ABERDEEN — Yasmin Ortiz is a three-sport athlete in Aberdeen who is excelling in all three.
In the spring, Ortiz burst on the scene as a sprinter for the Tigers in track, running the 100 meters and the 200 meters and participating in the 4x100 relay. Ortiz was so good that even though she didn’t qualify for the 400 meters at the district track meet she earned an at large bid because her time in the only 400 meter race she ran was good enough to make the trials at state.
She ended up qualifying in the 100, 200 and 400 finals at Middleton last May, but an injury kept her from competing in the 400 meters. She did all of this as a freshman.
She also lettered in volleyball and basketball a year ago and she has high hopes of a big sophomore season as well.
It is now basketball season and the diminutive Ortiz with the fast feet is making her presence known on the basketball court. She is fast enough that she is harassing opposing guards, and with her quick hands she is making steals and forcing turnovers which is helping her team.
Ortiz has also developed a very good three-point shot and is taking advantage of that aspect of the game as well.
“I just want to be part of a team and help my team win,” she said. “I want to belong and be part of a winning team. We work so hard to get better and I am just doing my part to help.”
Yasmin, who is affectionately known as the “Yasmanian Devil,” is a whirling dervish on the floor in basketball and is seemingly everywhere on the court for volleyball. Her track accolades speak for themselves because anyone who is five feet or under and can run the way that Ortiz does is something special. It is almost unheard of for a runner to be fast enough to qualify for all three sprints, let alone be a contender for medals in all three and she has already accomplished that.
Ortiz doesn’t let the fact that she is smaller than a lot of other athletes deter her at all.
“I think it is an advantage,” Ortiz said. “They don’t give me enough credit and it makes my legs go even faster. When all they can see is me in the distance, then they know just how fast I really am.”
The world seems to be at the beck and call of Ortiz as she moves on in her athletic career and because of her faith and ability, she has become our Star of Tomorrow for this week.