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Belizean athlete Kaina Martinez to be honored at awards dinner

Nine former college athletes have been selected as finalists for the 2017 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Woman of the Year Award and will be honored at an awards dinner on October 22 in Indianapolis. One of the finalists is Belizean athlete Kaina Martinez. According to the NCCA, Martinez was an exemplary leader during her time in college. In 2008, she founded the Kaina Martinez Children Annual Track and Field Camp in Belize, which she continues to host on an annual basis. Martinez is also an officer cadet in the Belize National Coast Guard. On campus, she volunteered with multiple local organizations, including the Weavers of Love garden and soup kitchen, the YMCA and a local recycling center. Martinez, who earned College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-America honors in 2017, graduated summa cum laude with a perfect 4.0 GPA in speech communication and sociology. In 2017, Martinez participated in the Javelina Research Symposium as a graduate student after participating in the same program for undergraduates in 2016. She received Texas A&M-Kingsville’s First Generation Champion Award, presented to a student who is the first in his or her family to pursue a college education with success. Martinez also was named to the All-Academic Team by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association in 2015. A sprinter for the track and field team, Martinez won two NCAA Division II national championships in relay events for outdoor track and field. She also collected 12 conference championship titles in several events.