Dedication and determination can best describe Geneseo’s Will Daniels.
The young man continues to achieve the many goals he has set for himself – academically and in track and field – and his next step is to compete in the decathlon at the national track and field competition in Eugene, OR, where he also plans to participate in the Olympics. Trial decathlon.
Daniels, son of Dr. Tom and Becky Daniels of Geneseo, is known in the region for his accomplishments in the classrooms of the Geneseo School District as well as in football, basketball and track and field.
He graduated from Central College in three years, during which time he won three national championships in track and field and was five times All-American.
Most recently, he graduated with a master’s degree in clinical exercise physiology from the University of Iowa and hopes to start medical school in the future.
At Geneseo High School, where Daniels graduated in 2016, he competed in the high jump, long jump and triple jump.
At the Central College, the athlete who stood out competed in the decathlon, a two-day event, in the 100m, long jump, shot put, high jump and 400m, on the first day; and on day 2 he was in the 110 high hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and 1500.
At Iowa, he finished in second place indoor in the 2020 Big 10 competition, a place that qualified him for the Division I competition to be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, before the event was canceled due to the Covid-19 outbreak. He and his teammates traveled to Albuquerque on March 11 and the competition was canceled the next day.
A two-time NCAA Division III indoor heptathlon champion at Central College in Pella, Iowa, Daniels also won the Division III outdoor decathlon championship.
He placed second in the Big 10 Championship held earlier this spring at the University of Illinois, where he also received conference honors and broke the University of Iowa decathlon record with a score of 7864 points. This score places him 6th in the Davison 1 competition and places him 11th on the Olympic test list.
While in Iowa, Daniels broke the school’s indoor heptathlon record with a score of 5,689 points.
The next step for Daniels is to travel to Eugene, Ore. To compete in the national competition, which features the top 24 varsity athletes from each event and the Olympic trials.
take the top 18 American athletes. The National Meet and Olympic Trials will be held in Eugene, OR, with the National Championships June 9-10 and Olympic Trials for the Decathlon June 18-19.
The new ultramodern track at the University of Oregon has the distinction of being the fastest track in the world.
Chatting with Daniels by phone from the Texas A&M University campus in College Station, TX where he trains for the Nationals, I found him to be very modest and humble about his accomplishments.
He said the Olympics weren’t something he had ever thought of…. “Certainly not,” he replied. “Over the past couple of years a lot of people have kind of joked about my Olympic Games try-out and I never thought this opportunity would be possible.”
His main focus is to compete in the NCAA and he said, “I feel like our training is going really well and the main focus is national competition. I can’t wait to be able to compete the best I can, and against some of the best decathletes in the world.
He thinks his chances of making it to the Olympics “are very slim. I should finish in the top 3 in practice and I should also reach an Olympic standard of 8,350 points. This score is a bit out of reach for me, even if going to Tokyo (for the Olympics) is a bit out of reach, it’s a great opportunity to be able to compete at the national level and against several Olympians on the ground. , which will be really cool.
Asked about his favorite event in the decathlon, Daniels said: “I sort of pick my favorite events based on my most recent performance, and events are up and down every week, but at the moment the jump in. length is going very well. So this is the event I’m looking forward to the most, based on training and the latest competitions.