Roger Martinez

Athlete, Cross Country 1971-1973

photo of Roger Martinez
Roger Martinez

Roger Martinez will always hold the distinction of a Waubonsee Community College "first." He was Waubonsee athletics' first two-time National Qualifier, earning a trip to the NJCAA Cross Country Championships as a freshman and again as a sophomore in 1971 and 1972.

A noted runner in high school as well, Martinez went to the I.H.S.A. State Finals as a senior in the mile. And nearly forty years later he still holds the record for the mile at Plano High School.

Martinez finished his freshman year at Waubonsee third in the Skyway Conference and went on to place seventh at the Illinois NJCAA state meet. He made the trip to Pensacola, Fla., for Nationals with fellow inductee, Coach Bill Prince, which also happened to be Prince's first plane ride. He repeated the feat his sophomore year, again earning All-Skyway and All-Region honors on his way to qualifying for the Nationals.

"Waubonsee enabled me to stay local but still expand my horizons," he said. "I met a whole lot of good people and formed friendships that still last today. It was a good place to land while I was maturing and provided me with so many opportunities."

Martinez then transferred on to Wichita State University in Kansas on a track and cross country scholarship. He is currently a sales manager with Ritchie Brothers Auctioneers International. He is a past member of the Plano School Board and lives in Plano with his wife of 35 years, Kathleen. They have two grown children, Ryan and Aaron.