steps to take between each hurdle is 13.
Guerrier, inspired by this approach, is working on establishing the pattern in his own race. So far, he has been able to take 13 steps between the first few hurdles, but then reverts to his usual 15 when it gets too tiring.
“I like having a goal to work toward,” said Guerrier, “Even a PR of 0.01 is still an accomplishment. It means all the work that I have been putting in is actually paying off”. Some of his goals this season include breaking the school record for the 110 meter hurdles and becoming conference champion in two events so he can help his team place. He believes that “as long as everybody stays healthy and keeps training consistently, we will be in shape to get at least second place in the conference”.
When it comes to competition preparation, Guerrier shared that he thinks “breakfast is the most important meal because you shouldn’t eat too much or too little the day of the meet”. His go to breakfast before meets is oatmeal, bananas, and a bagel with peanut butter. Guerrier was not hesitant to share his strong preference of pancakes over waffles, describing waffles as “so crispy that they are more like a thin cookie than cake”. He prefers pancakes because they “are easier to eat and cut, especially when you add fruit”.
Guerrier’s favorite season is summer because he hates the cold. “It makes it hard to train, and it’s bad for your muscles,” said Guerrier. One reason he is particularly looking forward to summer is that he will have more time to spend with his pitbull puppy, Khalifa. He loves to spoil Khalifa by driving him to the pet store and letting him pick out his own treats and toys. He also shares some of his food with Khalifa, especially peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Guerrier admitted that he underestimated the amount of work that would go into raising a puppy, but he believes the responsibility has helped him grow.