By: Devin McKenzie
OwlFeed Sports Journalist
Another season, another chance. The Agua Fria 2019-2020 Cross Country season has begun and the team is prepared to get faster and stronger with both familiar and new faces.
With preseason practice coming to an end, the coaching staff has been left with an early, positive impression, towards the team’s success for this upcoming season but also has identified several unique challenges that will face the team for years to come.
“The boys’ team has a lot of talent already with only one senior, but the core group is made of all juniors and sophomores. So the result this year and next year, the boys’ team should have a lot of success and talent, and should do very well for themselves,” said Coach Haubenstricker.
Coach Haubs also weighed in on the future for the girls’ team, saying that they currently have a lot of first-year Juniors. Within the next two years, the girls’ team will be completely unrecognizable since it will be full of new fresh faces and talent.
Even with the success, however, the team is still improving over the many obstacles they are facing, such as the high temperatures and how young the team is overall. Despite this, they continue to show huge improvements, from morning to evening.
“For the boys, there’s a huge ability gap between varsity level athletes and the junior varsity level athletes, so if any of the varsity athletes go down, the varsity team as a whole will take a huge impact because there aren’t any clear alternate to step in to take their spots,” Coach Haubenstricker said.
The Agua Fria High School had their season opener at home against Canyon View, Copper Canyon, and Paradise Honors High School. The team had a breakout performance against the three schools, running at 110 degrees. The team had the best dual meet performance in the last 5 years. Oscar Gonzales, Demetri Davis, Ernesto Oquita, Jacob Crofford, and Tanell Brown all came in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 6th respectively.
The girls also had a great performance as well. Viviana Martinez-Romero led the dual meet for the girl’s cross country team, and Karen Quintana also held it strong after battling knee injuries during soccer practices.
The outlook for the team is strong at this moment. Even with the many challenges that all sports teams face, the Owl’s come ready to dominate their cross country season. We are all looking forward to see what this season brings them!