Bruce Gomez elected to N.M. track and cross-country coaches hall of fame

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Bruce Gomez, Taos High School coach, was inducted into the New Mexico High School Track and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame at its annual clinic/luncheon on Jan. 23

In 31 years of coaching for Taos High School, Gomez has compiled a distinguished record, including 11 New Mexico State Team trophies (five championships, four second-place finishes and two third-place finishes). His teams have also won a total of 12 District titles (cross-country and track) and have finished top five or better 26 times out of 31 straight appearances in the New Mexico State Championships. He has coached more than 80 All-District, All-State performers and individual District and State champions. It is estimated he has mentored more than 2,000 athletes in Taos.

A 1974 graduate of Taos High, he was the first to qualify to the State Cross Country Meet in Roswell in the first year it was added as a sport in Taos in 1973. He was also the 1974 Tiger of the Year in track. As a walk-on to the University of Colorado-Boulder cross-country and track teams, he trained with some of the finest athletes of the time, including Frank Shorter, Olympic champion, and members of the Colorado Track Club.

Gomez remarked, “It is an honor to be inducted. It’s more a reflection of my assistants, Nando Chavez and Rohm Padilla, and of all the young people whom I have been blessed to work with throughout the years.”

Gomez thanked his  junior high coaches Fidel Torres, Tommy Martinez and Ray Serna and high school coaches Rudy Pacheco, Benny Gallegos, Herman Quintana and Leland Abreu for their support and guidance.

On a recruitment note, any students interested in running are encouraged to run track this spring and to contact the middle school and high school coaches. Cross-country conditioning will ongoing during the summertime. Students are welcome to call Gomez at (575) 770-0597 or email him: bg@newmex.com for details.

Former athletes and interested community members may also call him regarding a Youth Running Foundation he is in the process of creating for the community of Taos.

— Staff report

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