---- — A grueling race is nothing to Deirdre Martyn.
The North Andover senior has already had to overcome years in a back brace so every race is a victory. Now that she’s healthy, she’s given up soccer and basketball and her times are dropping rapidly.
She’s unbeaten in the MVC and helped North Andover win the league indoor track title in their first year in the league.
In this week’s Around the Horn, Martyn talks about her scoliosis, having a father who is one of the top 50-and-over runners in the country and her new found love of country music.
How is your season going? “It has been going really well. We’re undefeated so far and just won the Division 2 state relays. I’ve been undefeated in the league.”
What are your personal bests this winter? “In the 1,000 meters it is 3:10.7. I’ve done the mile in 5:27 but I’ve run 5:25 outdoors. I’m hoping to break 5:20 (yesterday at Mass. State Track Coaches Invitational).”
What’s your favorite event? “Maybe the mile. Everyone can relate to it. With the 1,000, people have no idea.”
What was it like winning the Division 2 State Relays? “We were so excited. We went in not expecting anything. Usually we’re expected like an eighth place. It was so exciting. We’ve never won it before. That made it so much more special. It was really cool.”
What’s your favorite personal athletic achievement? “Personally, last year when I ran my 5:25 mile. That was a breakthrough. That was a big PR. (personal record). OK, I can be good at this. I hadn’t run a mile before. I’d run the 800 with a 2:22 PR. I was going to play lacrosse but I needed back surgery.”
Why did you need surgery? “I had scoliosis. I always wore a back brace. I wore it since kindergarten. It started out just the night time, then 20 hours a day. In seventh grade, I had my first surgery but it was not successful. Freshman year I needed another surgery.”
For how many years did you wear the brace to school? “All through elementary school and the first half of middle school.”
Is that embarrassing for a young kid? “I don’t think many people knew. I tried to hide it. It was my whole core but I hid it as best as I could.”
How are you now physically? “I’m fully recovered since the last surgery in February of my freshman year.”
What’s it like to be healthy again? “It’s crazy to think about. I’d do exercises, it would be a lap around the living room. To run a fast mile is so cool.”
How are you doing academically? “I’m in the National Honor Society. I think I’m No. 64 in a class of 290. I’ve applied to UMass, UNH, Holy Cross, Tufts, Northeastern, Dartmouth, UConn and Quinnipiac for engineering or business.”
How did you do on your SATs? “2,040.”
Do you play any other sports? “This year for the first time I’m a year-round runner. My first three years, I did basketball and soccer. I had real good experiences in those but I wanted to focus on running.”
Are you from an athletic family? “Doug Martyn is my dad. He runs for Whirlaway. He’s really into it. He has some masters records. My sister (Katrina) runs for UMass.”
Is there pressure with your father being such an accomplished distance runner? “No pressure at all. He just helps my sister and I. He loves it. He makes us love it even more. He never puts pressure on us. He helps coach us.”
Do you have a nickname? “My friends call me Dee.”
Who do you follow on Twitter-Facebook? “Kara Goucher, the marathoner.”
Will you run a marathon? “I think I will some day but it scares me. It’s so long! Not in the near future, but probably when I’m older.”
What is the most embarrassing song you have in your iPod? “The Education Connection commercial song.”
If you were named principal, what’s the first thing you’d do? “I’d give the seniors their senior privileges back.”
Group or singer: I’m making a music transition to country from pop and rap. I don’t have one yet. It used to be Drake or J. Cole.
Song: Before every meet I listen to Lock Down by Akon.
Book: The Harry Potter series
App: Word games like Scramble
Actor-actress: Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone
Movie: Remember the Titans
TV show: Nashville
Athlete: Tom Brady
Restaurant: Cheesecake Factory
Teacher: Miss (Mary) Gregoire