York, PA - They tell one story after another about the 15-year-old girl from Red Lion.
Like how the first time she ran the 300-meter hurdles in a dual meet, she beat the league's best -- with her shoelaces untied.
Or about how she nearly missed the starting gun for the state finals in her top event, then beat nearly everyone anyway.
The best one? It's how Angelica Gonzalez may be the fastest girl who ever ran in the YAIAA -- even as a freshman.
"I don't think I'm the fastest," she said shyly, almost trying to dismiss the question.
But look at the numbers. Before this spring, the fastest 100-meter time at the YAIAA track and field championships was from West York's Angela Bowie in 1986. She ran 12.10.
This spring, Gonzalez reportedly ripped off a hand-timed 11.9 in the meet prelims but was mistakenly not officially timed.
No big deal. She went on to nail an "official" personal-best at districts at 12.04.
The fastest girl?
Consider that she broke the District 3 track and field championships record in the 200 meters with a 24.27 -- only to be beaten by a fingernail at the tape by the new record holder.
Remember, this is a freshman.
A most unintimidating 5-foot-5 girl barely weighing 110 pounds.
The fastest girl who has three more years to get even faster.
"She was kind of born that way. She's always been fast," said her father, Tony Gonzalez. "Always beating boys when she was
"She really has unlimited potential because she is so determined," said Jason Smith, the Red Lion girls' track coach.
"Someone like her comes around every 30 or 40 years," said Simmie Strausbaugh, a former Red Lion track star who now coaches the school's sprinters and hurdlers. "Plenty of athletes come along who may have had her talent but could not put it together, and have the hunger for it."
So if she irons out her starts, which are all over the place, this sudden curiosity could build into something even beyond state medals and records.
And yet we're also getting ahead of ourselves.
She's still just 15, still a kid. She still likes to spend her summers playing the outfield on tournament softball teams. She's not thinking of devoting her life to some kind of Olympic training program yet.
And, of course, even hard work doesn't guarantee that a young phenom will keep improving, not when an injury could suddenly derail her or how building pressure could turn something fun into drudgery.
Rather, Gonzalez and her family and coaches are simply enjoying the success and seeing where it leads.
It goes on, though, one story after another:
Like before her 200 meter final at the PIAA championships when she lost track of time.
She was working on some pointers outside the gates at Shippensburg University when she was alerted that her race was about to begin without her.
And so she took off.
She sprinted across the field to the starting line, didn't have time to adjust her blocks, felt her heart beating through her chest, got her wrong leg out front, sucked in some air . . . and then just ran.
"I was so scared. I was embarrassed they were waiting on me," she said.
So with a situation that could paralyze a senior, the new girl simply righted her form and exploded down the stretch, showing off that dagger finish that makes her wish every race was just a couple of seconds longer.
After all that she still ran a 24.99 and finished second in the state.
That's why she wants to lift weights seriously this summer and maybe give up on field hockey in the fall.
"She wants this, this is important to her," her mother said about sprinting. "She said, 'Mom, when I'm running it's just me and the track.'"
For now, every time she pushes on a wall it falls down easily and she moves on to something bigger and brighter and more unpredictably exciting than before.
Only now, will she even begin to sway between two worlds.
Still just the girl who always ran fast.
Frank Bodani is a sports reporter for the Daily Record/Sunday News. Reach him at 771-2104 or firstname.lastname@example.org.