Student athlete profile - Mark Ortiz

Mark Ortiz

Clarendon Hills

How did you get involved in track?

I did shot put for a little bit and discus in middle school before COVID, and then I had to stop because of COVID. My freshman year of high school, I didn't do it because we had football during the spring, also because of COVID. After that, I remembered I liked it a lot, so I started up my sophomore year and I've done it ever since.

How do you train?

I throw just about every day and then after throwing the first few days of the week we'll lift and then toward the middle of the week we'll do some plyometrics - some jumps and some sprints - and toward the end of the week we'll chill out because we usually have a meet coming up over the weekend. I like to lift on my own over the weekend just for fun.

How have you improved since your sophomore year?

As for the number, I've improved like 15 feet so far, so that's pretty big. For my technique, I've gotten a lot better, and I've gotten bigger and stronger. I feel like I've done a pretty good job but there's always more work to do.

Do you have any pre-meet rituals or routines?

I like to throw on a full stomach.

What is the best advice you've gotten from a coach?

My freshman year, Coach Kruse, he told me to man up.

What is your goal for the season?

It's definitely to qualify for state, because last year I just barely missed the cutoff. Other than that maybe place at state. And then have fun and support my teammates.

What are your plans for next year?

I plan on throwing in college (at) DePauw University. My mom and my grandpa went there, and my twin, Adam, is going there.

Anything else?

My grandma is probably going to read the newspaper, so can I say hi to my grandma?

Why does coach Jim Westphal like having Ortiz on the team?

Mark has been a tremendous leader vocally as well as through all of his hard work over the course of his track and field career. He always has a positive attitude and is constantly striving to be the very best athlete and teammate he can on a day-to-day basis.

- profile by Pamela Lannom, photo by Jim Slonoff

Author Bio

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Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean