She won gold for Team USA at the Mountain Running Championships on Sept. 7.
Even though she has only competed in one international race in her young career, Mandy Ortiz is a champion.
At the World Mountain Running Championships in Krynica-Zdroj, Poland last weekend, the 18-year-old University of Colorado freshman won gold in the women’s junior division.
This makes her the first American junior in history to win the junior title, which is why USA Track & Field named her its athlete of the week.
Ortiz clocked 22:56 on the 4.65-kilometer course. The second-place finisher, Lea Einfalt of Slovenia, was 11 seconds back.
“The whole race experience was extremely rewarding for me,” Ortiz said. “Getting to race internationally is something that I had always dreamed of, and winning the race was incredible. Running down the finishing stretch of the race, I thought in the back of my head that I might win, but I didn’t really let myself believe it until I crossed the line.”