Martinez Named 'Best Of The West'

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Thumb through the June 2001 copy of the national magazine Student Sports and you'll come across a full-page feature highlighting one of Payson High School's greatest athletes.

Reanna Martinez, who graduated this spring, was chosen by the magazine editors as a "Best of the West" Scholar Athlete.

Martinez was selected for her outstanding accomplishments in sports and academics.

Her competition for the selection included some of the best scholar athletes from Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

The article about Martinez, authored by Brian Strumpf, details the teenager's record-setting accomplishment of twice winning four individual state track and field titles. Martinez is the only female athlete in Arizona to accomplish that feat. Strumpf also writes of Martinez's achievements on the Lady Longhorn basketball and volleyball teams. In both sports, she was an all-region player and in basketball, was chosen a member of Arizona's Junior National Basketball team.

In the story, Martinez credits her grandparents, Mary and Frank Guiterrez, for their continued support.

"They're my number-one fans," she said.

Also drawing praise from the ex-Lady Longhorn are PHS track and field coaches Chuck Hardt and Dan Reid. Both supervised Martinez's development during her four-year varsity track career.

Earlier this spring, Martinez signed a letter of intent to attend Arizona State University in Tempe where she will continue her track career as a Sun Devil.

With personal bests of 39 feet in the triple jump and 18 feet, 6 inches in the long jump, Martinez was pursued by several colleges and universities but finally chose ASU.

When she enrolls in college this fall, Reid predicts her best event could be the triple jump.

Also, he said, her potential to achieve even greater distances will be enhanced in college because she will be able concentrate solely on track and field. While a student at PHS, the basketball season often spilled over into the track campaign, which shortened her training time.

At ASU, Martinez said she would like to major in Zoology.

Trio of stars

Payson sported three representatives in the Arizona Baseball Coaches Association North vs. South All-Star baseball game, played June 2 on the campus of Grand Canyon University in Phoenix.

Scotty Garduno, Cory McRae and Tyler Pettet were chosen to the North team in a voting of ABCA coaches held at the conclusion of the regular season.

In a 5-3 loss to the South, Garduno started at shortstop and played seven full innings.

That feat is somewhat unusual in that all-star coaches try to rotate all their players in the game and most only see three or four innings of play.

McRae caught the fourth, fifth and sixth innings and did a great job, PHS coach Teddy Pettet said.

Tyler Pettet pitched the sixth and seventh innings. During his scoreless stint on the mound, he gave up two hits and struck out one.

Under the lights

The Payson summer baseball team, made up of high school-aged boys, plays host to Fountain Hills at 6 p.m. this evening (Friday) on the Payson High School diamond.

In an earlier meeting between the two teams in Fountain Hills, FH swept a double header 7-2 and 13-2.

There is no admission to summer league games, and spectators are welcome.

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