TAMUK athlete nominated for NCAA's Woman of the Year

The NCAA will name its Woman of the Year among student athletes across the country on Oct. 22, and one finalist is a graduate assistant on the track team at Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

KINGSVILLE (KIII NEWS) - The NCAA will name its Woman of the Year among student athletes across the country on Oct. 22, and one finalist is a graduate assistant on the track team at Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

TAMUK's Kaina Martinez ran track for the Javelinas up until she graduated in the spring of 2017. She won two NCAA Division 2 national championships in the 4X100 and 4X400 relays. She also came home with 12 conference championship titles.

Martinez even represented her home country of Belize at the 2012 Summer Olympic games.

On top of all that, Martinez graduated with honors with a 4.0 GPA in speech communication and sociology. Those are some of the reasons she is one of nine finalists for the NCAA's Woman of the Year award.

"For me it's an honor to be nominated," Martinez said. "For so many years I wanted to be a student athlete, but not being able to, not because I don't want to but financially it wasn't there in my country, where not much is placed into sports."

Along with her work on the track and in the classroom, Martinez has also given back to her community. She volunteers at a local soup kitchen and several other places around town. She also started up her on children's track and field camp in her hometown in Belize.

"I want to impact people's lives as much as people would impact my life, because I just feel that's what we should do as human beings," Martinez said. "Impact each other's life and not be afraid to go there and give back."

Martinez is hoping to be named the Woman of the Year, and her track record on and off the field seem to make her a perfect choice.

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