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El Paso Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2022: Kenneth Lucero

EL PASO, Texas - When Kenneth Lucero was a senior at Coronado High School, he had a decision to make.

Focus entirely on basketball, or try something new and join the track and field team.

Throughout his first three years at Coronado, coaches tried to persuade him to run cross country and run track, but Lucero was hesitant.

Lucero's father helped convince him to go ahead and give track and field a shot.

It was a decision that changed the course of Lucero's life forever.

In his only season as a runner for the Coronado Thunderbirds, Lucero performed so well that UTEP took notice and offered him a scholarship.

It was a dream come true for Lucero who had always been a fan of the UTEP track and field team.

"They were all my heroes," Lucero said. "I used to see them running up and down Mesa, and I just thought it was incredible. I though how cool would it be to one day to run with those guys."

Lucero established big goals for himself entering his first season with the Miners.

"When I first walked into the UTEP track office as a freshman, I saw all my idols on the wall," Lucero said. "They used to put the All-American certificates on the wall. I didn't tell anyone this, but I knew from that day my goal was to be up there as a local kid with all my heroes."

Lucero shined as a Miner.

He was a three-time WAC Conference 5,000 meter champion in both indoors and outdoors.

In 1991, Lucero's senior season, he accomplished his number one goal becoming an NCAA Cross Country All-American.

"When you thought your dream was over, and actually achieved the goal that you worked four or five years for, it was a pretty cool feeling," Lucero said.

Lucero's track in life would then lead him to coaching.

For the last 13 years, Lucero has coached the cross country, and track and field teams at Americas High School.

He's led the Blazers to district titles and has helped several runners qualify for state.

However, for Lucero it's not so much about the accolades, but rather getting the very best out his runners.

"It's not just about your fast kids," Lucero said. "It's about giving kids an opportunity to challenge themselves and succeed, and reach their goal. That's what drives me as far as coaching." 

Lucero will now add El Paso Athletic Hall of Famer to his list of accomplishments.

He is one of 8 inductees in the Class of 2022.

The El Paso Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be June 22, and will be livestreamed at kvia.com.

 

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Adrian Ochoa

Adrian Ochoa is ABC-7’s Sports Director.

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