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Hillmen's Gama Gomez was born to run

Placer High athlete succeeding in multiple sports
By: Matthew Kimel / Journal sports editor
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Gama Gomez can run all day.


In fact, he already does year-round.


The Placer High School senior, who played four varsity sports last year, is currently excelling as a star on the Hillmen soccer and cross country teams simultaneously and doesn’t intend to slow down anytime soon.


Whether he’s dribbling up and down the soccer field, going the distance at a cross country meet, battling on a wrestling mat or sprinting on the track, Gomez gives it his all. 


“He is a phenomenal athlete,” cross country coach Randall Fee said. “He’s one of the few that can pull off doing four varsity sports in one school year and be a standout in each one of those sports.”


Gomez has a team-high nine goals in 11 games for the Hillmen (7-3-1, 2-0 Pioneer Valley League). He also has five assists.


“I like passing the ball, getting assists and seeing other people score,” Gomez said. “It’s not all about me. I love my team. It’s my last year, I want to enjoy it.”


In cross country, he’s stepped up his game to fill in as the No. 2 runner after Zach Stelzer got injured.


“I like pushing myself and getting better,” said Gomez, who has been motivated to try and keep pace with the Hillmen’s top runner, Toby Qualls.


Gomez believes his hard work in cross country is also paying off on the pitch, as players have trouble keeping up with his pace and conditioning as the game goes on.


“I had a talk with him after the PVL No. 1 meet and told him what he’s accomplishing has not gone unnoticed,” Fee said. “... Our team hasn’t lost a beat.”


Placer soccer coach Dave Brown said Gomez is one of the rare athletes he believes is capable of doing more than one sport in a season.


“He’s one of the few kids I’d let play two sports,” Brown said. “He has a big heart. He’ll run himself to death to succeed. He’s a special athlete.”


Gomez also brings more than just his athletic talents to the table.


“Gama is one of those that brings so much to a team, not just his running ability but his personality,” Fee said. “He’s friends with everyone. Besides just being a good athlete he’s a good friend of mine. We (Fee and Placer High alumnus Mauricio Vera) have a goal to try to get Gama in to Sac City College and continue his education and athletic career.”


Said Gomez: “I want to go to college and run. I don’t want to just finish in high school and stop doing sports. I just need to get my grades up and keep working.”


With homework and all, Gomez somehow finds the time to be successful in sports.


“He’s dedicated and shows up to early morning practices,” Fee said. “It’s hard to be at two places at once, but he never misses a weekend practice. I admire him for being as strong as he is.”


In the winter, Gomez will join the wrestling team. He intends on doing mile and 800-meter races in the spring for the track and field team but may opt to do volleyball instead. It’s also possible he could do five sports in 2012.


Either way, it certainly seems like Gama Gomez was born to run.


Reach Matthew Kimel at matthewk@goldcountrymedia.comFollow him on Twitter @matthewkimel