Ohio's Yariel Soto traveled north of the border to make his international debut at the U20 Pan American Combined Events Cup, which took place from July 3rd - 4th at the Terry Fox Athletic Facility in Ottawa, Ontario. The soon to be senior from Centerville made the most of his opportunity, as he took the overall win in the decathlon competition due to his total of 6997 points. Soto, who was competing on behalf of his home country of Puerto Rico, out-pointed a field that included a number of Canada's best young athletes as well as representatives from the United States and Peru. His latest accomplishment follows an impressive second place effort at last month's NBNO, where he earned 7025 points.
MileSplit Ohio caught up with Yariel to learn more about his experience competing in Canada.
Yariel, congratulations on your terrific performance at the Pan Am Combined Events Cup. Describe the experience.
The meet went great! I took the gold and I learned so much in the process. I started off day one with a big pr in the 100, but then I almost no heighted in the high jump and my 400 was slower than I was expecting. During day two, I achieved a huge pr in the hurdles and then my discus event unfolded how I anticipated that it would. The pole vault was a different experience for me because I had to rent poles and I definitely missed having coaching available. However, I was able to get through it as I had a big jump on my last attempt. I finally feel like I performed up to my ability in the javelin throw and in the 1500, I was close to my pr. Overall, I was very satisfied with how things went. My fellow competitors were a great group of guys and I have to say that this was the best decathlon competition that I've ever attended.
I would think that this experience has given you a lot of confidence and that it'll pay dividends during your upcoming indoor and outdoor high school seasons. Aside from winning the competition, what can you take away from testing yourself against international athletes?
This meet has given me so much confidence moving forward; especially in the javelin and hurdles events. My coaches and I are already forming a plan for next season to maintain my strengths in the events that I excel at and to really work on my areas of weakness, which are the shot put and discus. Overall, the experience is something that I will never forget and I will build off of this in future competitions.
Yariel Soto is looking to make big strides in the throwing events next year.
Pan American Combined Events Cup - Decathlon Results