Las Vegas native to run in national meet

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By Dave Kavanaugh

Hometown fans will be able to watch Las Vegas’ own Victoria Martinez compete on the national level — and on New Mexico turf — when the USA Indoor Track and Field Championships come to Albuquerque Feb. 27-28.

Martinez, 26, qualified for the national indoor 800-meter run with a time of 2:06.29 at a meet this past weekend at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. The time eclipsed Martinez’s previous personal best in the event.

“I was really happy,” Martinez told the Optic on Wednesday, “considering that I had not run an indoor 800 meters in about two years — and I have only been full-time training again since mid-September.”

Her effort in the Michigan meet punched Martinez’s ticket to the USA Indoor Championships, to be hosted Feb. 27-28 at the Albuquerque Convention Center.

The initial heat of the women’s 800 is set for 5:15 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, with the final beginning 3:50 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 27.

Additional information on the national meet is available on the Web site usatf.org.

“I just wanted to tell everyone who would care to watch a great track meet in our home state,” Martinez said.

A 2001 graduate of Robertson High, Martinez went on to become a 12-time All-American in cross country and track at Adams State College in Alamosa, Colo. She helped lead the Grizzlies to four national titles in track and three more in cross country.

Since leaving Adams State, Martinez has served as an assistant coach at Tulane in New Orleans. She moved to Knoxville, Tenn., this past fall to devote time to training.

Note: New Mexico Highlands University’s Angella Graham has qualified for the national indoor meet in the triple jump. Graham posted a jump of 12.32 meters to make the cut; she is nationally ranked in the triple jump (third), pentathlon (fifth), hurdles (12th) and long jump (16th).