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Calhoun senior hopes to end season at state meet

By MIKE FORMAN
March 28, 2013 at 8:02 p.m.
Updated March 28, 2013 at 10:29 p.m.


PORT LAVACA - Melina Ortiz wore her sweats as she sat with her Calhoun teammates at Sandcrab Stadium.

The sun was hidden by the clouds as the wind whipped through the stadium.

"It would be nice to have some warm weather," Ortiz said. "You always run faster in warm weather."

Ortiz ran fast enough Thursday to claim silver medals in the 100- and 200-meter dashes to go along with her gold in the triple jump at the Calhoun Relays. She also ran a leg on the Sandies' 400-meter relay team that finished fifth.

The senior was running and jumping for the first time since suffering a quad injury earlier this month and was happy to be back on the track.

"I want to improve my times, which I've kind of already did that when I ran my first 11 (in the 100-meter dash) at Rockport. Hopefully, I can run another one at district with the automatic timing. I'm going to try and shoot for that 24 in the 200, at least get back to 37 feet in the triple jump."

Ortiz won the triple jump with a leap of 35 feet, 2 inches. She finished second (12.24 seconds) to Bay City's Bren'Yae Mitchell (12.15) in the 100-meter dash, and second (25.52) to Bay City's Shinaya Mitchell (25.00) in the 200-meter dash.

But she was thankful for the opportunity to face good competition before the District 30-4A meet, which is scheduled for April 10-11 at Corpus Christi Calallen.

"I was excited," she said. "It was good competition. You always run faster when there's competition around."

Ortiz performed well enough as a sophomore and junior to qualify for the state meet and earn a track and field scholarship to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

"I'm a more mature athlete right now," she said. "I don't get as nervous. I'm more responsible with my warm-ups, and I don't really have to depend so much on the coach anymore, like I can do it on my own. I've got to learn how to be responsible with my running."

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi recruited Ortiz primarily for her jumping ability, but she's hoping to continue to run the sprints on the college level.

"I think I like to run better," she said. "Running for some reason, it's harder to run, but I guess you feel more accomplished after you run."

Ortiz will not run again until the district meet, which will give her more time to recover from her injury.

"I feel like I'm ready," she said. "I get a week off to get my quad situated all the way back to what it used to be and can go out and run."

Ortiz is hoping to get back to the state meet for a third straight time and close out her career on the medal stand.

"As far as my running, I need to have a good start," Ortiz said. "That's not my strong point. Usually everyone starts, and then I start. I give everyone a head start I guess. Then finishing off the race strong and not reaching with my legs and trying to strain to get ahead of everyone.

"As far as my jumping goes, I need to work on keeping my balance."



NOTES

• Gregory-Portland won the girls team title with 112 points, Victoria East was second with 80, and Bay City was third with 78.

• Lamar Consolidated won the boys team title with 102 points, Calhoun was second with 101, and Victoria East was third with 81.

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