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WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

Davis Haines commits to Marist College for distance running

Provided by Davis Haines
Haines gets off to a good start in a race.

Wrentham, Massachusetts in November of 2022: senior Davis Haines finishing in 16:00 flat. Running the 5k at the Divisional Sectionals with the hope of hitting his new personal best. Running through the grass about to cross the finish line with an outstanding pride for himself. This is the moment that changed his entire athletic career.

Ever since freshman year, Haines has been a long distance runner for the cross country and track & field teams. Now after years of dedication, Haines will be expanding his running career at Marist College, a Division 1 program, as part of the class of 2027.

As a consistent hard worker, Haines has caught the attention of his coaches as someone with the drive and dedication to get better. During his freshman and sophomore seasons, he did cross country and track just for fun because he was still an avid swimmer. But as things started to fall into place, Haines began putting more hours into cross country and track & field.

“It was a strange year because that was the COVID year, so we did have a season but it was not normal,” History teacher and Boys’ Cross Country coach Scott Hafferkamp said. “Being a determined freshman, you’re wanting to run with some of the groups doing a little more and a little faster workouts, which, looking back, totally makes sense that he’s always been one to push himself.”

After a big breakout race in his junior year, Haines knew he wanted to run in college. During the Division 1 tournament in the fall of 2022, his 5k time was 16:00 flat. He and his teammates were astonished with his improvement.

“Before, my race time for a 5k was 17:20, but after I ran and ended with a 16:00 flat, I realized putting in work gives results,” Haines said.

With this realization came an uptick in Haines’ workouts, as he proceeded to consistently train at a high level. He would train four to five times a week with long runs or speed-related workouts.

“It was good to know that I was going into the season in shape,” Haines said.

During the season, Haines increased his training by practicing six times a week. He started to be able to control his pace more, and recognize what his strong suit was during races. With that knowledge, he was able to tailor that in practices, and train according to what was best for the type of race he was competing in. All of the work he was putting in never went unnoticed.

“He’s being comfortable for the first third of the race and attacking the middle third of the race,” Math teacher and Boys’ Track & Field coach Philip Archambault said.”That’s where he’s got great endurance and great strength, and that’s where an athlete of that nature would probably fit best.”

Dealing with both academics and athletic performance was demanding for Haines, but he figured out how to make it work.

“Balancing academics and sports is definitely a challenge,” Haines said. “I would get home at around 5:30, and then I had to eat dinner and lift weights, so I wouldn’t be starting homework until around 7:30.”

He started to look into the recruiting process which was confusing, according to Haines. He was the first student-athlete in his family, so it was a completely new experience trying to navigate how to contact coaches, and for the coaches to contact him.

“Signing up with NCSA [Next College Student Athlete] was definitely a new experience for me,” Haines said. “Trinity reached out to me, and I reached out to Marist College.”

Keeping the idea of having a new experience in mind, Haines looked for a college beyond Massachusetts but still relatively close, like Marist College in New York. When he went on the tour, he fell in love with the campus.

Talking to the college team and the coach, Haines thought they were all really nice and that the coach was very experienced.

“The Marist coach has been coaching for 38 years, so he definitely knows what he’s doing,” Haines said.

Haines will be going into Marist undecided on his major, giving him more freedom to experience the different academics the college has to offer.

When his coaches knew he wanted to pursue running in college, they were very proud and happy that he liked the sport enough to continue it at the next level. They helped him prepare on how to talk to the coaches, with Haines doing most of the initiating himself.

“I’m just happy he likes the sport enough to want to keep working really hard at it, running at a college level,” Hafferkamp said. “To just see him continue to run makes me really happy.”

Haines always brings the positive energy to the team as a captain this year. His coaches describe him as a quiet leader who always looks out for underclassmen to guide and help them stay motivated and focused through the season.

“He makes sure that our underclassmen are doing the right things and going in the right places,” Archambault said. “I’m confident that based on his leadership we’re going to have years more of this same focused attitude.”

Haines is excited to start the second leg of his cross country and track & field career at Marist College with a new team, and to embark on new journeys.

“I’m most excited for the new experience with the team at Marist, and to further develop my academic and athletic careers,” Haines said.

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Sophia Williams
Sophia Williams, Staff Writer
Hi! My name is Sophia Williams and I’m a sophomore at WA. This is my first year on the Ghostwriter as a staff writer and couldn't be more excited! I love to play lacrosse, field hockey and sail in my free time. I've loved skiing as a little kid and I'm co-president of ski club in WA. I can't wait to learn all about journalism and look forward to a great year!

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