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Despite suffering a major injury early in the winter season, Elgin Public senior Kaylee Martinsen still accomplished her dream of becoming a collegiate athlete after signing her letter of intent to continue her education and track career at Doane University.
“I’ve wanted to do sports (in college), but I never knew what sport I wanted to do,” Martinsen stated. “Once I hit high school and did track, I found a passion and enjoyed it.”
Martinsen has been rehabbing her injury for the past few months, but is well on her way to recovery to be back for her freshman season.
“It’s had it’s rough times but it’s good,” Martinsen noted. “I’m starting to jog right now and it’s getting better. My surgeon said I’m doing too good to be where I’m at. That’s a good thing.”
Martinsen has turned her setback into a positive and believes her experience will help her.
“It has pushed me to be the best I can be,” Martinesen continued. “I had a downfall my senior year and I’m going to come back even stronger.”
The senior Wolfpack trackster expects to start her collegiate career as a high jumper, but plans to eventually move to the heptathlon.
“The sky is the limit with her,” commented Elgin Public/Pope John assistant track coach Trey Rossman. “As long as she keeps her head down and works hard, there’s no limit to seeing what her potential could be.”
As a heptathlete, Martinsen will compete in the 100 meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200 meter dash, long jump, javelin throw and 800 meter run. The future Lady Tiger believes her versatile high school athletic career in volleyball, basketball and track will help her at the next level.
“Doing all three (sports) really helps out because I can stay in shape, use different muscles for each sport and jumping is in all three of those sports,” Martinsen said. “I can’t wait.”
Making the transition to collegiate athletics is always difficult, but add in coming off of an injury, Martinsen has been leaning heavily on those who have played at the next level. Luckily for the senior, two of her track coaches played in college.
“It’s a little different in college,” Rossman remarked. “Matt (Koeppe) and I were both college athletes ourselves and it’s a lot more specialized. “
Martinsen plans to major in health and society to become an occupational therapist.