Junior hurdler Shane Martin is still in search of the perfect race.
Despite hitting seven provisional NCAA Division II marks and besting his personal best time from last week, there are seconds to be cut from his time.
This weekend, at the Bryan Clay Invitational at Azusa Pacific University, Martin ran the 110-meter hurdles in 14.10 seconds.
In recent weeks, Martin stressed that his starts were the only part of his race that he needed to improve to hit his peak time.
“I know that every race isn’t perfect, so I’m really just hoping that at nationals or conference it all falls together,” Martin said.
At Bryan Clay, a trigger-happy starter led to a slow start for Martin. Once again, he battled back, and a strong finish secured second place in the race and a personal best.
“I had a much better start, what I’m looking for, but the starter was real fast on the gun he just set and he shoot,” Martin said.
Martin missed out on first place by three tenths of a second as Washington State sophomore Nick Johnson earned first place.
“[Martin] comes to work every day at practice and has the right attitude, he’s got goals and works toward them every day and every meet and it shows,” coach Chris Bradford said. “His start is still not where he wants it and not where we want it yet but he’s definitely doing really good things, moving in the right direction.”
In almost all events on Friday, Cal Poly Pomona athletes competed against Division I athletes from schools such as University of Southern California and Wisconsin.
“It was good especially looking at the heat sheet and seeing that we’re all like a tenth of a second from each other,” Martin said. “I personally really enjoy competition and being pushed so to see that I had people right with me as opposed to some of the other meets I’ve been kind of the top guy and not really having that competition.”
In two weeks at the California Collegiate Athletic Association Championships, the competition will be less steep.
“Competing against great competition always brings out the best,” Bradford said. “Getting ourselves ready for the CCAA Championships, the NCAA Championships, that’s going to be great competition. Challenging ourselves with good competition is something we try and do every week but this is a weekend where a lot of schools come to Southern California so a lot of great opportunities for us.”
Earlier in the day, junior Christian Rodriguez placed second in the 1500m race with a time of 3:55.62.
Senior Ravyn Miller set a personal best in the 400m dash running a 58.38 and placing 44th overall.
Along with Martin, previous provisional mark earners freshman Kaelin Moore and junior Araseli Servin hit provisional marks at Bryan Clay.
Moore placed sixth in the men’s 400-meter hurdles with a time of 52.48 and Servin ran the women’s 3,000-meter steeple chase in 10:51.46 placing 38th.
Senior Austin Collier jumped 23 feet, six and three fourths inch in long jump to earn a seventh-place finish.
While the majority of the team competed at Bryan Clay, senior Lorraine Fernandez hit another provisional mark in the 10k at the Mt. San Antonio College Relays on Thursday night.
Fernandez placed 22nd with a time of 36.22.96 in her second career 10K race.
This weekend, track will compete at the Steve Scott Invitational at UC Irvine in the last meet before the CCAA Championships.
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