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Making a mark – Preston Martinez

Running along the Rock Island Trail between Peyton and Falcon has been routine for Preston Martinez and his fellow cross country teammates at Peyton High School. Running came easy; knowing how far they ran was the challenge.As a freshman at PHS, Martinez had an idea to place mile markers along the trail to make their training easier to quantify. He knew other people would benefit from the mile markers as well, especially if they had GPS coordinates for emergency situations.On Aug. 20, Martinez put his plan into action. He raised money for the posts, obtained the necessary materials, mapped the route using a GPS receiver, gathered helpers and went to work. After four long hours, Martinez and his crew of 20 volunteers had mile markers placed every half mile along the 9-mile stretch of Rock Island Trail.ìIt took several months of planning,î Martinez said. ìWe had two groups, one at each trail head, working toward the center. We started at 10 a.m. and finished at 2 p.m.îMartinez’s father, Donovan Martinez, said, ìWe’ve had numerous comments of appreciation for the markers.îThe GPS coordinates will be especially helpful in an emergency situation. Trail users are never more than one-quarter-mile away from an accurate geolocation marker, which can be called in to first responders, he said.Now a senior at PHS, Preston Martinez said he is proud of his work on the trail, which ultimately earned him the rank of Eagle Scout. ìI’ve been in the scouts since I was in third grade,î he said. ìAt first, I never had in mind becoming an Eagle Scout, but after I transitioned to Boy Scouts (from the Cub Scouts), it became my main goal.îSince he turned 18, Martinez is no longer a scout, but he earned his Eagle Scout rank prior to his birthday and will receive his award in February. Martinez said he plans to continue working with the scouts as much as possible; he is currently an adult leader with his troop.Becoming an Eagle Scout has taught him plenty. ìI learned self-reliance, self-confidence,î he said. ìIt has taught me how to be more resourceful and think outside the box to get something done. I have the personal confidence to carry something out. When you’re going to become an Eagle Scout and you’re planning for your project, you need to show the leadership that’s required in order to get the task done. They’ve helped me come a long way in my faith as well, just being able to be closer to God.îMartinez recalled one of his favorite memories as a scout: backpacking with the troop for three days in 2010 on the back side of Pikes Peak. ìAll they had with them was what they could carry on their backs,î Donovan Martinez said.ìWe always try to do something different,î Preston Martinez said. ìWe try to do something new. My favorite thing is the adventure.îMartinez said he plans to either attend college in the fall or join the U.S. Air Force to pursue a career in computer networking. ìI’d like to stay in Colorado,î he said, adding that he is looking into Colorado State University and University of Colorado.ìI’d be able to study and do track at CSU or CU,î Martinez said. After attending the state tournament in track last year, he said he is hoping to receive a track scholarship to help with his college expenses. Whichever route he takes, Martinez said, ìI know that I will be doing my hardest to stay active in any scout troop I can.î

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