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February 21, 2017

Wake up to a flashback of the Charles Jock-Ryan Martin rivalry

Welcome back from the President’s Day holiday, everyone.

I spent the weekend in beautiful Santa Barbara, California with some buddies from high school. We watched the sunset at the beach, got late night Mexican food at Freebirds, and, oh yeah, a mom asked for my number for her single daughter. Yeah, that was awkward.

Anyways, back to track.

I happened to strike up a conversation with a guy working at a wine bar on State Street, the hub of Santa Barbara’s downtown area. The conversation naturally turned to local sports, and of course then to Gaucho legend Ryan Martin — and you can’t talk about Martin without also bringing up his chief rival in the Big West Conference, Charles Jock.

The fact that two mid-major schools produced the NCAA’s best half-milers was a pretty cool feat at the time, and made for some badass conference championship meets. My favorite Jock-Martin duel came from the 2012 Big West championships — the final time the two would compete for a conference title.

As you can see below, the race lived up to the hype of the rivalry.

After taking the pace out in 50.5 seconds for the first 400 meters, Jock held Martin off on the final straightaway for the win in 1:44.75, a Big West conference record. Martin was just two-hundredths back in a personal best 1:44.77.

The men traded off conference titles with Jock having been victorious in 2010 and 2012 and then Martin winning in 2009 and 2011.

Jock went on to win the NCAA title in 2012, while Martin had the upper hand at the Olympic Trials, finishing fourth and missing the Olympic team by just a quarter-second.

The caption of the video says it all: “A race for the ages.”

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