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Ortiz first Blue Devil to recieve college track scholarship

June 8th, 2017 under Sports
(staff photo by ELVIRA LARA) Jesse Ortiz signs his contract with Western Texas College.

(staff photo by ELVIRA LARA)
Jesse Ortiz signs his contract with Western Texas College.

By ELVIRA LARA

PRESIDIO — For the first time in Presidio ISD history, a newly graduated student has signed with a school to run track and cross country. Long distance runner Jesse Ortiz will be attending Western Texas College in Snyder this fall semester on a sports scholarship.

Ortiz made the difficult decision of choosing between a total of four schools that recruited him. The talented athlete became a star runner throughout his high school career, finishing his trajectory by placing fourth at this year’s state finals in the 3,200-meter run.

(Photo by TRAVIS HARSCH) Jesse Ortiz competing at the State UIL Track Finals back in May. Ortiz placed 4th in the 3,200-meter run.

(Photo by TRAVIS HARSCH)
Jesse Ortiz competing at the State UIL Track Finals back in May. Ortiz placed 4th in the 3,200-meter run.

In another first for a Presidio student athlete, Ortiz qualified for the state track meet three years in a row during his high school career.

It’s a dream come true for the Presidio Blue Devil to continue doing his sport. “I want to keep running and get better,” said a bright-eyed Ortiz.

The athlete has struggled and worked harder than the average high school student to get where he is today. From humble beginnings in Ojinaga, Mexico, Ortiz had to study longer hours to overcome the language barrier, squeezing in time to train and work to help his family on the weekends.

(Staff photo by CAMERON DODD) Presidio High School senior Jesse Ortiz runs training laps at the Presidio track prior to heading to Austin for state. Ortiz was the only Presidio athlete to compete at the state finals three consecutive years.

(Staff photo by
CAMERON DODD)
Presidio High School senior Jesse Ortiz runs training laps at the Presidio track prior to heading to Austin for state. Ortiz was the only Presidio athlete to compete at the state finals three consecutive years.

Track coach Alonzo Samaniego knows the worth of his student and values the sacrifices Ortiz has had to make. “He’s the hardest working kid I’ve ever coached. I know when he steps on the track he’s there to take care of business, not mess around. He’s the same way in the classroom. I know the best is yet to come for his running career.”

(Staff photo by ELVIRA LARA) From left, track coach Alonzo Samaniego, cross country coach Marco Lujan, Jesse Ortiz (seated), and High School principal Santos Lujan, as Ortiz signs his letter of intent.

(Staff photo by ELVIRA LARA)
From left, track coach Alonzo Samaniego, cross country coach Marco Lujan, Jesse Ortiz (seated), and High School principal Santos Lujan, as Ortiz signs his letter of intent.

Ortiz received a one-year scholarship to attend Western Texas College. He says he could get a continuing scholarship if he does well on the team. His plan is to complete two years at Western Texas and hopefully be recruited to run for a bigger school. “If I get better I can get offers from other colleges. I would like to go to UTEP (The University of Texas at El Paso) and study civil engineering.”

Ortiz is already training for the fall semester. His future coaches at Western Texas are sending him exercise regimens to prepare for the coming school year. He’s not afraid of the upcoming challenge and is eager to start the next chapter of his running career.

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