Jason Gomez won the CIF-State Championship title in the 800 meters. (Photo courtesy of Jason Gomez)
MileSplitCA offered seniors a platform to share their stories and experiences either in Q&A format or story form. This is one in that series. Click here for details on how to share your story.
- My most memorable moment from my high school track was winning the 800m state title. I think back to my freshman year, to even medal on the state level would make you a god, then come my junior year I was a men amongst gods, I took 4th. I come back my senior year and I only want one thing and that's to call myself a state champion and I work harder then ever. I will never forget for the rest of my life the final 50 meters of that race when it hit me I was about to win.
Q: Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?
- One of my fiercest competitors and friends is Alex Scales of Bellarmine, I had been racing him since 6th grade but it was really my junior year of high school when I began to have these epic battles with him. CCS finals of 2017, I'm trying to run away from him in the final 80 meters but as soon as he starts swinging his arms in that (style) I know so well; I had one of the greatest races of my life.
Q: What was your greatest accomplishment?
- My greatest accomplishment was winning the state title.
Q: If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?
- Unlike most high school runners, I competed only one time on the track as an underclassman due to personal issues which led to academic ineligibility. With that being said, I would not change a single thing and do it all over again. I am proud of the person I have become and proud of the things I have achieved and would not have gotten to where I am any other way.
Q: What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
- My most difficult obstacles was dealing with my expectations for myself. I was a youth runner, and a very successful one at that, being a multi-time all-American at the USATF Junior Olympics. So I came into high school with the expectations that I will be just as successful here. I was terribly wrong. My freshman and sophomore year was filled with depression, poor grades and poor performances on the track (I still competed outside of high school).
Q: What will you miss the most?
- I will miss the California State Meet the most. There is just an aurora that emanates from the meet that makes it truly something special. Also, it is bold in my opinion -- a fair argument -- to say it is the best state meet in the country. I had the honor of competing at the meet twice and every time I stepped on that track at Veterans Stadium, I felt something special and unique. That is coming from me who has been competing in cross country and track since age 5, with thousands of races and hundreds of meets under my belt.
Q: What advice you would give to younger athletes?
- I am directing this toward high school freshman mainly. Believe you can be great. I think back and would be astonished at the times these state finalists were running. I remember thinking running a 49 second 400 and 1:56 800 was near impossible. High school is long. If you wish to become the next state champion, you cannot expect to become the next German Fernandez, Micheal Granville or Micheal Norman within a single year; it's over a long period of time. Also learn to have fun with the sport. Make friends, goof off (not during practice obviously), challenge yourself.
Q: What influence has your coach had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?
- Unlike most, I've had a private coach outside of my high school and have accredited him to most of my performance. I mean no disrespect to my high school coaches, Susie, Ron or Neil, and thank them for the things they have done for me. My private coach, Gabe, has been like a second father. I spend almost every weekend with him training since about 7th grade. He challenges me during every workout and also helps me understand why we must do certain things during workouts. Also, (he) helped me with race strategy and how to kick. He has shaped me into the man I am today and has instilled many morals and work ethics I myself probably don't realize.
Q: What are your college plans?
- I will be attending Notre Dame De Namur in Belmont California and will be majoring in political science with hopes of one day becoming a lawyer.
Q: Who would you like to say thank you to?
- I would like to thank my parents, Diana and Alex, my private coach Gabe, my high school coaches Susie, Ron and Neil, my sports psychologist John Ellsworth, my family therapist Dr.Thompson, my grandparents and Westmont High School.
Q: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
- My name is Jason Gomez from San Jose and I use to race walk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1sxFgTUbWo