ANTONITO — When Gerald “Tommy” Archuleta died in a traffic accident on April 10, 2017, he left behind memories, devotion and love.
That legacy was preserved July 21 when the Antonito High School Class of 2017 dedicated a memorial to “Mr. A” and school athletes ran a memorial 4x1 relay.
Tommy was born on April 18, 1983 in Los Alamos, N.M. and graduated from Mesa Vista High School with honors in 2001. He achieved his bachelor’s degree in education from Adams State College in 2007 and spent the next decade teaching, the last seven years in Antonito.
He coached high school and middle school basketball, track and cross country. He was an avid outdoorsman; he loved to hike, fish and camp. He enjoyed golfing and doing triathlons with his wife and going to the Colorado Rockies baseball games on Sundays.
His wife Stephanie ran part of the last leg of the relay, allowing baby Archuleta, due in September, to break the tape at the finish line.
The monument, topped by a pair of Tommy’s running shoes, preserved forever in metal and encased in thick glass, was unveiled before the memorial run began, to applause from some 50 members of a growing audience.
Stephanie, who was present at most of the Trojans’ runs and well known by the student athletes, was greeted with enthusiastic embraces by his students, many of whom patted her belly and wished mother and baby well. The sex of that child won’t be known until he or she emerges into the welcoming world created by mom and dad.
Captions: “Baby Archuleta” breaks the tape after mom Stephanie ran part of the last leg of a commemorative 4x1 during memorial ceremonies Friday at Antonito High School.
A pair of bronzed running shoes were installed alongside the school track by the Antonito High School Class of 2017 to remain forever as a memorial to beloved coach Gerald “Tommy” Archuleta, who died in a traffic accident on April 10. Photos by Sylvia Lobato