San Elizario High School’s Edwin Gomez, a sophomore, recently participated in one of the most important Cross Country races in the nation— the Nike Cross Nationals (NXN) Championship.
The race was held in Portland, Oregon where 210 elite runners from all over the country competed for the top spot in the national rankings.
Before qualifying for the NXN Meet, Gomez competed in the Nike Cross Regional (NXR) South Meet in The Woodlands, Texas. Out of 350 runners, Gomez came in 5th place, securing him a place in the national competition. Gomez finished the race in a time of 15:45.38
“The NXR South was not an easy race,” said Cesar Morales, Head Coach for Cross Country at San Elizario High School (SEHS). “His top 5th finish is a result of his hard work, dedication, and respect to the sport. I had a feeling he was going to do well at the NXR South Meet and advance to the Nike national meet. He is a fighter who does not give up easily.”
Competing at a national level is something Gomez never imagined would happen this early in his high school years. For him, this was an experience he will always remember.
“I did not know what to expect at all,” Gomez said. “When I ran at the NXR South, I gave it my all but I never thought I would move on to the next level. Both races were tough, but to me it was not about placing a high rank. It was more about the experience and getting to meet and network with other top athletes from across the nation. To me, that was a real privilege.”
Jorge Maese, Assistant Coach for Cross Country at SEHS, says he could not be more proud of Gomez and his accomplishments.
“Edwin’s hard work has truly paid off and we are all extremely proud of him for making it this far,” Maese said. “The NXN Meet was an eye-opener for Edwin and us as his coaches because it showed us what we need to do as a team and as a program to get to that level of competitiveness. We have a lot of work to do, but nothing is impossible.”
Gomez finished 84th out of 210 national qualifiers and is the second individual qualifier to represent the El Paso region at the NXN Meet.