Wildcat speed demon of Axtell track earns Athlete of the Week

Braiden Gomez practices take-offs at track practice on Wednesday. (KHGI)

As the sun rises on track and field season, Briaden Gomez couldn't have asked for a better start to his senior year, combining for five personal wins in two meets.

He crossed the finish line as NTV's athlete of the week.

He's faced many physical and mental challenges in his career, but that hasn't stopped this Axtell Wildcat from always finding his way back to the top.

"Work hard, work harder than everyone else," Gomez said. "That's what I try to do."

Pulling off two big wins in his first meet of the season, Gomez showed no mercy on the track at Wilcox-Hildreth, taking home the gold in the 100 and 200-meter dash.

"Just mentality, that's all it is," Gomez stated. "All you got to look forward to."

"In the 100-meter dash he's been around that 11 flat mark now," head coach Eric Havranek said. "200 meter dash he's been around that 22.7-22.8 range."

While many athletes can run a good race in sunny weather, Gomez proved to be above average from the rest, winning both his races against Mother Nature's sub-40 degree temperatures with times almost matching his results from the state championship.

"Being ready, practicing and going hard," Gomez continued. "Nothing really new, I guess just practicing hard."

"We try to preach to the guys that at least 30 minutes before you race," Havranek stated. "You should be warming up to a sweat and on those cold days that's difficult to do. At times, you have to warm up a little longer and go through more than once," Havanek continued. "But they do a good job of pairing up and making sure that they are prepared for their race mentally and physically."

But Gomez wasn't done after Saturday. Just four days later, the defending 100-meter dash state champion continued his success at Kenesaw, capturing first place in the same two events, and the 1600-meter relay.

"I guess it all goes back to mentality, eating right and getting physically and mentally prepared with a good team and having good support," Gomez said. "Those guys are phenomenal."

"We knew where he was at from what we've seen in practice," Havranek remembered. "But we just wanted to get him with the competition to see how he'd do against other schools."

Gomez finished the 100-meter dash in a time of 10.9 seconds, while winning the 200-meter dash in 22.9 at the Wilcox-Hildreth Invite.

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