INDIANAPOLIS — Saturday’s IHSAA state finals was a mix of pride and disappointment for Jeffersonville senior Timothy “T” Martin.
Martin closed his career with a pair of third-place finishes and leaves as the program’s all-time leader in individual top-8 finishes with seven. After an 11th-place finish in the 400 freestyle relay, Martin was also on six Red Devil relay teams that finished 11th or better.
It was quite a career for Martin, but it was so close to being capped by the Red Devils’ first state championship since Ben Hesen won the 100-yard backstroke and 100-yard butterfly in 2004.
In Saturday’s 50 freestyle final, Martin led at the turn for the second straight season. He still had a slight lead with 10 yards remaining before being passed by eventual-state champion Kyle DeCoursey of Zionsville and runner-up Mate Kovacs of Penn just before touching the wall.
In the end, Martin’s personal best of 20.75 was .16 behind DeCoursey’s state championship time.
“I thought I had it,” Martin said, “but I knew I was getting a little choppy at the end. So I really wasn’t all that surprised when I looked up and saw I got beat by two people.”
“I would have loved to have seen him get that state title, but I’m not disappointed at all,” Jeff coach Keith Gast said.
Martin later finished third in the 100 freestyle behind Chesteron’s state-record breaker Blake Pieroni, who will joined Martin at Indiana University as a freshman in the fall, and DeCoursey. Martin’s 45.60 was also a personal record.
“I got lifetime bests in both events, so I can’t complain about it,” Martin said. “This is the fastest the state meet has ever been. I am a little disappointed, but third place is pretty good. It’s a pretty good way to end.