Gomez wins CCS cross country title

If it’s true that patience is a virtue, then it might also be a key to success.

At least it was for Westmont High School’s Jason Gomez on Nov. 11 at the 52nd annual Central Coast Section cross country championships.

Gomez captured first place in the boys Division 3 race, leading Westmont to a strong fifth place finish in the team standings — its best CCS showing since 1996 — while earning a trip to the California Interscholastic Federation State Championships along with a pair of Prospect runners. He is the first Westmont runner to ever win a CCS cross country title.

“The key was patience, in every aspect of the word” Westmont coach Ron Ernst said of Gomez’ winning performance. “He did a lot of 800-meter racing in the summer, so we had to be patient for him to get his 5K speed back, since the races are so different physiologically. He also needed to be patient during the race and not push the pace during the first mile. He is so fast, he likes to start quick. Today, he waited.”

Gomez, a senior, crossed the finish line on the Toro Park-Salinas 3-mile course in 16 minutes, 16.9 seconds. He was three seconds ahead of Koya Oki, a senior from Aptos High School.

Oki’s teammate, Jorge Benitez, rounded out the top three as Aptos claimed the team title with a score of 44. Greenfield was second (54).

Making up the rest of the top five in the team standings were St. Ignatius (102), Sacred Heart Cathedral (120) and Westmont (135). Prospect (215) came in eighth.

A year ago, Westmont finished sixth in Division 2.

“With a little less than a mile to go, Jason noticed his teammate who was favored to win, Garrett MacQuiddy, struggling with a cramp. He decided to pounce on the opportunity …read more

Source:: The Mercury News

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