KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Track is in Martina Weil's blood.
"My mom's Olympic medal has always been in a drawer in her bedside table. It was a fun party trick whenever my friends came over like, 'oh guys do you want to see an Olympic medal,'" Weil said.
Her mom, Ximena Restrepo won Colombia's first ever track and field medal in Barcelona in 1992.
Her father, Gert Weil threw the shot put for Chile in four Olympic Games, most recently in 1996.
"They're both highly competitive people as you can probably imagine and I don't think I appreciated how much it meant and how amazing they were until I started doing track and I started seeing my mom's training logs and I was like how did she do this? Practices that I would do on four to five minutes rest, she did in 45 seconds," Weil said.
Martina is a freshman runner at Tennessee and will run in the 4x400m relay at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships Thursday night. She didn't start running track until she was 16.
"I played basketball and I always liked running, I just didn't like track because you know typical teenager, no I'm not going to do track because my parents do track," Weil said.
She went to an all-girls school in Chile known for its track program and eventually the coach convinced her to run.
"Slowly lured me in and was like okay you can run a relay, you can maybe run the 100 and I was hated for it because being in the relay in my school, it was like a popularity contest. So, then there was this basketball girl who didn't really care a lot for the team, they just put me in. They hated my guts. Then we became friends obviously when I actually started training with them," Weil said.
Martina's dream was to go to college in the U.S. on scholarship and track was the best way to reach that goal. Last September, she broke Chile's national record in the 400 meters and the offers started pouring in.
"There was a point where I just turned off my phone. My Facebook was blowing up, my email, my Instagram, I got calls, whatsapps. It was too much, I freaked out, I completely freaked out."
Tennessee stood out from the barrage of offers, thanks to sprints coach Ken Harnden.
"Coach Ken took a day trip to Chile to visit me and sit down with me and we had breakfast and lunch and coffee, we sat in that restaurant for like six hours. I guess that's it, they were really willing to go the extra mile and to make me feel like they really wanted me because of me and not just the time I run," Weil said.
Martina has only been in Knoxville since January but she's excelling on the 4x400m relay team.
"This feels like a team, this feels like a family, I haven't been here that long, I just got here in January. They're just so nice and so welcoming, we're just excited, I think."