Athlete of the Week: Jonathan Hortaleza


Photo courtesy of Jonathan Hortaleza

Junior Jonathan Hortaleza runs track for both La Salle and a club team.

Payton Horsch, Staff Reporter

Junior Jonathan Hortaleza has been running track since the fourth grade, but he only joined a club track team last August because he was feeling “antsy during quarantine,” he said.

Hortaleza joined La Salle’s track team as a freshman. While he originally joined the team for his speed, he quickly “learned that I wasn’t as fast as I thought,” he said. 

Hortaleza participates in many different events, but his favorite track events include the 100 meter dash and the 200 meter dash. “These are my favorites because I feel like I’m flying when I run these events,” he said.

One of Hortaleza’s favorite memories from track was when he jumped 20 feet in long jump. He loves this memory because he was able to prove his coach wrong when she didn’t believe he could jump that far. 

Along with the highlights of the track seasons come lowlights as well. Hortaleza’s least favorite memory was the first race he ran in the fourth grade. He was three seconds shy of the person in front of him but ended up in last place. 

For many, the pandemic has limited people from taking part in a lot of their favorite activities, but not for Hortaleza. Last August, Hortaleza joined a club track team for the first time due to the fact that he was “starting to feel out of shape and antsy due to quarantining,” he said.

Despite the fact that he has been running track since he was in the fourth grade, he said that he didn’t start taking it seriously until last summer and that is another reason why he wanted to start a new chapter in his career by joining a club track team.

Hortaleza also said that he started to pursue club track because he had a lot of free time and wanted to push himself into being a faster sprinter. 

Recently, Hortaleza realized that the seniors from this year would be leaving and moving on, which makes him sad to see them leave, but “also be happy to see them move on in their lives,” he said.  “These are the people that I have bonded with over the years and I look up to them.”

Hortaleza also realized that with the seniors being gone he would have to step up as a leader. “I’ll have to act as a good role model and leader because I know members of the team will look up to me,” he said. 

Hortaleza is looking forward to pursuing a running career in college. “I am going to do everything I can to guarantee that,” he said.