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Gold Medal Dentist
Courtesy: GoBearkats.com
Release: 03/05/2012
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For more than three years, the NCAA has aired TV spots with the message that most college student-athletes will be turning professional in something other than sports.

Morgan Davis, one of Sam Houston State's premier multi-event performers in track and field, is a prime example of the truth in those commercials.

The senior from Waller, Texas, became the first Bearkat in the 25-year history of SHSU women's track and field to win Southland Conference indoor pentathlon championship at the annual league indoor meet at Norman, Oklahoma, March 23.

But, after receiving her Sam Houston degree in May, Morgan looks to become a professional in the field of dentistry.

A biology major and chemistry minor major and Dean's List student with a 3.63 overall grade point average, Davis already has interned a semester for local dentist Scott Logan. Following graduation she plans to enter dental school.

"Everyone at Dr. Logan's office was so helpful during my internship," Davis said. "Becoming a dentist is my career goal."

As a student-athlete, Davis took first place at the Southland indoor women's pentathlon with a point total of 3,641, the second highest score in the event in school history.

The pentathlon is a grueling test of athletic skill in which student-athletes compete in five events all in one day - the 60 meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, long jump and 800 meter run.

"Definitely it's a long day," Davis said. "But I really like it. Training is fun because you always are doing something different. Other athletes are working on the same event every day. But in the multi-events, we focus on a couple or so events daily. There's never a dull moment because you're always doing something different."

Winning the Southland pentathlon championship is special for Davis because 2012 marks her senior season at Sam Houston State.

"It's amazing. I came here as a walk-on and things just worked out," Morgan said.

Davis has build each year towards her success as a senior. She placed ninth in the pentathlon as a sophomore in 2010 and was the runner-up at the 2011 indoor meet. What pleased the versatile athlete most about her victory was that she equaled or bettered her personal best performance in each of the five events.

"I had never broken the nine second barrier in the hurdles, so when I ran the 60 meters in 8.9 seconds, that set the tone for the rest of day. When I tied my best high jump mark in the second event, I knew there was a chance to win the whole thing."

She jumped 5' 5" then went on to throw the shot put 11.11 meters, another personal best.

"Next was the long jump, the event I really need to work on," Davis said. "I could have done better but I still tied my indoor best. I knew then I had to go out with a bang in the 800 meters."

Davis almost tried too hard.

"I was so excited I went out faster than I was supposed to," Davis said. "I knew I had to push harder than ever before. It was really close and I left everything on the track. But, gosh, it was so exciting to receive the gold medal."

The senior was the only Bearkat competitor to earn a first place finish at the 2012 indoor meet. She credits her teammates and her coaches for pushing her.

"We all peaked at the perfect time," Davis said. "Allyson Pettit, our sophomore who finished eighth in the pentathlon with her share of personal bests, pushes me in practice every day. And Josh Sigmon, who medaled in the men's heptathlon with a third place finish, helped light a fire under both of us with his encouragement before and during the meet. Our coaches are doing something right. We all were ready at the right time."

Clint Blinka, a former Sam Houston decathlete, is extremely familiar with Davis's work ethic.  Now the Bearkat assistant track coach who tutors the multi-event competitors, Blinka also coached Davis at Waller High School.

"Morgan is a true student-athlete," Blinka said. "She is a hard worker in both the class room and in the arena. Her progression as an athlete has been phenomenal. As a freshman walk-on, Morgan was viewed by the coaches as an athlete who could contribute some points at conference as a senior. But she is such a hard worker, she built herself into a conference champion. She is amazing."

Davis also is active in campus life at Sam Houston. She is a member of the Bearkat student-athlete advisory committee and has represented Sam Houston State at regional NCAA meetings on current student-athlete welfare issues.

While her career in dentistry beckons, she still has one more athletic challenge in front of her.

"Outdoor season is beginning," Davis said. "With a gold medal in the pentathlon, the next prize is even harder,"

Davis will compete in the Southland Conference heptathlon at the conference meet in May.  She finished fourth in the heptathlon outdoors both as a sophomore and a junior.

"The heptathlon adds more events and, again, makes for a couple of long days of competition," Davis said. "But earning another medal would be a great way to end my career at Sam Houston."

And, after that ... like the NCAA ads say, she'll turn professional in something other than sports.

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