Two runners look to new season
By Isabela Barrientos
Bridge contributing writer
Published Friday, Sept. 10, 2021
Hopeful to accomplish what they began during the 2020 cross country season, juniors Nicholas and Ruben Martinez prepare for this season.
After having their previous season end abruptly, as the result of their teammate’s false positive COVID-19 test, the two runners are eager to begin the 2021-2022 season. Both Martinezes used the off-season to focus on improving and preparing for what lies ahead: The Sept. 18 Westside Classic in San Antonio and the Sept. 25 Texas A&M Invitational at College Station.
“Around this time last year, I hadn’t started running,” Nicholas Martinez said during the off-season. “I am now training a little more on my own, and am also training harder.”
Ruben Martinez agreed that his off-season consists of more focused and harder training sessions. However, both runners also focused on their teammates as well. Their work ultimately contributes to the overall performance of the Dustdevils.
As the season approached, both runners began to practice with incoming Texas A&M International University teammates.
They said they remain confident in their 2021-2022 team’s abilities and hope the team will see more than a successful year.
“Right now we are just practicing, and I can already see how fast we are,” Nicholas Martinez said. “I have never ran with a team this fast before. The talent in this team is crazy, and we should be a top team.”
In 2019, Nicholas Martinez was named Male Runner of the Year in the Dusty Awards. He ran six meets that year, grabbing a top-five, a top-10 and three top-15 finishes.
Both runners indicated that not only does their talent create a faster running team, but also healthy competition and improved times.
“The competition makes everyone do better,” Ruben Martinez said. “It motivates you to want to improve… We push each other, and at the end of the day, we all get better.”
With the potential to reach the NCAA Division II National Cross Country Championships—which is scheduled for Nov. 20 in Tampa, Florida, this year—as a team for the first time in TAMIU history, both Martinezes have much to look forward to.