Emilio Gomez, from Las Vegas, New Mexico, won both his singles matches this weekend against Lake Forest College and Knox College as well as his doubles match (with Elliott Czarnecki ’15) against Lake Forest. Last year, Gomez ranked #13 on the team and is now ranked #2, a huge amount of improvement from one season to the next.
When did you start playing tennis and why?
I started playing tennis when I was twelve and I grew up in a small town [with] no tennis club or coach but I was really fortunate because my older brother was one of the top players in the southwest region. He was always willing to hit with me and he was [like] my coach. I would tag along to tournaments. It was really great having a really good tennis player right down the hall, always willing to go hit or practice.
Why did you choose to attend Grinnell?
Coach Hamilton sent me an email as a senior. I showed it to my family and they heard it was a really good academic school and I would be able to be on the team. I came to prospie and I loved the team dynamic. Everyone seemed very close and that’s what really sold me on Grinnell.
What are your aspirations for the season?
Definitely to win our 10th MWC championship. As one of our captains, Daniel Nellis [’13] says, to be accountable for my spot because nothing’s guaranteed. I want to just keep improving and improve my teammates and work hard every day in practice.
What’s the best part and the worst part of living at Tennis House?
As Elliott Czarnecki [’15] says, we are literally like a family. We’re all brothers together. Nobody takes themselves too seriously. We love to laugh at each other and dish it out and we’re able to take it as well. Whenever I want to hit with somebody, someone’s right down the hall. The worst part is that I lived in a triple my first semester in the house. Our room was meant to be a double so we put our dressers on top of each other, so every morning I had to get a stool to get my socks. But now I’m in a single.
What is your favorite part about playing tennis at Grinnell?
Definitely the friendships we’ve developed as a team. We eat almost every meal together. We see each other all the time. We are family. Mostly all the laughs. We laugh so much, mostly at ourselves.
If you could change something about Grinnell, what would it be?
One thing that drives me crazy is that it’s $2.25 for a small thing of chocolate milk at the Grille. I work there. I wouldn’t charge 10 cents for hot water. That’s ridiculous.
Who’s your role model on the team?
It’s got to be Elliott Czarnecki ’15 because he’s really hardworking and really dedicated and he gives 100% in every practice.
What’s been your favorite class at Grinnell?
Constitutional Law and Politics with Helen Knowles [Political Science] last semester, because I want to attend law school eventually. My dad is a law prof and we have a great relationship but we never really talk about his job and I was able to call him up and he would talk to me about the concepts and interpretations of what we were studying and he would help me study over the phone.—Compiled by Jacqui Vautin, email@example.com