Martinez off and running at nationals

UC Riverside’s Brenda Martinez got off to a good start at the NCAA Division I nationals in Fayetteville, Ark. on Thursday.

The junior from Rancho Cucamonga competed in the third of three heats in the 1,500 meters and turned in a winning time of 4:16.67. The final will be Saturday at 11:09 a.m. and can be watched via the NCAA website.

This is the second trip to an NCAA Final for the local producr who placed 14th in the a year ago.

Big Bear native Chad Hall, running in his first-ever NCAA Championship event, finished fifth in his heat of the 1,500 with a time of 3:46.68, missing out on one of the 12 spots in Saturday’s final by 4.59.