MATT SCHUBERT ON PREPS: Martin starts off hot

MAN HAS IT been cold this spring. And wet.

Just ask any of the area’s spring sports teams, and they’ll tell you, the story of the season thus far has been Mother Nature’s stubborn refusal to let winter go away.

It’s fair to say the weather has been unkind to competitors across the North Olympic Peninsula.

One athlete who’s yet to have a problem with it has been Port Angeles senior Troy Martin.

The track and field star finds himself at or near the top of Class 2A in three separate throwing events as the season hits its midpoint.

And he shined brightest at the chilly Eason Invitational in Snohomish on Saturday, placing in the top seven in three events. That included a personal-best throw in the discus (164 feet, 3 inches) for first place and second- and seventh-place marks in the shot put and hammer, respectively.

“That’s a really big deal,” Port Angeles throws coach George Kheriaty said of the 47-school meet.

“That’s the equivalent of sort of a state championship of Western Washington. I’m thrilled for him.”

Prior to Saturday, Martin was first in 2A in the shot put and hammer, and third in the discus, according to athletic.net.

His showing at the Eason Invite, which had 1,400 athletes competing, could put him on top in the discus as well.

“Troy has spent a tremendous amount of time working out and preparing himself and doing all the things he needs to do to get stronger, to get faster, to work on his technique,” Kheriaty said. “He listens to a lot of people and gets a lot of technique instructions, so he really is a smart competitor.”

Those who watched Martin on the football field this fall witnessed his dedication each week.

Named the Olympic League’s defensive player of the year at linebacker, Martin was one of two “White Helmets” for the Riders’ state team.

That’s a distinction awarded to athletes who perform not only on the field, but in the weight room and classroom as well.

It appears that work ethic has translated over to the track, where he’s vying to become the first Rider to win two individual state titles in one season.

Kheriaty, for one, sees that as a distinct possibility.

“He is throwing better and better every week, and that’s because he’s working so hard at it,” Kheriaty said.

Sequim’s star

Sequim sophomore Haleigh Harrison could find herself at the top of the podium in at least one event this May as well.

After breaking her own school record in the high jump in the Wolves’ first meet of the season with a 5-4, Harrison has been hovering around the 5-2 mark during the last month.

That may very well change when things warm up (Or should I say if?).

“We’re making some changes to her approach, and once she gets used to it I think she’s going to go up several inches,” Sequim coach Brad Moore said.

Given that Harrison’s 5-4 mark is already tied with two others atop 2A, according to athletic.net, those extra inches could be the difference between first or second at state.

Sequim track athletes have won six individual state titles in the past six years.

Obviously, that would make her No. 7.

“Like a lot of kids, she’s a diamond in the rough still,” Moore said. “We’re still working on polishing the edges.”

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