Louis Martinez was feeling tired when he woke up Saturday morning for the Goshen Invitational.
Then, upon arrival, and the bacon, egg and cheese he had with salt, pepper and ketchup settled in his stomach, and then he started feeling good.
It felt like a good day to break the New York state pole vault record.
“My legs were hot, the weather was nice,” Martinez said. “It was a bit cloudy, but it was still warm making the poles a little bit more bendy.”
Then he made his first jump at about 15 feet and it became clearer that today was going to be the day.
It became clear to everyone else there, too as the meet’s announcer announced he was going for it.
After four steps, he turned on the speed, and said the pole drop was perfect. He slid the whole box in, and it felt smooth, and he went up.
As soon as he took off, he knew he was going to clear it, and then he knew he accomplished the feat when he didn’t feel anything hit him when he landed on the mat.
New York State had a new pole vault record holder at 16 feet, 9 inches.
As soon as he landed and the bars remained, the cheers started.
“I stood up and I put my arms to the air, and I felt like a little kid,” Martinez said. “I did it. I had done something a lot of track and field athletes dream of doing, and it feels incredible. I’ve never felt anything like it.”
Martinez broke a 10-year-old New York State Record set by Arlington’s Jordan Yamoah on June 18, 2011, at NBON Nationals in Greensboro by a quarter inch. He’s also chasing Yamoah’s New York State indoor track record, set in 2010.
A week earlier, he broke the Section 9 record of 16-3, set by Warwick’s Todd Uckermark, but getting the state record was 10 times better.
“It’s been kind of crazy,” Martinez said. “Everybody’s congratulating me, people that I thought didn’t like me were telling me congratulations. It’s been a pretty interesting time.”
Martinez is not done.
He said he plans to continue breaking his own mark and has about four meets left in which to do it.
He wants to get to at least 17 feet, as he works toward committing to his dream school, the University of Alabama. Anything higher than 17 feet could get him a partial scholarship.
For some athletes, where they accomplish something has a special meaning, but Martinez has no regrets setting his records away from Wallkill High School.
It felt like it was meant to happen at Saturday’s Trotter Invitational.
“They did so much preparation for me to jump big today,” Martinez said. “They pulled out new standards. They put mats around the mat and made it bigger. They made sure everything was in line and had four officials there to make sure. I’ve never had treatment like that, so I think it was very fitting that it happened where it did, especially after all the work they had put in to make sure that I could do it.”