Mesa Vista’s Ortiz get five medals, wins 400-meter dash

by Staff Reporter / May 10, 2017 / comments
Mesa Vista’s Frankie Ortiz spreads his arms in celebration after winning the 400-meter dash at the Class A-3A track and field meet.  Photo courtesy of John Denne

Mesa Vista’s Ortiz get five medals, wins 400-meter dash

By George Morse Sports and Outdoors

Mesa Vista High School junior Frankie Ortiz went his idol one better at the 2017 Class A-3A state track and field meet May 5-6 at the Great Friends of UNM track and field facilities in Albuquerque. Ortiz idolizes former Mesa Vista athlete Robert Velasquez, who won the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash and the 400-meterdash at the 2003 state track and field meet. Velasquez set a state record of 48.94 seconds in the 400-meter dash that still stands. Velasquez took home a total of four medals, three gold and one silver (second in the 800-meter run) in 2003.

Ortiz took home five medals from the 2017 state track and field meet. One of them was gold, one of them was silver, two of them were bronze and one he earned as part of the Trojans’ 1600-meter relay team that took fourth.

Fittingly, Ortiz’s gold medal came in the 400-meter dash. The favorite coming into the finals with the fastest time May 5 in the preliminary heats of 52.91 seconds. Ortiz was even faster in the finals, cutting nearly a second off his preliminary time and taking first place in 52.09 seconds. He was nearly a second ahead of Logan High School’s Damien Lowery.

Interestingly, Velasquez’s only gold medal as a junior came in the 400-meter dash.

Ortiz was the favorite going into the finals of the 100-meter dash with a preliminary time of 11.82 seconds. In the finals, Cloudcroft High School’s Nathan Toddy took first in 11.69 seconds with and Jal High School’s Luis Rodriguez finished second. Ortiz took third.

By the time the 200-meter dash was held, a strong wind had started blowing across the track. Ortiz and Escalante High School’s Waylon Hinds were neck and neck near the finish line when Hinds dove across the line to edge past Ortiz by .05 seconds and take first. Ortiz took second.

Ortiz had started the state May 5 meet taking third in the long jump with a leap of 20 feet, one inch.

In the meet’s final event, the 1600-meter relay, Ortiz ran the opening 400-meter leg for the Trojans. That helped earn his team a fourth place medal. Ortiz, Anthony Vigil, Jesse Broyles and Dany Gollas each received medals as part of the team.

Ortiz tied with Hagerman High School’s Martin Flores for High-Point boy honors. Each earned 21 points for their team.