Martin-Sherrill became a two-sport standout at UC Irvine, where he was
inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame in 1988.
An All-CIF Southern Section water polo player and All-American swimmer
in multiple events at CdM, Martin-Sherrill was highly decorated in both
sports at UCI.
In water polo, Martin-Sherrill was an NCAA Division I All-American
driver, and, in 1970, helped the Anteaters defeat UCLA in sudden-death
overtime for the NCAA championship his senior year.
"There was a long-standing rivalry between us and UCLA,"
Martin-Sherrill said. "UCLA had a lot of players from Fullerton High,
which was a rival of Corona del Mar during the regular season and in the
summer, and UCI had a lot of players from Corona del Mar. It was a great
NCAA championship game (at Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool).
"We would always go up against that UCLA mystique. UCI didn't have
much tradition then."
According to former Corona del Mar and UCI water polo teammate Pat
McClellan, Martin-Sherrill was relentless in the pool, helping the Sea
Kings win back-to-back CIF titles in 1965 and '66, the first two of the
school's 11 CIF water polo championships.
"Mike Martin was a little guy, but he got by on toughness and tried to
wear the opponent down," McClellan said. "I don't think Mike weighed over
150 pounds. He was a skinny guy who could swim forever. There's a place
for guys with the right attitude."
Under Coach Ted Newland, CdM captured its first CIF title in '65, then
Newland moved on to become UCI's first (and only) coach. In the fall of
1966, the Sea Kings won the section championship again, this time under
Coach Cliff Hooper.
"They were two very memorable achievements," said Martin-Sherrill, who
was known in high school and college as Mike Martin, but adopted his
grandfather's last name at age 25 in a tribute to the man who raised him.
With Martin-Sherrill as one of the squad's best swimmers, UCI won
three straight NCAA Division II men's swimming championships, while
Martin-Sherrill earned five gold medals in each his sophomore, junior and
senior years (1969-71), giving him a collegiate total of 16 gold medals