Oliver Ortiz, Dumas track, Sr.
On the track: Ortiz looks as if he’s establishing himself as arguably the area’s top quarter-miler based on his performance at last weekend’s Amarillo Relays. Despite missing time over the last three weeks due to a lower leg strain, Ortiz didn’t appear to lose anything running in his first prominent meet of the season at Dick Bivins Stadium in winning two gold medals. He outpaced the field by a wide margin in the 400 meters in winning his first gold of the meet, running a season-best time of 49.17 seconds for the win. Ortiz ended the day in triumphant form as well, as he anchored the winning 1,600 relay team of Aaron Lawrence, Imanol Marquez and Andrew Flores with a 49 second split to conclude with a time of 3:22.19. Those were the two events Ortiz, who has signed to play football at Northern Colorado University, reached the Class 4A state meet in last year, as he finished fifth in the 400 and was part of the mile relay team which took home the silver medal.
Coach Kamron Lingor: “We were a little surprised. We sat him down a few weeks just to rest him off a strained muscle. We were just looking for a good solid performance and he kind of went beyond that. He’s a special kid who has a lot of experience. He’s a good teammate to all of our younger runners. He definitely overachieved in my opinion for coming back off that injury. We’re still going to train just as hard and put the pedal down and go to work. The guys follow suit because he’s proven. They believe in him and I’m just glad he’s with us for one more year to help the younger ones along and show them and help us get back (to the state meet). I think he’s on pace to do something really special this year.”
Ortiz: “It was my first big meet of the year since I was hurt from the start of the season. Honestly in the prelims I kind of surprised myself after I PRed (ran a personal best). After that my teammates just kept cheering me on because on the second day I felt tired and sore. Our (relay) team PRed by a large amount. My teammates ran faster than usual and I told them they were going to have to run faster to win the medal and that’s what we did. I’m proud of them. We lost three guys from last year so I knew there were going to be some guys stepping up. My goal (in the 400) is to drop time every single week. I felt really healthy coming back.”
Favorite band or musician: Drake
Favorite social media platform: Twitter
Favorite athlete: LeBron James
Bet you didn’t know: Didn’t run track in junior high
Parents: Luis and Maricela Ortiz