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Apollo-Ridge's Martin wins WPIAL title

by MATTHEW BURGLUND on May 17, 2013 10:40 AM

BALDWIN — It wasn’t getting to the top of the mountain that was so difficult for Reannah Martin. It was realizing she was all alone when she got there.

Nonetheless, the Apollo-Ridge sophomore made the best of a tough situation when she claimed first place Thursday in the Class AA girls’ pole vault competition at the WPIAL championships at Baldwin High School.

Martin easily cleared the bar on her first five tries Thursday, beginning at 7 feet, 3 inches and ending at 9-9. And when no other pole vaulter cleared 9-9, Martin walked away the champion.

But her day wasn’t done.

The title in hand, Martin kept going. With many more sets of eyes focused on her, Martin made it at 10-0, but then missed three times at 10-3, ending her day to a round of applause.

“It’s hard to go up against competition like this,” Martin said afterward, “but it’s really hard like that when I’m the only one and I’m just going against myself. But it sure did feel good to win.”

Because she is a sophomore, Martin was unsure of herself when the day began.

But without missing a single jump until the title was in hand, she asserted herself in a big way.

“I am kind of surprised,” she said. “Going into this, I knew the competition was tough, so it was really nerve-wracking. But I got into it and I was OK.”

Martin ended up more than OK. She won the WPIAL title, set a personal record and clinched a spot in the PIAA meet May 24-25 at Shippensburg University. She doesn’t know what to expect that day, but realizes the climb to the top of the mountain will be much tougher.

“I have no idea what will happen,” she said. “There’s such good competition there. But I expect to go in there and do my best and we’ll see what happens. You never know.”

Martin is the only Apollo-Ridge athlete headed to states. In fact, she’s only one of two who finished in the top eight in an event Thursday. Arianna Coleman took eighth in the javelin with a toss of 112-10.

Derry sent two athletes to the meet, Andrew Downey (high jump) and Alexis Gademsey (triple jump), but neither earned a medal or advanced to the state meet.

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