A solo show: Georgia Martin shines as LaGrange Academy’s only track and field athlete

Published 8:45 am Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Georgia Martin is a track and field star. The LaGrange Academy sophomore was the team’s lone track and field athlete this year and she made the most of it. Martin qualified for state on the discus throw and despite her small frame is not too shabby of a shot put hurler as well.

Martin’s discus journey began thousands of miles from her current stomping ground. When Martin was in middle school she found the sport through her friends and came home to talk with her father, Jeff, about the sport only to find that he also threw the discus in his younger years. The two found a perfect hobby/activity to bond over.

“I wanted to do it because all my friends were doing it, so I thought about joining,” Martin said. “Then I brought it up to him and he was like ‘Oh, I did that.’ And I was like, you know what, to impress him. I’ll try it. Then I ended up being pretty good. I finished first at my first meet and then I was not expecting that at all. I started thinking I might be pretty good at this, so I stuck with it.”

Jeff added that he has never wanted her to feel the pressure of throwing the discus. “I don’t care that she throws the discus. I am super pumped that she does, just because it’s a sport. Yeah, I mean, I would prefer that she instead of playing volleyball that she wrestled, but I’m thrilled that she participates in sports, and has a good time playing sports because I just think they’re incredibly valuable. I don’t care what those sports are, but it is great to have a sport where we spend so much time together.”

Jeff has been there for Martin every step of her discus journey. He was her first coach and still her coach to this day which has only strengthened the bond between father and daughter.

“I think that it really helps,” Martin said of having her father as a coach. “Because having a close relationship like this with your coach is nice, he’s not afraid to hurt my feelings about what I’m doing wrong. We also get to practice whenever I want to, so like having a coach at the school that you don’t live with, you only get that practice time in the scheduled practice time at school, where with him, I can practice whenever I want to.”

Martin is already the best discus thrower in school history, she has just yet to prove it under pressure. The sophomore has broken the school record for discus over a dozen times in practice. The trick is to replicate it under the pressure of all eyes on her at a track and field meet, a process she is still undertaking.

“So, consistency is a little bit of a struggle for me,” Martin said. “I have good technique, but there are so many factors. And it’s such a little time that you have to think about, oh, is my arm high enough? Are my feet fast enough? Is my footwork, right?

“It’s just about doing it under the pressure of being at a meet.”

Slight in size and stature, one might not think of Martin as being a phenomenal track and field athlete, but the trick about discus is it is just as much about consistency and technique as it is about raw power.

“People of our size can compete in the discus with above-average strength and above-average technique. But in the shot put that raw power of a bigger person is really noticeable,” Jeff said. “She has good natural strength, she likes lifting weights. And then she’s very coachable. She has tremendous flexibility and her technique is to the point where she can throw farther than bigger girls, just because she has a foundation of the basics.”

Martin has tried her hand at numerous different aspects of track and field, but nothing has stuck like discus and shot put.

The pint-sized Warrior is just getting started. There is still plenty of time for growth in the next two years at LaGrange Academy as she looks to break the school record.

While Martin is all smiles now, it was not always sunshine and roses when she came to the peach state.

The transition from shredding snow on the slopes in Colorado to the damp, energy-sapping heat of Georgia was a difficult adjustment at first. She had to give up her beloved sport of snowboarding as well as her first sport of dog sledding, but she has found new interests and hobbies. Her passion for discus has only grown since moving to Georgia and she has taken up volleyball, a sport that neither she nor Jeff knew a great deal about when Martin started her volleyball journey and now the two will spend time watching college volleyball together.

“I didn’t care anything about volleyball. And now we have two girls that play volleyball and we watch college volleyball together all the time now,” Jeff said as he shared a big grin with his daughter.

Martin made her trip to state on Friday and is already turning around and prepping for the LaGrange Academy volleyball season that starts in the fall. While she might be focused on volleyball, you can still find Martin and her father heading out to the shop out back at their house as they throw the discus and make lasting memories.