Kaina Martinez named as one of nine former college athletes have been selected as finalists for the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year Award.
9 finalists announced for 2017 Woman of the Year Award
Nine former college athletes have been selected as finalists for the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year Award and will be honored at an awards dinner Oct. 22 in Indianapolis.
The 2017 Woman of the Year will be named at that event.
Three women from each NCAA division were selected. Their college careers are highlighted by outstanding achievements in academics, athletics, community service and leadership.
The nine finalists were chosen from 30 Woman of the Year honorees, who will be recognized during the event. This group of 30 includes 10 honorees from each NCAA division and represents a range of sports. Schools nominated 543 college athletes for the award.
Following are biographies of the Woman of the Year finalists, including excerpts from their personal statements in the nomination materials:
School: Texas A&M University-Kingsville
Conference: Lone Star Conference
Sport: Indoor and outdoor track and field
Majors: Communication; sociology
Hometown: Seine Bight, Stann Creek, Belize
"Balancing school and sports, I voluntarily commit to spending extra time in community services and campus organizations. With unwavering determination and commitment, my actions penetrated and empowered positive influence into others' lives, which I will continue."
Kaina Martinez was an exemplary leader during her time in college. In 2008, she founded the Kaina Martinez Children Annual Track and Field Camp in her hometown 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, including the 4x100-meter relay in 2016 and the 4x400 relay in 2015. She also collected 12 conference championship titles in several events, including the 400, 200, 100, 4x100 relay and 4x400 relay. The USTFCCCA All-American also has represented her home country of Belize in international competition since 2001, including during the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.