Division I Class AA/A Boys
The Race Highlights
The Individual Race
In the preview for this race I said, "I expect Douglas and Martin to be neck and neck for at least half the race or more..." implying Will Douglas, the defending state champion, would pull away from Jackson Martin at some point around two miles. I avoided making explicit predictions when doing these previews but rather, as with most all my content to this point, implied an outcome based on previous results. Martin had lost his only head to head meeting with Douglas at Jesse Owens and had just lost the MSCCA Championship to a, at the time, fringe contender Miles Ramer who also lost to Douglas at Southern Showcase earlier in the season by 21 seconds. Little did we know, Ramer was a couple weeks away from posting the fastest time of any runner at the state meet and Martin would employ head to head race tactics that aren't often used in larger PR style races. Listen to how Douglas describes the race.
"Every time I tried to pass he [Martin] made a really nice cover." In the race video above, skip to the 8:50 mark and you can see one of these covers in real time. They're approaching the downhill with a little over half a mile to go when Douglas takes the inside track and tries to pass Martin but Martin responds taking an aggressive angle to box Douglas out. Will makes it sound like this occurred multiple times over the course of the race which for a runner that hasn't been in such a tight head to head scenario to this point in the season, it's hard to adjust for midrace. After this point, Martin would pull away from Douglas and win the race by 8 seconds with a 15:41.
As he states in the interview, we may or may not see Jackson on the track this spring as he opts to compete in Ultra-Marathons during that time. While I hope to see him on the track obviously, I send him my best wishes in his other endeavors and I can't want to see these two race again in 2022.