By Sharon Robb
SAN DIEGO, June 30, 2019—Jennifer Martin passed her first big test with flying colors Saturday at the United States Police & Fire Championships.
The City of Pembroke Pines Police Sergeant and South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer, tuning up for the Aug. 8-18 World Police and Fire Games, won nine gold medals in individual and relay events and broke two meet records in 2.5 hours at Southwestern College in Chula Vista.
Martin has now won 18 gold medals over two years at the meet.
“I am so very blessed for another great meet, but time to get back to work,” Martin wrote on her Facebook page.
Martin, 38, representing the Pembroke Pines Police Department, won the 50-meter breaststroke in a meet record 32.80, breaking her own record of 33.11 set last year. Her other record was in the 100-meter freestyle in 56.31, breaking the record of 56.50 set in 2010.
Martin also won the 50-meter freestyle in 25.35, 50-meter backstroke in 30.80 and 50-meter butterfly in 28.24, just missing her own record by 1/100th of a second. She and her teammates also won four relays: 200 freestyle, 200 medley, 200 medley mixed and 200 freestyle mixed.
“Thank you to everyone who has supported me along this journey,” Martin wrote. “The text messages, the phone calls and support means more than I can ever express in words. My success would not be possible without all the love and support that I get from my friends, family and co-workers.
“Today was a very challenging day. My biggest accomplishment was overcoming a fear that I have hid from for 20 years, the 100 Freestyle. I have let the event beat me mentally and allowed it to hinder my performance and even stopped swimming it. Exhausted, I made the resolution that I would no longer allow my fears and reservations to control me, and I was able to set a new record in that event.
“Coming out of the meet, I am pleased where my performance is and I have a month to fine tune and put in some more work before Chengdu. The journey isn’t over yet, we are just getting started.”
The World Police & Fire Games, held every two years, are in Chengdu, China where Martin will rekindle a few rivalries.
For the second consecutive year, Martin was sponsored by the Broward County PBA (Police Benevolent Association).
At the 2018 USPFC competition in less than three hours, Martin won nine gold medals and broke three meet records including one that stood for 18 years. She competed in three races in less than seven minutes which included two meet-record performances.
Martin won the 50 breaststroke, 50 freestyle, 50 butterfly, 100 breaststroke, 100 freestyle, 50 backstroke and was a member of the winning 200 freestyle relay, 200 medley relay mixed relay and 200 freestyle mixed relay.
She broke meet records in the 50 breaststroke (1990 record of 33.93) in 33.11, 100 breaststroke (1994 record of 1:17.89) in 1:13 and 50 butterfly (2016 record of 28.36) in 28.1.
In her last major international competition, the 2017 World Police & Fire Games in Los Angeles, Martin won seven gold medals and one silver and broke five world records over four days of open water and pool racing.
The eight-day United States Police & Fire Championships is an Olympic-style competition with athletes representing law enforcement, firefighters and officers from corrections, probation, border protection, immigration and customs from across the country. It got under way June 22 and ended on Saturday.
Athletes competed in 54 different sports at 33 venues throughout the San Diego county.
It began in 1967 as the California Police Olympics, in 1990 was the California Police Summer Games, in 2000 was the California Police and Fire Games, and since 2012 has been known as the U.S. Police and Fire Championships.
The California Police Athletic Federation is the governing body for the U.S. Police & Fire Championships. Its mission is to promote sport and physical fitness among personnel representing various agencies.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com