Fabiola Ortiz Captures First Career IIAC Performer of the Week
Sep 10, 2014
DUBUQUE, Iowa – Ortiz earned the Iowa Conference women’s cross country performer of the week after climbing to sixth-place on the all-time University of Dubuque women’s cross country list. Her ascension up the ranks was courtesy of a personal 6k record of 23:54 at the Central Dutch Invitational this past Saturday.
The sophomore out of Elgin, Ill. crushed her previous best of 24:28 in her first 6k race of the year. She adds her career day on the course to her growing list of accomplishments already established on the track. She currently sits second in UD women’s track history in the 800 meters (2:17.63) and 1500 meters (4:53.18) and holds two UD records as a part of the 4x800-meter relay and distance medley relay.
Head coach Chad Gunnelson had nothing but praise for Ortiz. “Her early season success is a testament to the work she put in over the summer and her dedication to her team and to running. Coach Gundlach and I love to watch her compete and how she’s stepped up as a leader.”
After consistently finishing second or third on the team a year ago, she is poised for a breakout year with the steadily improving, youthful UD squad. When asked about her early season success she gives credit to the coaching staff and her new approach to the sport.
“The coaches are very involved and always willing to help in any aspect, not just cross country. They’ve helped me reach a different perspective on running I’ve never had before,” said Ortiz. “The idea of getting better and competing has gained much more importance. I know what I can do and my new approach to training is paying off.”
Moving forward, assistant coach Geoff Gunlach expects some big things. ”She (Ortiz) is positive, accepts challenges more readily, and is starting to enjoy the process of becoming a better athlete a bit more as she continues to work harder each season. If she is patient and diligent moving forward, she will have a very nice season, and our team will be greatly improved.”
Ortiz and the Spartan harriers will face their next test this upcoming Saturday, September 13th at the Les Duke Invite hosted by Grinnell College.
The race features a nice blend of both Division III and community colleges along with Iowa Conference foe, Wartburg. Grinnell’s course will feature a flatter profile so expect some faster times and solid results.