CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Ray High School senior Lina Ortiz became the first gymnast in South Texas history to win a gold medal in the vault at The Western Nationals in Iowa this month.
Representing The Northwest Sports Kids Complex, she competed at Level 9.
She began learning gymnastics at 3 years old, and always dreamed of winning a national championship. But a broken ankle sidetracked her last year.
She quickly recovered, and was determined to give it one last try before her senior year ended.
"Honestly, it would have been easy to to quit but I wanted to keep going, so I went to Level 9 and pushed my scores," said Ortiz. "I was determined to continue what I love"
Ortiz is the captain of the Ray cheerleading squad, and ranks in the Top 10 percent of her senior class. She wants to be a doctor, and will attend UCLA in the fall.
The Bruins have a gymnastics team, and she hopes to find a way to walk on.
"You know what?" she said. "The worst thing would be for them to tell me 'No' and I do plan on trying to walk onto the team and continue working hard here, and not calling it quits," said Ortiz. "I want to upgrade my skills to the best of my ability and be able to contribute as a Bruin."