ORLANDO — When the moment Cameron Martin had dreamed about finally came, when a state gold-medal ceremony in the 100 butterfly was finally being thrown in his honor, the Clearwater Central Catholic senior sneaked a giddy smile onto his normally stoic face.
It was a moment of unfiltered joy for a title he could finally embrace.
"This was something I've wanted for a long time," Martin said.
When Martin touched the wall, well clear of his opponents in a race he has dominated this season, he turned to see that he lowered his time in a personal record 49.38 seconds.
"It wasn't the prettiest race," Martin said. "I had one bad turn at the end. But the big thing was that I won."
He was not finished. Martin added another state title in the 100 back, winning in a personal record 49.76 seconds.
With each victory, Martin stepped to the podium with far fewer burdens than he started the day with. Winning his races was not much of an issue. After all, he was seeded in the top two in both events.
But these were his first state titles.
The past two seasons, he had the misfortune of being in the same classification with Jesuit's Tommy Wyher and Calvary Christian's Jose Crisimbeni, two former state champions who have since graduated. Their absence gave Martin a clear shot.
"Winning the first one was just a relief," Martin said. "The burden was off my shoulders. I could relax a little more in the 100 back."
In the girls field, St. Petersburg Catholic's Kelsey Krauss was fifth in the 50 free (23.77) and fourth in the 100 fly (56.76).
Northside Christian's Jaki St. Louis also was third in the 100 breast (1:05.16).
"Things didn't go as planned in the race," St. Louis said. "I thought I could have won. I guess I was just nervous."
Jacksonville Bolles boys and girls dominated the meet with some record-setting performances.
Bob Putnam can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 445-4169.