Louis Martinez to join the Crimson Tide

By Mike Zummo
Posted 7/21/21


The dream was realized on June 22 as Louis Martinez finally put pen to paper and committed to his dream school.

Martinez, who set the state record in the pole vault in May, signed his …

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Louis Martinez to join the Crimson Tide


The dream was realized on June 22 as Louis Martinez finally put pen to paper and committed to his dream school.

Martinez, who set the state record in the pole vault in May, signed his National Letter of Intent on June 22 to jump for the Division I University of Alabama.

Yes. That University of Alabama.

“It feels pretty good,” Martinez said last Wednesday. “My dream is finally coming together. I’m going to my dream school.”

Martinez set a new New York State pole vault record on May 22 at the Goshen Invitational when he cleared 16-9, beating the record set by Arlington’s Jordan Yamoah on June 18, 2011, at NBON Nationals in Greensboro by a quarter inch.

Martinez is still at 16-9 and admits he hasn’t been vaulting as well lately during the busy leadup to Wallkill Senior High School’s graduation, which happened last Friday. Not to mention, the dances and all the other rituals associated with that.

“I got a little bit thrown off with my track stuff, but I’m getting back on it,” Martinez said.

Martinez will vault at for the Crimson Tide on a partial scholarship, a dream that started to feel like more of a possibility once he broke the Section 9 pole vault record.

“There was plenty of talk leading up to this,” Martinez said. “Coach was great throughout the whole process, staying in contact and making sure I was comfortable with everything.”

The Wallkill Athletic Dept. held a signing ceremony on June 22, where he was surrounded by his family, Wallkill track coaches.

Martinez will leave for Alabama around Aug. 10. His most recent interscholastic competition was the Section 9 Class B championships, where he won the pole vault, and long and triple jumps. However, he will only vault at Alabama.

Expectations will be high and training hours are expected to be long.

“Since I made scholarship, that means I’m going to be dedicated to track and field and I’m pretty much going to have no free time,” Martinez said. “Most of it is going to be strict training and making sure that I hit the marks.”

For his last several years vaulting locally, less so in the past year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he set the standard that other vaulters were chasing. Even though he holds the state record now, he’s hopeful that someone will eventually break it.

“It was a great feeling to be leading New York State and having people look at me as something to shoot for,” Martinez said. “Now that I broke the state record, I haven set the standard for some of these freshmen and some of these juniors that are really good out there to try and take my record, and I hope someone does. It’s a milestone. I’m pushing the to be better than they are.”

That’s what he’s looking forward to in Alabama. No longer will he set the standard. He will have competition again.

“I’m more excited for competition,” Martinez said. “I haven’t had competition in so long, especially because of COVID and I wasn’t able to jump with some of the better jumpers in the nation.”

But as he bids farewell to Wallkill, he said he will miss Athletic Director and Vice Principal B.J. Masopust, who was his teacher as freshmen and Susan Gravelle, who would always give him four-leaf clovers before he vaulted.

She gave him two before he jumped in Goshen, and he put them in his socks before he broke the state record.


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