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Prairie’s Cortez twins motivate each other to be the best in Eastern Iowa track

Published: May. 13, 2022 at 7:02 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Prairie senior Gabby Cortez is one of the top ranked sprinters and middle distance runners in the state, improving every season and breaking the Drake Relays record in the 400 this year with a time 56.15.

It all started as a five-year-old running with her twin brother Brady for the Cedar Rapids track club. For the last 13 years the twins have pushed each other team be better.

“In club we would always be neck and neck in races,” Brady said. “We would push ourselves and everything we do. It’s great when she runs a PR, just pushes me to run even better.”

“Did I beat you?” Gabby asked her brother. “I think he was just mad that we became close in times.”

Gabby is more than just a great runner after a disappointing finish for her team

In the 4 by 800 relay at Drake. Cortez was the first to console anchor leg Lily Johannes, who will be her teammate and roommate at Iowa next year.

“It really meant a lot, just knowing she’s always there to support me,” Johannes said. “We will keep that going forward next year.”

“(She’s) a true team leader, being compassionate and encouraging other teammates,” said Prairie head track coach Bill Schwartz. “It really does take a team to win championships.”

Gabby plans to go out with a bang at state this year. She wants to win 400, but more importantly, she wants bring home a team trophy and a relay title to share with her teammates.

“I have been running with these girls since I was younger. It’s really cool to accomplish those things as a team,” she said. “I know every practice we really push each other so, it’s nice to see all our hard work pay off on one team.”

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