Running was no sweat for Martinez at the state meet
By Millie Diaz
Sergio Martinez knew this was his last year at the state cross-country meet and he was going to make a name for himself. The Ganado Indian had reached state his freshman and sophomore year, but didn’t last year due to a back injury. This year though, he hoped to make it into the top 25, and ended up placing 13th, which was a huge surprise to him, and a happy one.
“It was a pretty awesome feeling when I crossed the finish line at state. My freshman year I placed 42nd, and my sophomore year it was something like 72nd place. At Regionals last year, everything in my body was uneven and the terrain was really tough,” he said.
Martinez, who was the District champion this year, won with a huge lead of nearly a full minute. But he said the night before the regional race, the stress was killing him.
“I knew it was my last chance, but I tried thinking about it like I did district this year: I just went out there and ran without worrying about anything, and I think it made all the difference,” he said. “I entered the race with a sickening feeling, but I was able to put it all aside.”
Martinez said the terrain hadn’t changed much at regionals in Corpus Christi, but his mindset had. The senior placed 8th at regionals to qualify for state and used turns and hills in the course to get there.
“When I hit a curve I have so much momentum that I know I can pass people easily, but I also enjoy running the hills because everyone tends to slow down, so I use it as an opportunity to speed up.”
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