By John Burbridge firstname.lastname@example.org
DES MOINES — When asked if they were tears of joy or tears of sorrow, Sara Martin answered, “Both.”
The Charles City senior figuratively and literally had “one last shot” for her Comet throwing career. And she made it count.
With a throw of 39 feet, 6 inches, it was Martin’s best effort during the Class 3A girls event Friday at the State High School Track and Field Championships. It moved her ahead of Brooke Kruse of Carlisle for fourth-place honors.
Hannah Hood of Creston won the event with a throw of 42 feet, 4 ½ inches.
For Martin, it was the third time she reached 39 feet during the year which, unfortunately, all came after the qualification deadline for the Drake Relays which had the cut-off mark right at 39 feet.
During the Waverly-Shell Rock state qualifier, Martin reached 40 feet for the first time while landing several inches short of Charles City’s school record.
On Thursday, Martin competed in the discus and was 3 inches shy of advancing in the final-8 while placing ninth. It was the first time Martin qualified in the discus; she’s a two-time state qualifier in the shot put.
“I’m happy about what I was able to do … being able to get down to state,” said Martin, who showed some emotion shortly after receiving her fourth-place medal, “but there’s always room to do better.”
Martin, who is one of the state’s top returning power hitters in softball as she hit a double-figure’s worth of dingers for the Comets last year, says she still unsure if she will continue to throw in college or play softball.
Meanwhile at the long jump pit, the Comets had two senior athletes competing.
Brandon Bluhm and Jaden Foster both continued their run — or rather jumps — of going 20/20 together at meets … that is both reaching 20 feet.
But neither was enough to get them to the championship flight.
“It was just bad weather to be jumping,” Bluhm said of the cold wind-driven mist that plagued most of the meet’s second day.
Bluhm finished in 12th place with a leap of 20 feet, 5 ¼ inches; Foster placed 15th with a best effort of 20 feet, 2 inches.
Blair Brooks of Marion was the Class 3A champ with a jump of 22 feet, 7 ½ inches.
Not too long after the long jump, Bluhm and Foster ran the 4-by-200 timed finals with fellow Comets Zion Jordan and Arjay David and placed 20th with a time of 1 minute, 34.43 seconds — a season-best time for the Comets by four-tenths of a second.