Girls Athlete of the Week: Lake Region’s Tia Martinez

Lake Region's Tia Martinez chips onto the eighth green during the high school girls golf state championship at Champlain Country Club in Swanton on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020. (Photo by Austin Danforth/Burlington Free Press)

Oh snap.

Tia Martinez broke her driver while teeing off during a practice round a week before the Vermont high school state championship.

It didn’t faze the Lake Region senior.

Martinez fired the low overall round (11-over 82) at Champlain Country Club last Tuesday to win her first individual golf title, leading Lake Region to a three-peat in Division II.

“It’s relieving,” said Martinez, The Record’s reigning Girls Golfer of the Year, who finished third as a freshman and runner-up the last two seasons.

Even sweeter, Martinez topped Otter Valley’s Mia Politano by six strokes, unseating the defending champ. Politano beat Martinez by four strokes last season.

And Martinez reigned without that pesky driver, opting to use her 3-wood off the tee.

“After the shaft broke, I fixed it, practiced with it, but I wasn’t going to take any chances,” she said. “Before I snapped it, I had trouble keeping my drives on the fairway. I thought maybe it was a sign that I should just use the 3-wood.”

The Rangers beat runner-up Otter Valley by 13 strokes.

For Halloween I will be: A group costume

One wish for 2020: Covid to be over

Dream destination: North Carolina

Favorite thing to cook: Tortillas

Dream job: Travel nurse

Best coach ever: Wayne Lafley

One thing I can’t live without: Body Armour drink

Favorite person I’ve never met: Donald Trump

Funniest teammate: Makenzie Smith

Best restaurant in town: Hoagie’s

Biggest fear: Losing someone important

Current favorite song: Better Together, by Luke Combs

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