PHARR – Omar Ortiz, a junior at PSJA Memorial Early College High School, earned 1st place at the USA Taekwondo High School National Championship held in Detroit, Michigan on July 6. The 16-year-old competed against students from across the nation for a spot on the USA team.

Ortiz, who has participated in competitive taekwondo since he was 6, recently earned gold medals at the 2017 Texas State Taekwondo Championships and the Amateur Athletic Union South Texas Region State Championships.

“I am proud to represent my PSJA Family and the RGV at the national level,” said Ortiz. “Thanks to my family, friends, and coaches for their support.”

Ortiz also excels at school and is part of the Junior National Honor Society, Wolverine Band, Student Council, JROTC and Dual Language Enrichment Program. He plans to receive an Associate Degree in Law Enforcement from South Texas College through the district's Early College Program.

In the meantime, he is preparing to compete at the Pan American Championships in San Jose, Costa Rica, where he will face the best athletes in the sport from over 42 countries.