Pair of San Elizario runners, Tornillo thrower earn state medals

San Elizario teammates Edwin Gomez and Chris Moreno finished 1-2 in the Class 4A 800-meter run.

San Elizario senior Edwin Gomez had himself a day on Thursday winning gold in the Class 4A 800 and silver in the 3200 at the 2021 UIL State Championship at Mike Myers Stadium in Austin.

But the like the competitor he is, Gomez was far from satisfied.

“Honestly, my focus was not on the 2-mile,” he said. “I wanted to get a medal in the 800 and the mile. In the mile, I couldn’t handle the pace, I was really tired so I couldn’t get a medal in that one.”

Gomez finished fifth in the 1,600 in 4:25.33. Canyon senior Samuel Ashley won the event in 4:21.73.

“Not getting a medal in the mile was kind of a disappointing way to finish my senior year,” he said. “But I’m on to my next step, another level of competition so I can’t worry about it.”

Gomez will be running at Mike Myers Stadium on the campus of the University of Texas as member of the Longhorns for the next four years.

“I felt like I was running my home track,” he said. “I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”

Gomez began the day early Thursday morning winning silver in the Class 4A 3200-meter run in a time of 9:33.66, .41 seconds behind the winner Hudson Bennett from Burnet who won the race in 9:33.25.

He followed that up in the afternoon with a gold in the 800-meter run in a time of 1:56.80. San Elizario sophomore Chris Moreno was second in 1:57.29. Mt. View senior Josh Gonzalez was sixth in 1:58.68.

Gomez has now won 15 state team and individual medals from cross country and track.

“I never thought this could happen,” he said. “I gave all the credit to my two coaches, Cesar Morales and Jorge Maese for the help they have given me throughout the years. I’m going to miss them and my teammates a lot.”

Gomez gave high praise to his teammate Moreno.

“I’m really happy that he was able to experience this with me and represent San Elizario,” he said. “I know that he is going to be awesome, he’s going to be better than me. I’m really happy for him; we made history together.”

This was the first time in school history that San Elizario had runners finish first and second in any event at the state level.

“It was a special moment,” Moreno said of his first state medal. “I wasn’t expecting to finish second. I was looking at the times before the race and they were all very fast so I was a little nervous.”

Moreno credits Gomez for pushing him to be better during practice.

“Me and Edwin are very competitive with each other,” Moreno said. “We give it our all in the races and at practices, too. I’m really going to miss spending time with him.”

Tornillo’s Lizbeth Fierro earned a silver medal in the Class 3A shot put.

Also earning a medal on Thursday was Tornillo senior Lizbeth Fierro who won silver in the Class 3A shot put.

Fierro had a personal best 38-feet, 1/4-inches on her first throw and then on her fourth attempt, let loose with a toss of 39-8 ¾, good enough for second place behind Bushland’s Jillian Howell (40-3 1/4).

Tornillo’s Angel Torres had fourth place finishes in the Class 3A 1,600 and 3,200.

Other El Paso results

Tornillo sophomore Angel Torres ended the day with a pair of fourth place finishes in the Class 3A 3,200 and 1,600.

In the two-mile race, he finished 9:40.54 – a new school record. The old record was held by Daniel Amaya in 2018 who ran a 9:48. The winner was Will Boyce from Onalaska who finished in 9:27.31.

Torres, who won the Region 1-3A mile, finished fourth in 4:30.52. Boyce won this event in 4:26.37.

In Class 4A Riverside high jumper Ian Valdez and Clint 300 hurdler Jesus Rocha just missed medals with fourth-place finishes.

Valdez finished fourth on a tiebreaker with a leap of 6-foot-4 while Rocha just missed a bronze medal, reaching the finish line in 38.87,  0.12 behind third.

Riverside’s Angel Munoz was ninth in that race in 41.22.

Author: Victor R. Martinez

My love of running began with my son Deric. His passion and talent for distance running opened my eyes to a sport I never imaged I would embrace with such enthusiasm. As a journalist at the El Paso Times, I was the lead writer for cross country and track for several years and I was able to tell the stories of these amazing unsung athletes. Never a runner myself, I decided to change that when I turned 50 in 2016 when I trained for my first 5K. I've been running ever since and I love every minute of it - well - sort of.

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