MAPLEWOOD, NJ – Former Columbia High School athlete Jimmy Martinez earned All-America honors in the 400 meters Saturday at the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field National Championships in Naperville, Ill.
Martinez, a sophomore at Middlebury College, Vt., crossed the line with a time of 49.41, good for sixth-place overall. Only the top 15 runners in each event are invited to compete in the national championships and the top eight finishers are designated All-Americans.
The event was won by Texas Lutheran junior Marquis Brown with a time of 48.62. Martinez defeated Brown in a meet earlier in the season at Middlebury but was unable to repeat that feat when they met in the final heat of the NCAAs, falling behind after the first 200 meters and never able to catch up.
“I’m disappointed I didn’t win the national championship but this season showed me that I’m right there and can compete with anyone,” Martinez said. “I’ll be back.”
Martinez, the reigning New England Division III indoor champion in the 400 meters and holder of six Middlebury track records, is also a starting wide receiver and kick returner on Middlebury’s football team. He similarly starred in both track and football while at Columbia.
Martinez begins his outdoor track season in two weeks with a pair of meets in San Diego, Calif.