Star Athlete Finds Inspiration In Family Tree

School athletic career began in kindergarten

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Over the years, Reanna Martinez has made a name for herself among Rim country sports figures as a stellar athlete, and as a senior, she now has at least two major colleges offering her full-ride scholarships.

Her source of inspiration: her grandparents.

Frank and Mary Gutierrez, with whom she's lived for the past 6 years, taught her the fundamental attitudes to leading a successful life.

"They always told me you can only be as good as you want to be and you have to work hard," she said.

Born in Gary, Ind., kindergarten is where she first developed an interest in basketball.

"I just liked dribbling the ball as fast as I could up and down the court," she said. Martinez said that's when her grandfather started working her. "He's about the only one that did and he would always talk about my uncle who was real good in basketball."

And he's still an active participant in her athletics even 12 years later.

"He goes to every single game of every sport and video tapes it," she said. The two then go home and review the tapes looking for ways which Martinez can improve her performance.

In fourth-grade, she began to take an interest in track and field, a sport where she has received the majority of her awards over the years. Those awards include high school state championships in long jump, triple jump and in the 100- and 200-meter running events. She said she has also received full-ride scholarship offers from Arizona State University and University of Nevada at Reno. Martinez said while the deadline for making a decision is fast approaching, she's still holding out for other offers.

Although a volleyball interest which began at the middle school in Payson has been yet another area where Martinez has developed superior athletic ability, she said her real love still lies with track and field.

"I like the individuality and knowing it's up to me whether I succeed or not," she said. Last year, Martinez clinched the prestigious title of All-American. The inspirational athletes she has kept her eyes on should come as no surprise to anyone. "Marion Jones and Jackie Joyner are all just amazing at how fast they can run," she said.

Despite that love, she has been a major contributor in the team sports which she has participated in, being named 3A East Player of the Year in volleyball and Most Valuable Player in basketball at the Junior Nationals.

Along with a winning season still under way in basketball and preparing for track, which begins in March, Martinez has her sights set on college and a degree in zoology, which she hopes will lead her to a career in veterinary medicine yet another goal which may be very attainable for the student who turned in a 4.0 grade point average last semester.

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