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Roswell hires new cross-country coach


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When Roswell cross-country team begins practice in the fall, it will have a new coach. Gabriel Vidal will replace Debbie Dumlao. Vidal was the head coach at Deming for one year and an assistant for four years. When Vidal took over the program, the biggest problem he had was getting kids involved and to come out for the team.

His goal for his first year is to lay the foundation for future teams. He ultimately wants to win a Blue Trophy here at Roswell. Vidal is looking to be here Thursday, and for good later in July. He noted that he is looking for a house for his wife, Lluvia Vidal; daughters, Elizabeth, 6 years old; Leah, 4 years old; and son, Lucas, 4 months old. At Roswell, Vidal will teach special education.

Originally from Bell Gardens, California, where he ran cross-country and track, Vidal went to Long Beach Community College and also ran cross-country and track. From there, he earned a scholarship at New Mexico Highlands to run cross-country.

One of his good friends from college works for Roswell and they used to tease each other about getting the other to move to one another’s cities. His friend was the main connection for applying for the job. After he interviewed with the principal, he was impressed.

“I found that Roswell has the same type of programs,” Vidal said, “I feel like I can come in and hopefully make an impact on the students and that I can help the runners become the best they can be.”

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Since Vidal is still in Deming, he has been reaching out to his athletes on a Facebook page he created (Roswell Cross Country) and emailing them. He wants to find out what kind of shape they are in and create a customized workout plan for each kid.

Vidal plans on accepting all that come out for the team. He wants to help any athlete regardless of what stage and experience level they are at. His only prerequisite is the athletes are willing to work hard. For now, Vidal wants kids to run on their own, and as he relocates, he will be able to help them become race-ready.

In Vidal’s first season, he wants to let everyone know what the expectations of the team are. He wants the Roswell community to know that it will take a little while, but things are changing. In a few years, he hopes to have Roswell as a top team in the state and believes they will be in the hunt for a state title.

“I just want to help them, (athletes), get better and reach their goals,” Vidal said. “Running is about learning how to endure and push through the struggles. There are going to be times when it comes easy and times when it comes tough. That is life, I want to help kids grow up to be big, strong adults that are going to impact their communities in a positive way.”

For those wanting to connect with coach Vidal, they can go to his Facebook page: Roswell Cross Country, and through his email 17gvidal@gmail.com.


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