Writer remembers Amador Valley star Danny Gabor, killed 20 years ago in plane crash

Also reports on Little League U-12 Blue team winning new league's first tournament title

This past Sunday morning, I woke up feeling a bit down as July 17 was the 20-year anniversary of the crash TWA Flight 800 that killed all 230 passengers, including Amador Valley graduate Danny Gabor.

Of course that mood turned instantly worse with the news out of Baton Rouge about the three police officers being killed. It really got me to thinking about how we react to tragedies throughout the world.

We mourn the loss of life and inside pray that we did not personally know anyone who was killed.

That's not always the case and Danny's passing was one such instance. It's been 20 years, but it seems like just yesterday I was covering Danny when he won the California State High School 800 meters in 1987. It was as emotional event as I ever covered in all my years as a prep writer.

You see, I had known Danny since he was 10 as he played soccer for my father. Danny's dad Don Gabor, was a legend coaching soccer at livermore High before passing in 1979.

In many ways, Danny became another part of our family after his father passed, so when he was becoming one of the top high school 800 meter runners in the country, I had a bit of an emotional investment.

Hughes Stadium in Sacramento was the site of the state meet 1987 and the final race was vintage Danny. Running toward the back of the pack throughout, Danny rallied in the last 120 yards of the race, passing the rest of the field and winning the state title. The excitement of the moment had me standing up in the press box yelling

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1 person likes this
Posted by Sara
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Jul 19, 2016 at 9:30 am

Thank you for the heartfelt story. Now I know who the Dan Gabor track meet at Amador honors.

4 people like this
Posted by Mike Cheney
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jul 19, 2016 at 10:40 am

In 84 I was able to enjoy watching and participating with Danny on the Amador track team and really liked the kid. The Mohawk haircut and the great attitude he had with a smile on his face as he laughed and joked with everyone around him.
Miss that kid! ;) Very talented & a stand out runner!
Thanks for the heat felt story. It put a tear to my eye and a laugh in my heart to read.
Thanks Dennis!

1 person likes this
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jul 19, 2016 at 11:59 am

May Danny Rest In Peace.

5 people like this
Posted by Cathy Gabor
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jul 19, 2016 at 3:24 pm

Dennis ~

Thank you for your eloquent and heartfelt tribute to my brother Danny. I remember well the positive influence you and your father had on him.

I'm so glad to be back in Pleasanton and to be part of a community with kind people like you.

Cathy Gabor

Like this comment
a resident of Foothill Place
on Jul 19, 2016 at 6:36 pm

Wow hi guys I was on foothill I'm glad i'm glad we didn't face them because they just whoops everyone's bootys. Rip everyone else. Pleasanton is the best.

1 person likes this
Posted by Marc
a resident of Mohr Park
on Jul 19, 2016 at 7:20 pm

Graduated in 96. He was an assistant coach. May you rest in peace. God bless you

1 person likes this
Posted by Jill
a resident of another community
on Jul 19, 2016 at 8:29 pm

Knew Danny, such a great and funny kid; kind as well. He and my brother hung out a lot when they were younger. He died a couple days after my birthday and it was surreal to hear his name and see his picture on the TV screen. I always think about him during this time of the year. May he rest in peace.

Like this comment
Posted by Bill
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jul 20, 2016 at 2:21 pm


I was coaching track at Foothill when Danny won the State Meet, it was such a beautiful race that played into to his strengths, a slow first lap with everybody bunched up with about 200M to go and all the EBAL kids and coaches knew nobody had the speed to stay with him in a sprint. It was a fun race to watch. Danny was a good guy, and he is missed.

Like this comment
Posted by Mark
a resident of Mission Park
on Jul 24, 2016 at 12:58 am

I was on Amador's X-country team and track team in the late 80's. Dan Gabor was not your typical long distant runner who was skin and bones gangling. Dan was well built with perfect posture and a big mohawk. You knew he was something special back then. My favorite track moment was 87 James Logan Invite when coach Walsh at last second decided to have Gabor run third and to have me run the anchor in the two mile relay. For those who do not know track and field typically the slowest runner runs third in the two mile relay. When Gabor got the baton we were near last place in his perfect running style and big mohawk he was passing these slower runners with ease. I remember a lot people at the track pointing in disbelieve at how easy he was passing the other runners. When I got the baton we were in second place. i ran my fastest 800 time ever 2:05 and held on to second place.The school announced our names Monday morning and the Tri-valley times did a write up on the race. It wasn't until three weeks later when I was looking at the time results in the newspaper clipping that I cut out that I realized five other schools finished only one second behind us. Must have been a wall of people right behind me what a move by our Track coach. Gabor was something special.

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