COLUMBUS — Josh Martin saved his best performance for last.
The Eaton senior soared to a personal best jump and as a result earned All-Ohio honors in his final high school competition.
Martin cleared 6 feet, 5 inches, topping his previous best jump of 6-3 from the previous week at the regional, to finish fourth at the 114th OHSAA State Track and Field Championships on Saturday, June 4 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
“What an outstanding accomplishment for a young man who had not been involved with track & field since his freshman year,” Eaton coach Randy McKinney said. “Going in he was sitting in a 4-way tie for the seventh best qualifying jump. He had set a personal best the week prior at Regional with a 6’3” jump, but then to turn around and top that with an additional two-inch improvement from the week before by jumping 6’ 5” is just amazing.”
Martin cleared the opening height of 5-10 on his first attempt. He missed his first attempt at 6-0 before clearing in his second try. At 6-2, Martin was down to his final attempt, but rose to the challenge. He missed his first try at 6-4 before clearing on his second attempt for a new personal best.
That PR did not last long as he cleared 6-5 on his first try. Martin’s three tries at 6-6 came up just short.
McKinney said the high jump, like the pole vault, are two of the toughest events in which to compete because athletes have time to wait and think between attempts at each height then the process starts over each time you clear and move to another height.
“Some athletes are capable of mentally, physically resetting and adjusting at each height, others are not, especially when you get to this level of competition competing for All-State honors,” McKinney said. “Josh didn’t overthink what he needed to do and competitively responded at each height he attempted. In track and field, you have to athletically compete, control what you can control when competing regardless of the event or your field of competition. That’s exactly why he walked off the awards podium Saturday with a 4th place medal and All-State (aka All-Ohio) honors.”
Martin said his goal coming into the state meet was to place.
“I just wanted to get on the podium, honestly,” he said. “I felt good. My steps were good, and I just went on from there,” he said.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 and follow on Twitter @emowenjr