Martinez-Ramos has local race to thank for her education

ESMERALDA MARTINEZ-RAMOS RUNNING FOR MESA ST X-COUNTRY.



Esmeralda Martinez-Ramos has never participated in the Rim Rock Run, but she’s getting an education
because of it.

The Mesa State College junior from Denver received an athletic scholarship with the money from entry fees for the annual 37k event. Martinez-Ramos, who was born in Mexico, is the first person in her family attending college. She aspires to be an accountant.

“I wouldn’t be here,” Martinez-Ramos said. “It’s good to have something else to do and go to school.

“Being Hispanic, I think a lot of Hispanics think they can’t go to school. I know Cecilia (Garcia) chose Mesa because she got a full-ride scholarship.”

The U.S. Bank Rim Rock Run takes place at 8 a.m. on Saturday at the East entrance to the Colorado National Monument. There are 190 entries for the 16th annual run as of the final posting Thursday night. Runners can pick up their information packets from noon to 5 p.m. today at U.S. Bank or from 6 to 8 p.m. at Comfort Inn in Fruita.

Neither the men’s nor women’s overall winners from last year, Peter Vail and Keri Nelson, are entered this year.

“For those not running, they can pay the entry fee to help,” Mesa State coach Gig Leadbetter said. “The money goes to the (cross country) student-athletes in (financial) need and that perform well. We have a good running community that seems to always come through in the end.”

Martinez-Ramos and the Mesa State cross country team help out with the event each year, but they won’t be able to this year. As the runners travel up and over the monument, the Mavericks will be running in the NCAA Division II Central Regionals in Kearney, Neb.

“I have a couple of cousins running the race,” Martinez-Ramos said. “I wish I could be there, but I’m not going to miss regionals.

“(The Rim Rock Run) helps with scholarships. It helps us get better girls because Mesa doesn’t have the funds for a full ride.”

Mesa State is ranked fifth in the region and the top five teams qualify for nationals in two weeks. The Mavericks are hoping to qualify for nationals for the first time in school history.

Although Martinez-Ramos hasn’t competed in the Rim Rock Run, her cousin, Omar Martinez, won the men’s overall race in 2006, was second last year and is entered again this year.

“There are kids on the team with no one in the family that has gone on to (college),” Leadbetter said. “Ese wouldn’t be in school without an athletic scholarship. It’s opened doors for her.”


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