Gomez becomes first UCCS field athlete to earn all-American status

By Shannon Payne published March 13, 2009

HOUSTON, Texas - High jumper Steven Gomez became the first Mountain Lion to achieve All-American status in any field event at the NCAA Indoor National Championship on Friday.

In the process, he made a little piece of UCCS history as he is the first All-American in the Mountain Lions' track program to not be a distance runner.

Gomez, a freshman, cleared a height of 2.06 meters on his way to a seventh-place finish and a place on the podium. The top eight finishers per event earn All-American honors.

After two misses in an attempt to clear 1.98 meters and 2.03 meters, he went on to clear 2.06 meters and ultimately tied with Hillsdale's Andrew Dodson for seventh.

"The couple of misses might have been nerves," said jumps coach Brandon Masters.
"But he really came back and competed. He might be down on himself for not having his best jump ever, but to come to indoor nationals as a freshman and take home hardware really says a lot about him as a competitor. This is a really big deal and he is a really fierce competitor."

The meet marked the end of a remarkable indoor season for Gomez. The freshman's best high school jump was 6-foot even but he improved all the way to his 6-foot-11 national qualifying mark.

"Two months ago, nobody thought he'd be competing for a national championship," said UCCS head track coach Mark Misch, whose team will open the outdoor season on March 21 in Boulder for the Potts Invitational.. "He's come a long way.

"He didn't have his best day, but when seventh in the nation is your average day, that's pretty good."

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Steven GomezSteven GomezJumps
Steven GomezSteven GomezJumps
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