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Martin on track to his dream job

April 14, 2006|by ANDREW MASON

Smithsburg senior track star Derek Martin said being the general manager of a professional football team would be his dream job.

His decision not to play football for the Leopards last fall may have helped put him a step closer to his dream.

Martin signed a letter of intent Wednesday to attend Robert Morris University in Moon Township, Pa., where he'll receive a partial athletic scholarship to run NCAA Division I track for the Colonials.

"It's a great atmosphere, and I'm excited to compete," Martin said. "On my visit, I fit in really great with the team. And they have the major I want to do - sports management with business administration. It's kind of a rare major and they have a really good program for it."

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Martin - the area leader in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles this season with his personal-best times of 14.7 and 39.4 seconds - chose to join the Leopards' cross country team last fall rather than rejoin the football team.

"I played football for nine years. It was one of the toughest decisions I've ever had to make," said Martin, who doesn't regret it.

"Cross country made me so much stronger as a runner," he said. "I can see so much difference this year. Finishing the 300s, I'm not tired. I can power through and I can work harder in practice because I have more of a threshold built up."

Last spring, Martin won Maryland Class 1A state gold in the 800 relay, silver in the 110 hurdles and bronze in the 400 relay.

His goals this spring: "Four state medals, golds in both hurdles," he said.

Martin said he wants to be a decathlete in college, where he knows nothing will come easy.

"I think Derek will make it work because he's such a competitor and such a hard worker," Smithsburg coach Ray Shriver said. "He's intense to the point of being stubborn, in that he won't give it up until he gets it the way he wants it. I think he'll succeed at the Division I level."

Show must go on

South Hagerstown's School Stadium is out of commission for the season. But thanks to Smithsburg, there will be a 28th annual Rebel Relays on April 21.

The meet, which will be hosted and run by the Leopards, will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a tentative lineup of North Hagerstown, Williamsport, Middletown, Smithsburg and South.

South's track is in the process of being resurfaced and a sprinkling system is being installed on the football field.

"At first, we decided to cancel it," South athletic director Mike Tesla said. "But then with all these meets being canceled, like Dwight Scott, we thought maybe we should have it."

Boonsboro's Dwight Scott Invitational, which was rained out shortly after it got under way last Saturday, will not be rescheduled this season.

The highlight, of what little action there was, was North's capturing of the boys distance medley (1,200-400-800-1,600) to win the new Mike Spinnler Award. Hemu Arumugam overcame a 50-meter deficit on Beall in the final leg to lift the Hubs.

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