Junior Shane Martin has made a habit of setting NCAA Division II provisional marks in the 110-meter hurdles.
This weekend in San Diego, at the Triton Invitational, he picked up his sixth of the year while also setting a personal best, 14.11 seconds in a first-place finish.
“I stayed disciplined through my race and made sure I just kept my form,” Martin said. “I really had to lean at the end to secure that first place spot.”
Despite the first-place finish and personal best, Martin pinpointed his start as the area he still needs to improve on.
“My start today wasn’t very good,” Martin said. “I’m definitely not where I need to be quite yet on my start or where I want to be. That’s just something we get back into the lab and just really work on getting to that first hurdle.”
The key to improvement, according to Martin, is “just repetition” and working with the coaching staff to make sure his starts are as consistent as the rest of his race.
Martin came to Cal Poly Pomona having primarily run short hurdle events and has worked with assistant coach Darrell Smith Jr. to adjust his mechanics for longer hurdles.
For instance, a shorter stride is optimal for short hurdles, but a detriment in longer hurdles.
“It’s something that he and I have talked about going into next year where we will work on his running mechanics, so he’s a more fluid runner,” Smith Jr. said.
Tweaking Martin’s mechanics will make him better in the other events he competes in that do not involve hurdles, according to Smith Jr.
Martin is aiming to take a tenth of a second off his time and run a sub-14 second race by the time the season is over.
“If I improve my start even just a little bit, that tenth of a second would be taken off very easily,” Martin said. “It would actually help carry my momentum through my race instead of me trying to build it back up after the first hurdle.”
Along with Martin, sophomore Charisma Byrd placed third in women’s high jump with a jump of five feet, one and three-quarter inches and senior Austin Collier placed third in men’s long jump with a leap of 22’5.
Sophomore Jenna Gonzales picked up another provisional mark in the discus event with a throw of 45.20-meters.
Sophomore Bridgitte Agcaoili jumped a personal best 5.25-meters in the long jump.
“We are encouraged by the development,” Smith Jr. said. “We’d like it to be a little bit better, but it’s a work in progress.”
This weekend, the team will be split at two meets.
The staff will determine later in the week who will compete at the Mt. Sac Relays and the Brian Clay Invitational.