|Year:||Class of 2013|
|Sport:||Track & Field|
A champion runner, who still holds the Terra Linda High School record for the 440-yard, which she set in 1974, describes running as a lifelong gift that has kept her strong in the times she’s needed it the most.
At Terra Linda High School, Venezia-DeMartini competed as a freshman and sophomore, setting numerous records. She set records in the 100-yard, 220-yard, 440-yard relay, 880-yard relay, 800-medly relay and the long jump. In 1974, she won the Marin County League Championship and the All-Northern Field & Track Team. She set state and national records in the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) State Championship and won a Junior Olympic National Championship title as well. Starting Line Handbook ranked her third in the U.S. for 16-year-old girls.
In 1976, she went to UCLA and, in her freshman year, qualified for the traveling varsity team. She won a national title running the 4 x 400-meter relay. Unfortunately, she was there for just a year.
Eventually she started a family and returned to Marin County and worked in an insurance agency. On her 25th birthday, however, she realized she was simply in the wrong job and it was time to go back to school. She enrolled at COM to study nursing and was soon training with track and field Coach Tony Bailey. Again, she started winning.
The COM team was small but mighty. Coach Bailey ran everyone together, pushing hard during practice and encouraging everyone on his team to do his or her best in each race.
In 1984, she took second place in the state meet in the 400-meter and set records in the 400-meter, 800-meter and several relays. At the Northern California College Championship meet she took first in the 400-meters, third in the 1600-meter relay and sixth in the 400-meter relay.
She was recruited with a full scholarship to Cal-Poly in San Luis Obispo and, with her family, moved south where she again became collegiate All-American, not only winning division and national championships times in the 400-meter, 400-relay and 1600- and 3200- relay races, but making record times in several of the races. She was named to the All-American College Track and Field Team and nominated one of SLO’s Outstanding Female Athletes of the Year.