IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa senior Daniel Soto has been the Hawkeyes’ top finisher in both cross country races this season. His third-place finish at the Woody Greeno Invite (Sept. 15) in the men’s 8,000 meters (24:45.5) is a personal best. During the 2018 track and field season, Soto recorded collegiate bests in the 3,000- (8:11.83), 5,000- (14:20.18), and 10,000-meter (29:39.35) races.
Soto is a native of West Des Moines, Iowa, and is double majoring in finance and marketing.
What are you most excited for this year?
“Hosting the Big Ten Outdoor Track and Field Championships has been something that has been talked about a lot in the locker room. We know we are going to show up and give the home crowd a show.”
What is your favorite memory as a Hawkeye?
“Watching the indoor [distance medley relay] enter the race ranked ninth and finish first on a furious kick by Michael Melchert. We stormed the track, and it was pretty lit. I’m pretty sure every other Big Ten team hates us even more now.”
What is your best advice for the freshmen?
“Invest in Hulu, watch Rick and Morty. It’ll make life much clearer and make things much easier.”
What is the best advice you’ve ever received from a coach?
“Don’t take anything too seriously. In college there are a lot of highs and a lot of lows and as long as you maintain perspective on your life and never get too high or too low then it’ll all be good. Makes everything much more manageable.”
If you could invite anyone to dinner, who would it be?
“Katherine Switzer, she was the first female to run a marathon while race officials were running alongside her trying to pull her off the course telling her she isn’t good enough because she’s a woman.”
If not XC/Track & Field, what sport would you play?
“Definitely soccer, it’s the sport I grew up playing, and I still miss playing it some days.”
If a genie granted you three wishes, what would they be?
“One, In-n-Out in Iowa City. Two, [Play Station 4] and Xbox One Fortnite compatibility. Three, Dodgers to be World Series Champions.”
Who is your favorite professional athlete?
“Clayton Kershaw. Best pitcher on the planet. The dominance of his 2014 season was just absurd.”
Do you have any pre-meet rituals?
“Honestly, just try and stay as relaxed as possible. I like to throw in some music and will probably chat with my dad the morning of big races.”
When you’re not practicing, what is your favorite thing to do?
“I follow baseball pretty closely, so in my free time I’m usually gathering material to inform Cubs fans why their team isn’t as good as the Dodgers. Otherwise, I hammock, read, listen to music, play PS4, watch Rick and Morty, typical college stuff.”
What’s something you’ve always wanted to try but have been too scared to?
“I’ve always wanted to be able to pole vault. I don’t think I’m strong nor coordinated enough. Have you ever seen a pole vaulter? They are absolutely jacked. Plus I have a crippling fear of the pole breaking and impaling me as the entire crowd watches.”
If you could choose a super power, what would you choose?
“I would want to be able to mimic — to utter perfection — how Mr. Smithers says ‘excellent’ on the Simpsons.”
If you could choose anywhere to live, where would you choose?
“Probably move up to Alaska, off the grid, and just survive in the wild as long as I can. Eventually get killed by a bear or pack of wolves, but personally, I think that’s better than dying strapped to a bunch of machines.”
How do you feel about pineapple on pizza?
“Pineapple and pizza is the food equivalent of the 2010 Miami Heat [Dwayne] Wade to LeBron [James] dunk.”