Log In

Reset Password
Sports Youth Sports Professional Sports More Sports College Sports High School Sports

Ignacio’s Gomez going to Illinois

Senior now a two-sport college commit
Ignacio senior Corey Gomez, center, revealed Thursday that he'll be continuing his student-athlete career in both cross-country and track-and-field at the NCAA level for Division III member Lake Forest (Ill.) College. Among those inside IHS Gymnasium witnessing the announcement were (from left) IHS Boys' Track-and-Field coach Alfonso 'Ponch' Garcia, mother Chandel, father Miguel, and IHS Cross-Country coach Karri McCarter. (Joel Priest/Special to the Herald)

One Colorado product appeared on Lake Forest College’s men’s cross-country roster in 2023 and that was all it took to apparently convince the coaching staff that they needed another.

Never relied upon to be the top runner at 5A Regis Jesuit in Aurora before graduating in 2021, Bart Brophy will begin his senior year as a Forester having been named LFC’s Most Valuable Performer in 2022 as a sophomore, and also having logged the program’s fastest race time in three years this past fall as a junior.

Ready to learn from the unquestioned leader in the fall will be Ignacio’s Corey Gomez. Accompanied by family and seated at a table inside IHS Gymnasium before coaches, friends, school personnel and other backers, the senior made known Thursday afternoon his intent to attend the Lake Forest, Illinois school and compete on its cross-country and track-and-field teams.

“To be that far from home, but to just be somewhere new, have my own opinions and thoughts without family and friends … influencing everything …. It’s very nerve-wracking, but I’m very excited,” Gomez said. “I’m excited to have committed. The transition to that next level of education and athletics … it’s going to be a big step, but the people that I met there made me feel very welcome. That definitely helps.”

“I have had the pleasure to coach Corey the last three years – this is going to be our fourth year,” IHS Boys’ Track & Field head coach Alfonso ‘Ponch’ Garcia said. “I’m so happy and proud that he’s going to go to college – and do some running, take advantage of what he’s done at our school.”

Under second-year boss Patrick Austin in 2023, LFC’s men finished eighth out of nine teams at the MWC Cross-Country Championships held in Grinnell, Iowa. Prior to the COVID-canceled 2020 campaign, Lake Forest had ranked third in conference four of the pandemic-preceding six seasons. Two weeks later the Foresters ended their season 31st out of 31 at the NCAA Div. III Midwest Regional in Waverly, Iowa.

Lake Forest’s best result came in Wisconsin at Beloit College’s Olde English (featuring creek crossings, plus jumps consisting of logs and hay bales) Race, where LFC – paced by Brophy’s sixth-place 29:54.1 – finished third but ahead of the meet-hosting Buccaneers, who did not have enough entries to score as a team.

And through it all, the Foresters appear to have bought into the instruction of Austin and assistants Jill Wilkerson and Ryan Mount.

“He’s a very good coach … outgoing and warm with his athletes,” said Gomez, who first made contact with Lake Forest via the Next College Student Athlete (NCSA) website. “I had the chance to talk with a couple of his runners there, by themselves, and they had nothing mean to say. All positive things.”

Half a mile from Lake Michigan and roughly 30 miles north of Chicago with an enrollment approaching 1,800 students, LFC also made Austin head of its track team just a couple months after joining both sports’ coaching staffs before the 2022 track season.

And in late February, Lake Forest’s men closed out the indoor track and field season at the Ripon (Wis.) College-hosted MWC Championships. Helped by Brophy becoming the first Forester to break two minutes (clocking a ninth-place 1:59.61; the top eight runners earned team-scoring points) in the 800 meters (four 200 m laps), LFC placed eighth out of nine teams.

“I’ve definitely taken to the 800; that’s right now my best bet of making State – the open 8 and the 4x8,” Gomez said, alluding to the still-young CHSAA track-and-field season. “Austin … thinks that’s my best option; since I do have a longer stride and a little bit of speed, he believes that’s good for me.”

Gomez also said he’ll be running the mile and has been talking to the coaches about training for it. Gomez also likes the small class sizes at Lake Forest. He’s majoring in history with a minor in prelaw.