Mile News

Bernie Montoya is a Success Story

March 01, 2013

Future Sun Devil is ‘well-liked’ by all, has broken records

By Richard Obert, AZcentral Sports

It catches Bernie Montoya off guard when a freshman runner at Yuma Cibola approaches him for a picture and autograph.

He smiles, signs and makes the kid feel like he is special.

“He’s that way with everyone. And I think that’s why he seems to be so well-liked,” said cross-country coach Kris Norton, who works with the distance runners during the track season.

Track-and-field coach Brett Pavey says Montoya is a like an extra coach on the team.

“Take away all the talent, he is an incredible teammate,” Pavey said.

The talent, however, is off the charts, his resilience second to none.

His first big moment came during his sophomore year when his shoe fell off in the middle of the 1600-meter state championship race at Mesa Community College. On that scorching day, Montoya flew around the track with only one shoe, finished first and was helped off the track with skin peeled back from the bottom of his foot.

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