Phs Track Star One Of Eight All-Americans From Arizona


A small-town Payson High School athlete turned in four of the state's best track and field performances during the 2000 spring sports season.

Rheanna Martinez, now a senior at PHS, set the standards in the long jump, triple jump, 200-meter and 100-meter dashes.

Her efforts were impressive enough to earn the 17-year-old All-American recognition from Track and Field News. Only eight Arizona athletes, four boys and four girls, were named to the All-American prep team.

Martinez's most impressive mark last spring was her 39-6 triple jump that easily was Arizona's best.

The closest any athlete could come to the Payson star's mark was a 37-10 triple jump from Yuma's Jacqueline Johnson.

Like Martinez, Johnson was a junior when she set her mark.

Martinez also had an Arizona-best in the long jump with a leap of 18-6. In second place, Yuma's Patrice Harvey uncorked a jump of 18-1 1/2.

By running 25.29 in the 200-meter dash, Martinez recorded the fifth best effort in prep track and field. Chandler sophomore Keri Suell ranked first with a time of 23.95.

In the 100-meter dash, Martinez's clocking of 12.28 was ninth best in the state. The quickest time was a lightning-fast 11.77 from Suell.

The list of Arizona top times and distances in 2000 regardless of school classification was compiled recently by Barry Scollenberger, sports information director for the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

Martinez, who is now playing volleyball for the Lady Longhorns, has one more year of track and field eligibility remaining at Payson High.

Her cinder exploits have attracted the attention of several college coaches and recruiters, but the teenager says she has not yet decided which college or university she will attend.

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