BY TIM TAYLOR
Valley Sports Report
MIDDLETOWN — Humidity was not a friend to Waverly’s Melina Ortiz, or other 400-meter dash competitors at the NYSPHSAA Track & Field Championships here Friday.
Still, the Wolverine junior gave it her best shot, placing eighth in Division II with a time of 1:00.48.
“I don’t think it was my best meet, per say, but it was my first time here,” Ortiz said. “There was a lot of nerves. I think I expected a lot different, so it’s not really something I can put my head down about. I wanted to do a little better, but at the end of the day, you run what you run and that’s it. I put it all out there, was dead at the end, so it means I used everything.”
Ortiz ran her race during the most humid part of the day.
“It’s definitely not what I expected with all the meets we’ve had in the rain,” she said. “I’m use to the wetness, but used to it coming down right from the sky, not really just feeling the stickiness in the air, so it was definitely different. It’s hard to find shade here. It’s a little tricky. There’s so many people here.
"Everyone is running in it, so its not something you can use, per say, as an excuse, but it definitely is different than what I’m used to.”
“It’s a tough one,” Waverly coach Scott Baird said of Ortiz and her effort. “Even though she’s been to a number of state meets indoors, this being her first one outdoors, it’s completely different. I know she ran hard. I know that’s not where she wanted to end up. The effort was definitely there. I’m so proud. She got here. So many girls didn’t get here and on paper, she wasn’t supposed to get here.”
PHOTOS BY TIM TAYLOR.