The Record-Breaking Run of Oscar Gonzales


Photo Credit: Mr. Espinoza

Jesus Ortiz, OwlFeed News Reporter

“On your mark, get set, GO!” The race has begun and only one thing is on Oscar Gonzales’s mind… and that’s to pace yourself. While doing 1600 he pushes himself to keep going and to do his best. The competition is high, he’s going against many schools from Arizona and even from other states. As he approaches the finish line, he can feel victory right around the corner. He finished the race with a time of 15:54.91. With that time he broke the Agua Fria high school record, making him one of the fastest male cross country athletes in Agua Fria history.  

Here at Agua Fria, we have many students, all different in their own ways. Some have different talents, some can do incredible things, and some can be themselves and just light up a room.

Oscar Gonzales is one of those special people that has achieved spectacular talents. He can do incredible things with the resources he has been given, and he has this bright personality that can light up a room. Oscar is a senior at Agua Fria High School. During his four years, he’s done a lot, but one thing that he decided to do that would shape his years here is joining the cross country team. 

Oscar is most known for his record-breaking titles in cross country and track. Oscar loves running, which he started doing in 8th grade. He signed up for the 800 and 1600, from there on he fell in love with running, and he planned on joining the cross country team his freshman year in high school. 

During the summer before going to high school, he would spend a really big portion of his time in Colorado running and training. He’d train with his family, and he’d even go running with his uncle’s community college cross country team. While doing that he really started to learn more about himself. He would test his limits, run faster, and run for long durations of time.

When he went into high school he signed up for the cross country team. He got in and even ran for the varsity cross country and track teams.

Oscar is one of those students that you see and they look like they have everything together. He’s not just an athlete, he is a scholar as well. He’s been in AVID for a long time in high school and he took honors and AP classes throughout the years.

However, just like all of us, he’s had challenges along the way. “Having the motivation to keep going [is a bit challenging],” Oscar said. “‘Cause you could only do so much, and still apply yourself afterward.”

Even through those hard times Oscar still loves what he does. Running is something that he deeply enjoys. “Long runs are cool,” he said. “During the summer I go to Colorado, so it’s all like trees and stuff. So on the long runs, you just admire everything.”

Oscar has thought out what to do after high school. “It’s not set in stone, but I’m planning to go to Pima Community College to run there and study biology. Later on, transfer to a university. I’m not sure about the major, but I’m probably going to become a physical therapist.” 

Oscar’s number one supporters are his parents. When I asked him who’s been there since day one, his response was heartwarming. “Definitely my parents, they are not one to push a thing on you,” Oscar said. “They just want what’s best for me, and they want me to do what I want.”

From the beginning of his high school career, he has always had his teachers and coaches on his side. They would support him every step of the way and give him the strength to keep going. One person in particular that has known Oscar for a long time is Mr. Haubenstricker. 

Known as a math teacher and the varsity cross country coach, he is a person that has been with Oscar since he arrived. “I’ve known him all four years of high school,” said Mr. Haubenstricker. “I kinda knew of him, in the sense that I knew he was coming to school here. I knew his older sisters, I’ve actually known both of his older sisters, who are both Agua Fria students.”

Originally, Mr. Haubenstricker and Oscar would be aware of the existence of each other, at the time Mr. Haubenstricker was going to become the head coach of the cross country team. 

“We had practiced all summer, and I actually didn’t see him,” Mr. Haubenstricker said with a nostalgic feeling. “He didn’t start coming to practice until I was actually out of town, on a trip to California. However when I got back from my trip, about a week before school started, I saw him for a couple of practices before the season started.” 

In the eyes of Mr. Haubenstricker, he sees Oscar as “the complete student.” He explained, “I’ve met good athletes, I’ve met great people, and I met great human beings. Oscar has all of those. He’s a good kid, he works hard, both in the classroom and as an athlete. He is just a good all-around kid.”

During the interview with Mr. Haubenstricker, I asked many questions about Oscar’s many achievements and how good of an athlete and student he is. Mr. Haubenstricker sees Oscar as a role model for up-and-coming students and athletes. “Students can look up to him from an academic standpoint, his work ethic, and all the hard work he puts in,” Mr. Haubenstricker said. “He also just puts all that together without being a jerk and bringing people down.” 

You can see for yourself now that Oscar is a team player and he is really devoted to what he does. He likes to help others and motivates others to be their best selves. 

A teammate of his, Connor Lange, gave me a really good insight into how Oscar is on the field. “Oscar is pretty chill, he gives really great advice,” Connor said. “He tells you what you can do better and how to improve for next time.” 

Connor added: “Something that he has taught me is…that there is always more to put in. Even when you’re tired you can still put in more.”

As Connor and I talked about how the team environment is, he said, “Oscar definitely adds to it. He brings a lot to the team whether that be his advice or he’s a great personality.” 

Connor said, “The team is really close, and without him, it wouldn’t really be the same.”

Hopefully by now you can see that Oscars is a really great motivator. He shows compassion and kindness to people who he comes in contact with. From being an amazing student to a trail blazing athlete, he shows that he cares and is dedicated to whatever he puts his mind up too. 

With that being said, Oscar leaves a few words for the Agua Fria community. “Just keep going and keep doing what you’re doing,” Oscar said. “If things get hard, push through and overcome it.”