Next weekend, in Round Rock, Texas, Cruz Gomez will run for a UIL 5A state championship. That will be one of the most difficult races of his high school career as he will not only compete against some of the best runners in the state, but some of the top runners nationally.
However, before that tough day is to come, the PSJA Memorial senior chose to complete another tough task. For Gomez, that was announcing where he would decide to commit to continue his academics and athletics for college.
That news came out this afternoon and the when all was said and done, it was Gomez selecting the University of Texas At Austin (UT). The decision came down to four schools that made the short list, Arkansas University, University of Texas at Arlington, and Oklahoma State University.
"I'm pretty excited, I've been waiting for this moment since my freshman year. I just wanted to go to a university and make sure my parents didn't have to pay anything or worry about where the money was going to come from, so I'm really excited and very blessed" Gomez said.
Gomez thanked God, his parents, and his PSJA Memorial coach for their support and all of their hard work.
Gomez, himself has put in the hard work over the years. He qualified for the UIL state cross country meet each of his four years in high school with his lowest finish coming in is freshman year when he finished 13th. He continued to get stronger and faster each year as he dropped his PRs in each event every season.
Last year, Gomez had a breakthrough. After his 5th place finish at the state meet, he finished third at Nike Cross Nationals South Regionals. That qualified him for Nike Cross Nationals where he finished 66th overall. During the track season, he would continue to run well as he would finish his season with runner-up finishes at the state meet in both the 1600m (4:13.64) and the 3200m (9:13.83).
During this 2018 cross country season, he has been on fire, so far going undefeated on the season and having the fastest 5K time in the state.
With the verbal commitment out of the way, Gomez will turn his focus to the remainder of the 2018 season which includes next weekend's state meet and possible Nike and Foot Locker meets.