Former Adams State track star makes the cover of Running Times

(10-17-2005)

Zoila Gomez running by river

A smiling young woman fairly flies across the sands of the Great Sand Dunes National Park in the cover photo of Running Times' latest issue. That woman is Adams State College 2004 graduate, Zoila Gomez, winner of six national titles and the 2004 Collegiate Women Sports Awards NCAA Division II Athlete of the Year.

As fast as Gomez is, the magazine is moving even faster - copies are difficult to come by in her hometown of Alamosa, Colo.

Running Times is one of the nation's top publications devoted to distance running. The July/August cover story focuses on Gomez's pursuit of the American Dream - and how her success in running has exceeded her wildest dreams. Author Chris Lear describes Gomez as the epitome of "what is good about the sport."

The first in her family of 16 children to graduate from college, Gomez came to the U.S. from the small mining town of Charcas, San Luis Potosi, Mexico, in 1996. She ran - and won -- her first 10K at age 17, as a high school student in Costa Mesa, California.

Having completed an incredible collegiate career as a member of Adams State's national champion cross country and track and field teams, Gomez is running professionally with her sites set on the Olympic Marathon. She's still training with her Adams State coach, Damon Martin, recipient of 18 NCAA Div. II Coach of the Year awards.

Gomez teaches basic English to adults through the San Luis Valley Immigrant Resource Center, and plans to enroll in Adams State's Master's in Counseling program next fall.