Withrow, Ortiz advance to Texas state track meet


Seniors Jessica Withrow of Muleshoe and Edgar Ortiz of Bovina will represent the area in Texas high school state track competition, scheduled for May 12-14 at the University of Texas in Austin.

Withrow won two events and placed second in two others in the Region I-3A meet over the weekend at Odessa, including a meet record and personal-best time of 43.56 seconds Saturday in the 300 hurdles. She also won high jump competition Friday at 5-7. She placed second in long jump and 100 hurdles (unofficial time of 14.5 seconds).

Withrow was the only state qualifier for Muleshoe’s teams, although the boys came close with third-place finishes in three events — Robby Bomer at 6-6 in high jump, and Brady Black with times of 15.06 in the 110 hurdles and 39.4 in the 300 hurdles. The top two finishers in each event advance to state.

“I felt like she could get out (of regionals) in four events if she competed well,” Lady Mules coach Benjie Jay said of Withrow. “Jessica will do well at state. If she runs the same time in the 300 hurdles at state, she’ll be hard to beat.”

In long jump, Withrow took the lead over Perryton’s Janell Applemans on her second-last jump in the finals, but Applemans came back with a leap of 18-8 3/4 on her next attempt to win it.

Withrow won 3A state high jump as a sophomore and finished second last year, and has finished second in each of the last two years at state in the 300 hurdles. She plans to compete in decathlon in college next year at Abilene Christian.

“She’s a warhorse,” Jay said. “She’s worked real hard to get where she’s at.”

Ortiz has also made a mark for himself in Class 1A boys distance races. He earned his third consecutive state trip in the 3,200 and second in a row in the 1,600 after winning both events in Region I-1A competition at Levelland.

He won Friday’s 3,200 by more than 10 seconds with a time of 10:04.08, and took first in on Saturday in the 1,600 in 4:34.69.

Ortiz placed second in state competition last year in the 3,200.