Desiree Davila, daughter of CDCR employee Dennis Davila,will represent
the United States in the Olympic marathon running competition.

By OPEC Staff

Dennis Davila, a CDCR Construction Supervisor I, usually concentrates on projects across the state, but in the coming weeks his thoughts will be in London where his daughter will be seeking a gold medal as a marathon runner.

Dennis knew from an early age that Desiree, now 28, could run pretty well.

“Desiree played on a soccer club team. They would run around the field (during practice). She always came in first,” he said.

Desiree eventually ended up running track in high school, but her performance didn’t inspire Olympic hopes, he said.

“In high school, she was one of the top runners in the state, but not the top. She went to Arizona State (University) where she was one of the top runners but not the top runner.”

Desiree’s running career went from good to great when “she took a chance,” he said.

Dennis said Desiree joined the Michigan-based Hansons-Brooke Distance Project in 2005. The program is tough to get into, he said. Athletic potential is a key to getting into the program.

Maybe harder for his San Diego-raised daughter was the cold of Michigan and the program’s remote location.

“The climate is pretty harsh,” he said.

Desiree told ESPN in April that Hansons-Brooke transformed her into “a contender, not just some who’s on the line and might have a good day.”

Desiree’s progress has begun to show.

In 2011, Desiree ran the Boston Marathon and set an American women’s course record.

Now Desiree will be running on a world stage, and Dennis will be there rooting for her.

Here is a link to a Q&A with Desiree.