Wes Braddock may be throwing his weight around in the boys shot put and discus throw at Eastlake High School, but fellow senior Shane Martin has become, in his own right, one of the marquee stars on this year’s Titan track and field team.
There’s good reason for that.
Martin leads the San Diego Section with the fastest qualifying time in the boys 110-meter high hurdles for this Saturday’s section finals at Mt. Carmel High School.
Martin clocked 14.43 seconds to turn in the top qualifying time at last Saturday’s section prelims, also held at Mt. Carmel. It is the fastest fully automatic time recorded in the section this season and trails only the 14.34 converted time he posted in a Mesa League dual against Olympian on April 17 to set a school record in the event.
The Titan speedster also has notched a blazing 14.1 hand-time this season.
“Our school records are coming down this year,” EHS coach Francine Koopman noted.
Martin’s 14.34 time ranks 0.32 second ahead of Del Norte senior Tyler Nelson. Monte Vista’s Jordan Thibodeaux has the third-fastest qualifying time of 14.73.
The trio will compete in Saturday’s state-qualifying A-heat, with the top three place-finishers guaranteed of advancing to this year’s state championship meet in Clovis June 6-7.
While Martin is concentrating on the high hurdles for state qualifying, he also competed in the triple jump and high jump – events he also participated in last year as a junior — while also running a leg on Eastlake’s 4x100 relay team to help pace the Titans to this year’s Mesa League championship.
His specialty event was the high jump as a sophomore.â€¨â€¨That has now changed to the high hurdles. “Definitely,” Martin affirmed. “I found out about it after my freshman year. Ever since, I’ve been training for it.”
Martin timed 14.64 to win the high hurdles at this year’s Mesa League finals, held May 19 at Otay Ranch High School. He competed in four events at the league finals. He recorded a season-best triple jump of 42-10 to place foutth and cleared 5-11 to place third in the high jump. He also ran a leg on Eastlake’s fourth-place 4x100 relay unit (44.88).
Martin admitss said he receives a great deal of self-confidence — and self-satisfaction — from his section-leading time in the event. “It feels really good,” he said. “Last year, I was fifth or sixth — improving is definitely a good thing.”
Martin’s goals for his senior year obviously include qualifying for the state meet. “I want to make state, definitely,” he said. “I want to try to get as far as my ability will take me.”
That could be far.â€¨â€¨Martin has already received interest from Fullerton and Chico State.
He said the jumps and hurdling complement one another.
“My speed, I think, has helped me in the triple and I think my leg strength has helped my hurdling,” he said.
He’ll definitely be looking to put his best foot forward at Saturday’s section finals.
Air show: taking it to new heights
Bonita Vista senior Luis Carson opened the season with a personal record 6-5 mark in the boys high jump at the Mt. Miguel Invitational, besting last year’s personal best of 5-11. He set a new PR of 6-8 in a dual meet at Eastlake on April 23.
The 6-8 mark continues to lead the section heading into this weekend’s state qualifying meet.
Carson turned in the third-best qualifying height of 6-3 at last weekend’s section prelims, trailing Westview’s Tyler Arroyo and Del Norte’s Cameron Hepworth, both at 6-5.
Carson will also be dueling with Poway’s Charlie Bush, who ranks second in the section with a 6-7 clearance this season. Arroyo’s season best is 6-6.
The Bonita Vista school record is 6-9, set two years ago by Branden Greene, who went on to clear seven feet while at Southwestern College and is now headed to the University of Mississippi.â€¨â€¨Carson attempted three tries at 6-10 at the Eastlake dual but failed to clear what would have been a new school record height.
“I just got psyched out,” said Carson, who cleared 5-8 during his sophomore year. “Once you get to a certain height, you tend to look at the bar even though you’re not supposed to do that. Also, once you get to a certain height, people start to notice. High jumping is mostly mental. If you’re nervous, you’re done.”
Greene, among the section’s state qualifiers in 2012, remains one of Carson’s prime motivators.â€¨â€¨“My goal is to continue to improve,” Carson said. “I want to try to get the school record, to beat Brandon’s mark in sort of a friendly competition.”
Others may be soon be looking up to Carson.
Metro Conference Athletes
State Qualifying A-Heat/A-Flight
Boys Running Events
4x100 relay: Sweetwater 43.60 (Division I)
1600: Oliver Abundez (Eastlake) 4:22.90 (Division I)
110 high hurdles: Shane Martin (Eastlake) 14.43 (Division I); Jose Martinez (Sweetwater) 15.21 (Division I)
100: Aqel Carson (Olympian) 11.01 (Division I)
300 intermediate hurdles: Jose Martinez (Sweetwater) 39.79 (Division I)
200: Aqel Carson (Olympian) 21.95 (Division I)
Boys Field Events
Long jump: Christopher Perez (Hilltop) 21-8.25 (Division I)
Shot put: Wes Braddock (Eastlake) 52-11.25 (Division I)
Discus throw: Wes Braddock (Eastlake) 151-10 (Division I)
High jump: Luis Carson (Bonita Vista) 6-3 (Division I)
Triple jump: Christopher Verdell (Mater Dei Catholic) 43-2 (Division II)
Girls Running Events
4x100: Olympian 49.95 (Division I)
1600: Monique Anguiano (Otay Ranch) 5:07.26 (Division I)
100 hurdles: Sydney Magdalena (Olympian) 15.07 (Division I)
400: Betsy Ornelas (Olympian) 58.27 (Division I); Dona Stephens (Otay Ranch) 58.70 (Division I)
100: Daeniesha Burell (Chula Vista) 12.61 (Division I)
300 hurdles: Sydney Magdalena (Olympian) 45.10 (Division I); Janeth Moya (Hilltop) 45.88 (Division I)
200: Daeniesha Burell (Chula Vista) 25.18 (Division I)
Girls Field Events
Pole vault: Hannah Moss (Otay Ranch) 10-1 (Division I)
Shot put: Teairah Jackson (Castle Park) 38-4.5 (Divisison II)
Triple jump: Sydney Barnes (Olympian) 35-8 (Division I); Johnna Noiseaux (Eastlake) 35-5.25 (Division I)