Interview with 4-time CA state champion, Roman Gomez

This past weekend, Blake Haney attempted to become the 2nd male in CA state meet history to win the 1600/3200 two years in a row. His valiant attempt came close with a 3rd place finish in the 3200 after recording the first 3 victories. Here is my interview with the man whose double/double stands alone, Roman Gomez (photo courtesy of Leroy Rivera).
Gomez recorded his victories in the 1984 and 1985 seasons. His faster times came during his junior season when he recorded a sub 9 effort in the 3200m. (8:58.91). During that time, the 3200m. was the first distance event followed by the 800m., with the 1600m. right before the 1600m. relay. He came back to win the 1600m. in 4:09.05. One year later, on a cold and windy day, Gomez won the 3200m. in 9:03.05 with a 59.0 last lap (video below). He 1600m. victory was won in a pedestrian 4:15.93 but with a devestating 55.7 last lap to complete one of the all-time greatest achievements in California state meet history.
1) What sports did you play in your youth? I played soccer, and football (receiver, corner back...) When did you get your start in running?
My oldest brother entered me in a 10K when I was 14...ran 36:30.
2) What do you remember most about your first two seasons in XC and TF in high school?
I was 5th in my section finals and missed making state by one place as a 9th grader
Proudest accomplishments?
Winning CIF LA Section 3,200 meters as a 10thI made it to the state semi-finals where I ran 9:16, but didn’t make the finals.
3) What about your last two years in high school? Winning 8 LA City Section championships. Proudest accomplishments?
Winning 4 state titles.
4) You are best remembered for those back to back 1600/3200 titles at the CA state track and field meet. What do you remember about that experience and what was the most difficult of the four victories?
The races were actually easy. I put pressure on myself when people started talking about how difficult it would be to win back to back state titles.
5) Who was your high school coach and what do you remember most about him and how he helped you develop as a runner?
Coach Robin Paulsen. He was very supportive and knowledgeable. He prepared 
me mentally for the races. His workouts focused on the race and how to win. Times were not a concerned of ours...
6) What do you remember about your high school training? Quality over quantity. Mileage per week? 
35 miles per week. No summer running. Tougher workouts? 4x800...averaged 1:59.
7) Looking now back at your entire high school career, what do wish you could have done differently in terms of training or anything else that comes to mind?
Nothing. It was great!
8) What about your college experience. Where did you attend college? I went to USC. Who was your coach? Coach Larry Knuth. Highlights?
Finished top 10 in the pac 10 in cross country my freshman year. 
Experience as a whole?
Auto accident forced the end of my running career.
9) From your perspective, what are the advantages that high school runners have today that you and the runners in your era didn't have and what do you feel like they could do better?
The science, shoes, no dirt tracks...etc.
10) Blake Haney attempted to duplicate your double/double victories at the CA state meet but came up one race short with a 3rd place finish in the this year's 3200m. Did you get a chance to meet and chat with him?
I was there. I was honored to meet him. I was invited to give the first place medal by the meet director. He was a bit upset and I didn’t want to make him uncomfortable.
Do you think another CA runner will be able to duplicate your feat?
Look out for Hector Garcia from Los Angeles’ Marshall High school. I would love to coach that kid. Unfortunately, he goes to my rival school. I will be coaching Belmont High School Cross Country next year. 
11) What is your advice for an elite runner heading toward his last year in high school and preparing to make his or her college choice? I loved running and competing. Advice?
Running comes from within. Just run with passion and enjoy it.
12) Anything else?
Thank you.