Mesa Vista’s Boys Metal At State Track Meet

by Staff Reporter / May 15, 2018 / comments
Mesa Vista’s Frankie Ortiz raises his fist after winning the 100-meter dash at the Class A-3A state track and field meet May 5 in Albuquerque. Escalante’s Anthony Paul Martinez (third from left) took fifth and Andres Martinez (far right) took sixth (photo courtesy of Scot Stinnett, De Baca County News)

Mesa Vista’s Boys Medal At State Track Meet

By George Morse Sports and Outdoors

Coming off a disappointing (for him) fourth-place finish in the long jump May 4 on the opening day, Mesa Vista senior Frankie Ortiz was in the finals of the 100-meter dash the second day of competition May 5 at the Class A-3A state track and field meet at the Great Friends of UNM track and field facilities in Albuquerque.

Ortiz had jumped only 19 feet, 6 inches in the long jump and had fouled three times. The Trojans had been disqualified in the preliminaries of the 1600-meter relay when they false started In the preliminaries of the 100-mter dash, he had just the fifth-fastest time. In the first running event of the finals, the 400-meter relay, the Trojans had dropped the baton, likely costing them a medal.

Despite everything, Ortiz was ready to run the 100-meter dash.

“I knew I had a shot,” he said.

It was a close race right from the start. Ortiz and Fort Sumner’s Peyton Lewis were neck-and-neck with Gateway Christian School’s Dominic Garcia right there as well. Ortiz had a slight edge and he hit the finish line first. He raised his fist in celebration.

Ortiz’s time was 11.86 seconds to Lewis’ 11.96 seconds. Just .21 seconds separated the top six runners

“This gives me confidence,” Ortiz said.

He still had two races left to run. He was the defending state champion in the 400-meter dash and was runnerup last year in the 200-meter dash. His confidence would be tested again.

In the 400-meter dash finals, the runners were lined up for the start, waiting for the starting gun. Just prior to the gun firing, Ortiz moved. He was disqualified for a false start.

Ortiz’s last race of his high school career would be the 200-meter dash. Off to a clean start, Ortiz ran his hardest. In this race, Fort Sumner’s Brant West was the clear winner. Ortiz came in second for the second straight year.

“Frankie ran as hard as he could,” Mesa Vista Coach Tre Drinkard said. “That other kid was just better.”

Hanging out with his teammates for one last time after the race, Ortiz reflected on the roller-coaster ride his last state track and field meet had been.

“I’m thankful I was able to run my senior year,” he said.

Ortiz was not the only Mesa Vista runner to have to overcome tough circumstances.

 Senior Damian Trujillo had been a member of the Trojans 1600-meter relay team that had been disqualified. His one shot at a medal was the 800-meter run. With just the sixth-fastest time (2:12.84) coming into the race, he would have to run his best to have a chance at a medal.

Trujillo stayed with the leaders throughout the race. Down the stretch, Hagerman’s Martin Flores and Fort Sumner’s Jude Segura pulled away. Fighting his way down the stretch, Trujillo held off a challenge and came in third with a time of 2:05.14. He had improved his best time by a full seven seconds at state. He had his state medal.

Mesa Vista senior Damian Trujillo earned a third-place medal in  the 800-meter run. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

“I knew I had to stay with the top runners,” Trujillo said. “They hit the first 400 at 55 seconds. I just had to push it, push it until the end. I really wanted a medal.”

Mesa Vista’s Damian Trujillo with his third-place medal after finishing third in the 800-meter run.​ Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

Mesa Vista sophomore Dany Gollas had seen his chance for a medal taken away in the 400-meter and 1600-meter relays. In the finals of the 400-meter race, Gollas had to live with the fact that teammate Ortiz running in the lane right next to him had just been disqualified for a false start.

Mesa Vista’s Dany Gollas took fifth in the 400-meter dash. ​Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

“Go get yourself a medal, Dany,” Mesa Vista Coach Drinkard shouted.

Gollas did just that, coming in fifth with his best 400-meter time (53.34 seconds) of the year.

The Trojans finished with 21 hard-earned points in seventh place in the team standings.