One of the most accomplished female track and field stars in the history of high school sports in Bolivar County will be taking her game to the Southeastern Conference.
Bayou Academy’s Sydney Davis signed a track and field scholarship to compete for Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. Tuesday morning.
As a junior last season, she was instrumental in leading the Bayou Academy Lady Colts to the AAA State Girls Track and Field Championship, which was the first in program history. In her career, Davis has won eight state championships in individual and relay events.
Along with her athletic accomplishments, she has a 4.0 grade-point average with a 29 on the ACT.
Davis was overcome with excitement when talking about signing with Vanderbilt.
“We went and toured, and I just immediately knew that it was the school I was meant to be at, and it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” Davis said.
Several schools expressed interest in Sydney, but the location of Vanderbilt played a vital role in her decision.
“I got letters from Harvard, Yale, looking at Georgia and places like that, but I ended up just wanting to stay close to home,” Davis said.
With the track season at Bayou set to start in March, Davis felt a sigh of relief by going on and making her decision on where she wanted to run.
“The stress and just thinking about where I wanted to go to school, finally making that decision was like a weight of my shoulders,” Davis said.
As a freshman in 2017, Davis set the Midsouth Association of Independent Schools’ AAA State Record in the 300-meter hurdles and the 100-meter hurdles with times of 46.00 and 16.14, respectively. She was also a member of the Bayou relay team that won the 4×400-meter relay (4:17.92), finished second in the 400-meter dash (59.97) and was a member of the 4×200-meter relay and 4×100-meter relay teams that each finished third at state. Her production enabled Bayou to finish second overall that year.
In her sophomore season in 2018, Davis was even better as she won the 100-meter hurdles (14.97), 300-meter hurdles (44.51) and 400-meter dash (57.19). Her time in the 300-meter hurdles broke the AAA record she previously set in the event the year before while her times in the 100-meter hurdles and the 400-meter dash set not only the AAA State Record in those events but the MAIS overall record as well. No female competitor in the MAIS or Mississippi High School Activities Association had a faster time in the 300-meter hurdles than Davis during the year. She was also a member of Bayou’s 4×100 relay team, 4×200-meter relay team and 4×400-meter relay team, which all finished second at state. Davis’ production allowed Bayou to finish second at state for the second year in a row.
Last season, she won the 100-meter hurdles (15.60) and the 300-meter hurdles (45.54) for the third year in a row, while finishing second in the 400-meter dash (58.09). The 4×100-meter relay, the 4×200-meter relay and the 4×400-meter relay teams she competed on got second at state. Her production allowed Bayou to win the AAA State Title by finishing 29 points ahead of Hillcrest Christian. Davis had a successful year despite battling a torn ligament in her ankle.
The success Davis has had in her career is something that has far exceeded her expectations.
“I never thought that it would get this big, or I would ever run anywhere, but I’m glad I got the opportunity,” Davis said.
Bayou will be competing in an upper classification this year as the team is 4A.
The accomplished senior said she would love for her team to win a state title one more time in her last year.
“I think it’s important because it’s our last one,” Davis said. “Everybody remembers our last year running. I think it’s even more pressure from last year coming off a championship season, and everybody wants to come out better and stronger, wanting to do it again.”