Auburn’s Davis makes nation’s top 30

Auburn’s Donald Davis took 30th at the National Horseshoe Pitchers Association World Championships in Springfield, Ill., last weekend.

Davis, 47, was the top finisher among Northwest pitchers competing in the 40-foot, men’s open division at the two-week tournament sanctioned by the National Horseshoe Pitchers Association.

The association was celebrating the 100th anniversary of its world championship.

The top 20 finishers advanced to the finals.

Davis, a 47-year-old fleet mechanic, competed over a three-day period, pitching five games each day.

He has participated on the world stage three other times, finishing a career-best 24th at the 2007 tournament in Ardmore, Okla.

With his fluid style, Davis consistently is in the top 100 nationally for the men’s 40-foot class by percentage of stakes hit. For every 100 pitches, Davis places an average of 60 ’shoes around the stake for “ringers.” Elite pitchers regularly throw 60 percent or better.

“I hope to be in the high-70s, but I don’t know how realistic it is,” said Davis, a husband and father of two who enjoys the travel and camaraderie associated with the family sport. “I know I’m struggling to find it, but hopefully I think it will come.”

Davis, the reigning Washington State Horseshoe Pitching Association men’s championship class winner and two-time state Horseshoe Pitcher of the Year, will defend his WSHPA crown in Burlington over Labor Day weekend.

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