Isaiah Martin is one of the most versatile athletes in the entire state. If the Decathlon were a high school event, I have no doubt in my mind Isaiah would likely be dominating the event. As it stands now though he just has to settle for being the best javelin thrower in State History, and being one of the top hurdlers in Class 4. Last week at the JCAA Conference Meet, Isaiah launched his Javelin 194 feet becoming the first Missourian to throw of 190-0 since Javelin was brought back. To go along with his performance in the Javelin he also is ranked 4th and 5th in the 110H and 300H in Class 4.
I had the chance to ask Isaiah a few questions over the weekend, and his answers are below!
Q: When did you start doing track? And When did you throw Javelin the first time?
A: I started track as a side thing in 8th grade, and started taking it more seriously when I medaled at state Freshman year. I started up on Javelin the summer in between Sophomore and Junior year. At that point it was just the basics because I had to work on other events too for the Decathlon.
Q: After your record breaking throw did you know immediately after you released it that it was that big of a throw, or when did you realize it was a far as it was?
A: The throw felt good, but didn't feel like it was anything special at the time. I was actually surprised when the coach read off, "194." As soon as he said that, everyone cheered and my mom was right there to hug me, that's when I realized how big it actually was.
Q: Has it hit you yet that you are a State Record holder? If so how does that make you feel?
A: It has! I'm really bad at letting myself enjoy things like this, but this time I really focused on living in the moment. Looking at the reality of it, it feels amazing! It feels really good to have your name on something to be remembered by.
Q: You are one of the most multi-dimensional athletes in the state. Which events are your favorite?
A: Other than Javelin and the hurdles, I love pole vaulting and throwing disc. They are currently some of my weaker events in the Decathlon, but they are ones we don't practice as often. They are both very fun and they fascinate me.
Q: One problem with being good at so many events is practice time, and do you and your coaches handle that? What does your average week look like?
A: Time management is huge, there's only so many things you can practice in such a little amount of time. On most days we will start with hurdle drills, sometimes followed by a hurdle workout. We'll then practice 2 or 3 events, and end the day with a running workout.
Q: You've signed to continue your academic and athletic career at Purdue. What made Purdue standout to you, and made you want to go there?
A: The college decision was a hard one for me. All the schools I visited were outstanding and I made some really good memories on my visits. I chose Purdue because I had a special feeling while I was on my visit. The atmosphere there and all of the people made it very easy to envision myself there for 4 years. The coaching staff that is there and the training partners I have are ones that I know will make me the best athlete I can be.
Q: Do you have any track idols?
A: I am a huge fan of Ashton Eaton. When I first heard his life story, and I listened to the mindset he has towards things, I was able to find a lot of similarities in myself. I love the way he approaches the game and how dominant he is in any event.
Q: Is there someone outside of the track world that you look up to?
A: My mom is someone I really look up to. She has pushed through a lot of adversity, and very tough times to raise my brother and I. Even when we were at our worst she did the bet she could to make it seem like everything was perfectly fine.
Q: What is your go to pre-meet meal?
A: I try to find anything with protein. Most of the time it just depends on what I'm feeling! (I'm real happy if I get fruit snacks, skittles, or starburst)
Q: What is your go to pump up song before an event?
A: I always listen to R&B. It keeps me pretty relaxed and gets me in the right mood. My coach, Vince Bingham, says track is all about rhythm, so he encourages us to listen to this type of music.
Q: Do you have any advice you'd give to underclassmen just getting their career started?
A: Be coachable. I've found over the years if you do what coaches tell you, and go hard all the time, they tend to like you.
Q: What is your goal for the end of the season?
A: When MoMileSplit put out their preseason predictions, they said I would be throwing 200 feet. The second I finished that article, I was determined to make that come true. That goal will be achieved before the season is over.
Q: If you could play any sport besides Track in college, what would it be and why?
A: Football, I grew up playing it and was a really good wide receiver before I quit for track.
Q: Do you have any shout outs you'd like to give?
A: My mom, my coaches, and the community of Hillsboro. They all have every reason to do with why I am where I'm at, and everyone wants only the best of what's to come for me.