WEST POINT — Louis Martinez leans back and inhales, and then he takes off with three words beating through his head.
Don’t mess up. Don’t mess up. Don’t mess up.
Martinez, the first Wallkill sophomore to qualify for the state meet in the pole vault, didn’t mess up. His jump of 12-6 was third, only behind Washingtonville’s Nick Mirecki (14-0) and Monroe-Woodbury’s Nicolas Villanueva (14-0).
Once Martinez realized he’d qualified, he hugged every person wearing Wallkill apparel in sight, then sidled up to Mirecki and Villanueva and said, “State squad.”
“It’s probably the greatest feeling I’ve had in my life so far,” Martinez said. “I’ve never had anything like it. It’s insane.”