Having started running in cross-country as a Kindergartener, Daniel competed in track for the first time in the spring of 2017. As a promoted second grader it was the first time he was allowed to compete in this part of the GRPS athletics system.
He took a couple of races to get used to the tactics and distance of 800 meters, but then in the last race he used a quicker start out of the gun to get himself into a good position, around 5th on the first bend. He worked his way through to 2nd by the bell and held his pace for the final lap, finishing second in a time of 3:28. He tried 100m and 200m but the longer distance is more his thing.
Back on the track in the spring of 2018, on opening day Dan picked up another 2nd place ribbon in the 800m finishing just a couple of seconds behind his Midwest soccer team-mate Liam (who had beaten him three times in cross-country in the fall before he knew him), and blew another quarter of a minute off his personal best. He also did well in the 200 meters, winning his heat by a large margin and finishing second in the final listing.
By the end of the school season he’d picked up 9 awards in 11 events. Three 2nds and a 3rd in 800m; a 2nd, a 3rd and 4th in 200m; and two 4th places in the standing long jump. And edged out Liam in his final three 800m races!
Daniel joined the GR FIRE Track & Field club in the spring of 2018, and in his first year of competition was a two-event qualifier for the AAU nationals in Des Moines, Iowa.
He qualified for the Regionals in his first ever competitive 1500m and Long Jump placing 4th in each in the Districts, and also grabbed a 5th in the 800m in a personal best time despite brutal heat and humidity.
He missed out on the Nationals in the 800m by a single place, but qualified in the 1500m and picked up a silver medal in the Long Jump with a PB.
In Des Moines he finished 50th in the 1500m placing 9th in his heat, and placed 35th in the Long Jump, both performances being slight improvements over the Regional numbers.
In school track he was in the 4th/5th grade races, so he was running "up" a year or two. He earned two 4th place ribbons in the 800m. For his final elementary meet he ran in the 2nd/3rd grade with his age peers. He finished 5th in the 800m behind a strong showing from his school team-mates, but in the 100m he finished 3rd with a PB of 15.55. He opted not to run club track in 2019.