Yariel Soto Ready For International Competition Debut

           Yariel Soto has been working on his shot put technique in preparation for the big meet.

Ohio's Yariel Soto is preparing to compete at the upcoming Pan American Combined Events Cup, which is scheduled to take place in Ottawa, Ontario on July 3rd - 4th.  Soto, who is a rising senior at Centerville, will bring outstanding credentials with him to Canada.  He took the OHSAA DI State Championship wins in the long jump and pole vault events due to his 24-2.75 and 15-6 results and he recently placed second overall in the decathlon competition at New Balance Nationals Outdoor with his 7025 point total. 

MileSplit Ohio tracked down Yariel to discuss how he's preparing for his international competition debut.  Check out his interview below.   

Describe how this opportunity was presented to you. 

Originally, my plan was to go to New Balance Nationals and earn the overall win and in a best case scenario also achieve the world standard in the process.  This wasn't my main focus, but I would have considered it more of a bonus.  Following NBNO, I found out about this international meet in Canada and I learned that I might be able to compete there for my home country of Puerto Rico.  My family then connected with the Puerto Rican federation and we set up all of the details.  

What are your expectations entering your first international competition? 

I'm very excited to be able to compete against international athletes and I'm proud to represent my country of Puerto Rico.  From what I understand, I'm one of the top seeded competitors entering the meet, so the plan is to come home with a medal.  Also, it will be great to meet American decathlon legend Ashton Eaton, who is one of the hosts.  

           Yariel Soto recorded a time of 4:35.07 to win the 1500m decathlon race at NBNO.   

You've had a long season where you competed at many meets during the high school campaign and then at National's a few weeks ago in Greensboro.  Where are you physically at this time?  Discuss what your training has looked like over the past few weeks to prepare for this opportunity. 

Following New Balance, I took two days off and then I got back to training.  I was already in the best shape I had been all season, so I decided to really focus on the technical aspects of my events.  I paid a lot of attention to hurdles and throwing because those are some areas where I've lagged in the past.  I feel confident that I'm throwing farther and hurdling more effectively now, so I'm excited to see how these events play out in Canada.  

Is there anything else that you'd like to add about this upcoming meet? 

This is a perfect end to my competition season due to the experience that I'll gain and the timing of the meet.  Right now, my body and mind are locked in and I'm ready to perform at a high level.