By Kyle Daubs
Charleston High senior Megan Garrett (above) signed a letter of intent to compete for NCAA Division II Adams State to compete in both cross country and track next year.
Garrett owns the second-fastest time in CHS history for cross country, having run 18 minutes, 40 seconds, and is a two-time All-State 800-meter runner for track. She holds personal bests of 2:18 in the 800 and 5:25 for 1,600 meters.
Garrett was among four runners signed by the Division II national powerhouse this week, which included a junior national runner from Ireland and a state champion from California.
Adams State owns a total of 36 national championship teams, which includes 19 women’s cross country titles and four women’s indoor track and field championships. While the overall team success was nice, Garrett cited Hall of Fame coach Damon Martin as a key factor.
“I was drawn to Adams State because of their team culture and their history of prolonged success,” Garrett said. “When I got to meet Coach Martin, I was instantly impressed. He is very knowledgeable and kind-hearted. The girls are so much fun to be around.”
Martin, who has been at Adams State since 1985, owns 37 National Coach of the Year awards. He is a former two-time All-American at the University of Arkansas-Monticello. In track, he was a national championship runner-up in the 1,500-meter run.
As a coach, Martin has led both the men and women teams, including another 10 national cross country titles and three men’s indoor track and field championships. Adams State won nine straight women’s national championships from 1991-99 and then had another stretch of seven straight women’s titles from 2003-09. Martin has guided athletes to a total of 1,162 combined All-America honors and 114 individual national championships.
“I was in contact with many schools and knew that Adams State always competed well at the national level,” said Garrett. “As I got to know the coaches at Adams State, it was great to hear how confident they were in their program and their individualized training programs.”
Besides running cross country, Garrett competed in volleyball and soccer, and will finish as one of the top in her class. She plans to major in biology with an emphasis on pre-veterinary medicine.
“I think I bring some versatility, especially on the track side,” said Garrett. “The coaches were drawn to me because of my strong academic record and my success as a runner while being a multisport athlete.”
Sports runs in her family. Her older brother, Taylor, was an all-state finisher in the 800 while her brothers Wyatt (soccer and basketball) and Cameron (basketball and tennis) were active in sports as well. Her father, Josh, is CHS’s boys and girls soccer coach.
“I would like to thank all of the coaches that I’ve had throughout my life,” said Garrett. “I would also like to thank my family, teammates, and friends. It will be exciting to be challenged every day by my teammates and coaches. I am ready to put in a lot of hard work and see how I can improve at Adams State. I am so thankful that I get this opportunity. Go Grizzlies.”