Martin’s next hurdle with Tornados

Published 1:19 pm Friday, June 11, 2010

Kayce Martins track career at Polk County High School ended with a rare fall at the Class A state meet, but Martin landed on his feet when all was said and done.

The senior hurdler signed an athletic and academic grant-in-aid Tuesday afternoon to continue his track career at Brevard College.

I dont think Id ever seen him go down and thats rare because hurdlers fall. Im not sure that Id ever seen him fall until the state meet, said PCHS track coach Alan Peoples. But, here, roughly three-and-a-half weeks later, hes signing a scholarship to compete in college. Thats not too bad.

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Martin, who chose track over baseball two years ago, competed primarily in both the 110-meter and 300-meter hurdles for the Wolverines, but also ran the 400-meter and four-by-400 relay and competed in the triple jump.

I didnt really start track until my junior year, but its been really good to me, Martin said. Its been really fun.

Im tall, so it was sort of an automatic for me to do the hurdles.

His performances helped PCHS to a region title and qualified the 6-foot-4 Martin for the state meet. In just two years of full-time track, Martin shaved about six seconds off his time in the 110m hurdles down from around 21 seconds to about 15 and more than 10 seconds off his 300m time down to around 43 seconds from the mid 50s.

Hes got a pretty good work ethic, said Peoples. Like a lot of kids, he came out and played around, trying to find out what he wanted to do, but then he started with the hurdles and got more serious.

And Brevard, a member of the NCAA Division II South Atlantic Conference, noticed. The Tornados are without a full-time coach for track and field and cross country, but are in the process of hiring one. Martin was recruited by interim coach Norm Witek.

The questions at the top of the Brevard program did not dissuade Martin, who has yet to choose a major, but is considering business and psychology.

They said they felt like they could do a lot to help me out and help me get a lot better than I am, Martin said. Im sure Ill be able to work with anyone. . . . I like the fact that there are only about 700 people at the school and you can work one on one with your professors.

Martin will join PCHS classmate Seth McCool in the freshman class at Brevard later this summer. McCool, a football standout, signed a football scholarship with the Tornados earlier this year.

While, Martin is signed and soon-to-be delivered to Brevard, Peoples said a few of his other seniors are considering continuing their careers at their respective colleges of choice. Some are being asked to walk on by interested track coaches and others are being considered for scholarships.

Peoples said Gardner-Webb coaches are talking with long- and triple-jumper LeToya Twitty, UNC-Charlotte coaches are interested in pole-vaulters Bryan Lieberman and state runner-up Amanda DeFisher. Also, Western Carolina coaches have been in discussions with long- and triple-jumper Ethan Rhodes as well as 400-meter specialist Valentin Santos.

Peoples said those students have already been accepted to those schools and now have the chance to at least consider becoming student-athletes while there.