T&F: Martin grabs runner-up finish at NCAA Championships
June 7, 2012
DES MOINES, Iowa - Multi-event specialist Romain Martin posted the best NCAA Championships finish by a UT Arlington athlete since 1991, as the junior claimed runner-up honors in the decathlon at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Martin surged from eighth place into second on the final day with a gutsy performance in the final five events. With a total score of 7,956 points, he edged the third-place finisher by one point and was four points ahead of fourth place. Boise State's Kurt Felix won the decathlon with 8,062 points.
"Romain competed under extreme pressure at the highest level, and we could not be prouder of him," UTA head coach John Sauerhage said. "He didn't get off to a great start yesterday, but he came back strong. It speaks to how talented and tough Romain is."
The native of France capped his day with a personal-record time of 4:33.29 in the 1500 meters. He shaved 3.5 seconds off his career-best time, needing every bit of that time to narrowly stave off his closest competitors for the overall silver medal.
Martin made a huge push from seventh into third after a personal-best performance in the ninth event, the javelin. Martin's throw of 64.16 meters (210 feet, 6 inches) topped his best by more than a meter and was worth 801 points. It was the second-best throw of the 20 competitors.
"He really came through today," assistant coach Brandon Berger said. "What I always say about Romain is that he knows how to compete. He knew what he had to do and he did it."
Martin had top-10 showings in all five events on Thursday. He began day two by finishing eighth in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of a 14.60 (899 points). He also cleared 4.90 meters (16-0 ¾) in the pole vault and threw 40.74 meters in the discus.
Martin's second-place individual showing gave the Mavericks eight points. It was the highest placement by a UTA athlete at an NCAA meet since McClinton Neal won the 1991 crown in the 400-meter hurdles.