Ron Rigdon – photo

By David Kvidahl


A year ago Isaiah Martin could never have imagined he’d be the state champion in the javelin.

Maybe the hurdles. Maybe the long jump

The javelin? Until last summer he’d never thrown one before in his life.

No one threw it better than Martin on Friday.

The junior hurdler, jumper and thrower for the Hillsboro track and field team wrapped up a nutty day with a gold medal draped around his neck.

Martin threw the javelin 161-9 feet, 9 inches to win the Class 4 title. Webb City’s Briar Short was the runner-up at 160-8.

That the 6-foot-4 and 185-pound Martin had any energy left to compete in the event was impressive. Martin qualified for the finals in the 110-meter hurdles (14.76 seconds) with the third-best time. He had the top time in the 300 hurdles (38.37).

Somehow he managed to find enough time to compete in the long jump. He finished in 13th place with his best jump of 21-0.5.

“It was hectic. I checked in for long jump, got my steps and ran back for my 300 race,” Martin said. “I ran back over and the long jumpers let me butt in line and let me jump my preliminary jumps then I went and threw javelin.”

Martin admitted it was hard to keep his mind in the moment with so much going on. It affected him somewhat during his javelin but found it in himself to quiet his mind.

“I was a little out of focus,” Martin said. “It happened in javelin, too, but I handled it the best I could.”

Martin has his sights set on adding more gold to his collection. He’ll have some stiff competition in the hurdles but at least he’ll only have two events instead of four.

“I just have a lot of fun. I’m really focused on tomorrow,” he said. “I really want to double up.”