Pope John Paul II (JPII) Senior Spotlight: Mark Davis

A famous American running legend, Steve Prefontaine once stated, "My philosophy is that I am an artist. I perform an art, not with a paintbrush or a camera. I perform a bodily movement. Instead of exhibiting my art in a museum, a book, or on canvas, I exhibit my art in front of the multitudes."                                       

Prefontaine had a unique flair and style that set him apart from others.

Prefontaine utilized his innate talents and distinct style by giving his all in every race he ran. He depicted each race with remarkable determination, mental fortitude, and an unparalleled ability to push himself beyond his limits. When Prefontaine finished a race, he had nothing left to give at the finish line.

Prefontaine was a runner who gave his all on the track. He had a free spirit and did not conform to the usual racing strategies of his time. Prefontaine ran with complete abandonment and a fearless attitude. He believed that not giving your best was a waste of your talent. He was fully committed to his running.

If you don't know who Steve Prefontaine is, google him sometime.

All give some; some give all.                                                                  

In life, you come across certain rare individuals who surpass your expectations of what's achievable. They perform beyond what you anticipate, giving their all with the natural talent they possess. These individuals paint their life stories with their unique style and signature, leaving an undeniable mark, much like Steve Prefontaine did.                

Although these individuals may not achieve remarkable feats like Prefontaine, their dedication and hard work toward their aspirations are exceptional, leaving no stone unturned in pursuing their goals.

JPII runner Mark Davis fits all of the descriptions above.

Mark Davis is the most improved runner I’ve ever coached.

When I met Mark Davis in his sophomore year, I immediately recognized his distinctive style and flair. He breaks the mold and paints his life story with his unique brush. Mark is a multi-talented individual who possesses an iron will when racing. He belongs to the category of people who give their all and leave nothing behind on the racecourse.

Mark has been the most improved high school runner that I have ever coached, considering the point from where he started. He has transformed himself from a more sedentary person to an amazing student-athlete. Mark exemplifies what great consistency and hard work can accomplish in life.

During his sophomore year, Mark participated in his first 5k race and completed it in 28 minutes. By his senior year, he made it to the varsity team, which placed second in the state championships. Mark was the seventh runner on the team during the state championships. Throughout the year, he consistently ran as the sixth or seventh runner on the team. 

Mark worked hard to achieve a time in the 5K race in the high 17s. He achieved this through consistent practice and by pushing himself to his limits. To fully appreciate his success, one would have had to witness his transformation and determination, grit, and fortitude. 

 Mark accomplished an incredible feat by reducing his 5k time by 11 minutes. Additionally, he was awarded first-team all-Sea-Tac League in cross-country during his senior season. He was also a team member that won the Sea-Tac League and District cross-country championships. Mark's team at JPII also received a team academic award from the WIAA and was recognized as the best sportsmanship team by the coaches of the Sea-Tac League.

I only regret that I can no longer serve as Mark's coach. I know he has the potential to improve even further. I can see the fire in his eyes, and he was poised to make breakthroughs during his senior track season before it was unfortunately canceled due to COVID.

What’s next for Mark

Mark is a versatile individual with a plethora of skills and passions. He is a talented singer and actor, a member of a Jazz band, a team ministry leader, an independent thinker, and a person who cares deeply for others. He has also volunteered at the Olympia Soup Kitchen. 

One thing is for sure: whatever Mark decides to do next in life, he will be all in. His great heart, strength, and dedication will carry him to new heights.

Mark, being your coach for cross-country and track has been an absolute privilege. During our time together, I have rarely seen an athlete who has put in as much effort and commitment as you have. Your dedication is awe-inspiring, and I am incredibly proud of your progress. Your hard work, perseverance, and transformation have been an inspiration not only to me but to other athletes as well. I will continue to use your example to motivate and guide other athletes I coach in the future.

Thank you, Mark, for your tireless dedication to achieving your goals while with us. Now, it's time for you to move forward and use your determination to impact other people's lives positively. You have all the qualities required to create a masterpiece of your life story. So, paint it with your unique flair and style that has already touched our lives at JPII.


Coach Weber

Philippians 4:13                                                                                      


Mark is pictured with his sister at this event. Mark wears many hats as they say as an actor, musician, singer, and distance runner. He is talented in many areas of life and works hard at everything he does.

           Mark playing the piano at a high school performance

                    Mark playing the trombone in Jazz Band

                              One of Mark's first-ever races