Jan 26, 2010 1:33 AM
WALSENBURG, CO- In a ceremony to mark A Night of Champions, John Mall High School honored the seven former State Wrestling Champions from their school on January 21. The event was sponsored by the Huerfano Journal, newspaper for the Spanish Peaks region, to honor former state champions Brett Corsentino, Pete Gomez III, Shane Salazar, Gino Trujillo Jr., Ivan Pacheco, Jess Vialpando and Bryan Crespin.
The school also announced that they will rename the John Mall Invitational Wrestling Tournament the Pete and Ina Gomez Invitational beginning in 2010. This will be the first sanctioned wrestling tournament in Colorado and perhaps one of few in the country to honor a husband and wife. The only other tournament named after a female is the Sara Tolin Memorial Tournament in Casper, WY.
Since 1977, up to fifteen schools from across the state, including those from the 2-4A classes, have competed in the John Mall Tournament, called the Walsenburg Invitational in its early years.
Pete Gomez is a quiet and unassuming man whose only concern is the development of the kids he has coached. Gomez served as RE-1 high school Wrestling Coach from 1973 through 1990 and as Athletic Director from 1985 through 2002 and 2006-07.
During his time at Walsenburg High and John Mall, Gomez coached three State Champions, two State Runners-up and twelve State Placement winners. He also coached to victory one National Junior Greco Champion and one National Greco Runner-up Champion.
In 2006, Gomez was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame for his work as an official. He began his career as an official in 1975 and since then has traveled all over the world, officiating in Mexico, Canada, France, Finland, Sweden, the former Czechoslovakia and Australia. Gomez has officiated in final rounds in each foreign country he visited, including the Pan American Games in Mexico.
Gomez also served on the Board of Control of the Colorado High School Athletic Association from