Wednesday, August 5, 2020

MSU track athlete, state record holder Tony Martin dies in Saginaw shooting

July 20, 2020
MSU track athlete and state record holder Tony Martin is pictured during a track meet.
MSU track athlete and state record holder Tony Martin is pictured during a track meet. —
Photo by Courtesy of MSU Athletic Communications | The State News

Michigan State Track athlete and Saginaw High School stand-out long jumper Tony Martin died early Sunday morning in a gas station shooting in Saginaw. Martin was 19 years old.

In a press release, Sergeant Oscar Lopez of the Saginaw Police Department said officers responded to a shooting in the parking lot of a Sunoco gas station around 2:19 a.m. Sunday.

The 22 year-old with Martin also died in the shooting. Saginaw Police and Michigan State Police are investigating the shooting as a double homicide. As of midday Sunday, no one has been brought into custody.

Martin's track accomplishments

In high school, Martin was a multi-year Division-2 State champion and as a senior he broke the state record in long jump, with a jump of 26 feet and six inches. The distance was the seventh longest recorded high school jump ever and just four inches shy of future NFL wide receiver Marquise Goodwin’s national record set in 2009.

The 19 year old, who also played football for his school, started long jumping by chance, according to the Detroit Free Press. After proving his talent through high school, Martin took on the Division-1 stage last season as a freshman.

In his Indoor Spartan debut at the Grand Valley State University Holiday open on Dec. 6, he placed second in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.95 seconds. At the Simmons-Harvey Invitational on Jan. 18, he placed in the top five of the 60-meter dash and the 200-meter.

At the Power Five Invitational at the end of January, Martin posted multiple personal records, earning sixth place in the long jump with 6.66 meters and running the 60-meter dash in 6.92 seconds.

He aided the Spartans at the Big Ten Indoor Championships on Feb. 28 and 29 when he recorded 21.93 seconds in the 200-meter, a personal record as well.

His outdoor track season was cut short due to COVID-19.

Support from the MSU community

As he progressed from air dunks to earning a scholarship to MSU with state records, he was set to show the same progressions at Michigan State. MSU track and field released a statement Sunday on Twitter.

Members of the MSU community have come together to support Martin's family during this time and mourn together.

"RIP. Gone far far too soon.", said Darien Harris, former MSU football player and new director of player engagement.

Former Spartan and current forward for the Charlotte Hornets Miles Bridges, who grew up just south of Martin's Saginaw in Flint, also sent his condolences on Twitter.

Assistant throws coach Lonnie Pugh also shared a statement on Twitter.

"For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens," Pugh Said, "Rest Easy Tony!!"


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