I was born in Guanajuato, Mexico. My family and I immigrated to the United States when I was four. We settled in Granite Shoals, TX, where I spent most of my childhood. I attended school in the nearby town of Marble Falls, TX. My passion for running emerged in 7th grade. In high school, I won 9 Texas 4A Championships. While in high school I earned an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Texas. In college, I was able to break the 4-minute barrier as a freshman and I won 5 NCAA Championships and 9 All-American Titles.

In 2006, I entered my first USA outdoor championships and finished in 3rd place. In 2008, I made my first Olympic team. I was thrilled to have made the team but unfortunately running at the world level was something I’ve never done before. During the Beijing Olympics, I only made it to the semi-finals. I felt like I still had a lot to learn seeing how I became professional a few weeks prior to the trials. Therefore, I gained valuable experience that would help me 4 years later in the 2012 London Olympics.


In 2012, neither favoritism nor the odds of qualifying for the Olympics, let alone making the finals at the Olympics were in my favor; however I qualified for another Olympics and formed part of the US team for the second time in a row. In London, the race was difficult, with 400 meters until the finish; I already felt like giving up. I was badly positioned and during that time, I began to contemplate about all the sacrifices that I had made to get where I was. That’s when I prayed and asked God for his help. I then began to fight for every second left. My mind and body reconnected as I moved to the right where I was blocked, and then to the left where I was blocked again. Nonetheless, I started to pass runners and with 200m to go, I passed yet another athlete on the outside of the curve. Right when I had 100m left, I was in either 5th or 6th place. I continued to pray and asked God to give me the strength to finish the race. With everything left in me I passed 3 more runners and finished the race. I collapsed to the ground, exhausted and cried tears of joy. I had just won the silver medal. It was a historical moment in USA Men’s Mid-Distance Olympic history because it was the first medal for the USA since the legendary Jim Ryun who had also won silver in 1968. 

Currently, I live in Austin, Texas.  I am proudly sponsored by Hoka One One and Timex Sports. I’m a 2016 Olympic Ambassador for Coca-Cola and also serving as a spokesman for the New Mexico Department of Health anti-tobacco campaign.