Devoted Runner: Meet Danyom Yosief Upcoming with unique talent, taking every opportunity to improve his running skills

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After‌ ‌dedicating‌ ‌much‌ ‌of‌ ‌his‌ ‌time‌ ‌to‌ ‌running,‌ ‌senior‌ ‌Danyom‌ ‌Yosief‌ ‌gets‌ ‌to‌ ‌show‌ ‌off‌ ‌his‌ ‌ talent‌ ‌during‌ ‌competition.‌ ‌Training‌ ‌rigorously,‌ ‌Yosief‌ ‌competed ‌to‌ ‌win.‌ ‌“There’s‌ ‌more‌ ‌out‌ ‌there‌ ‌to‌ ‌ look‌ ‌out‌ ‌for‌ ‌and‌ ‌I‌ ‌feel‌ ‌like‌ ‌my‌ ‌job‌ ‌as‌ ‌an‌ ‌athlete‌ ‌is‌ ‌not‌ ‌accomplished‌ ‌yet,”‌ ‌Yosief‌ ‌said.‌ ‌“I‌ ‌know‌ ‌ there’s‌ ‌more‌ ‌out‌ ‌there‌ ‌for‌ ‌me‌ ‌and‌ ‌there’s‌ ‌probably‌ ‌even‌ ‌better‌ ‌people‌ ‌than‌ ‌me‌ ‌out‌ ‌there‌ ‌so‌ ‌I‌ ‌ can’t‌ ‌stop‌ ‌working‌ ‌hard‌ ‌even‌ ‌after‌ ‌I‌ ‌reach‌ ‌my‌ ‌goals.”‌ ‌Photo‌ ‌Credit:‌ ‌‌Jevon‌ ‌Dyer‌

Gray Barranco

Running around his neighborhood, senior Danyom Yosief holds a steady pace as a surge of positive comments from people around him encourage to keep going. Starting his running career only two years ago, Yosief has since joined Sierra Vista High School’s cross country team.

“I got a lot of support from the people at the park [while I run],” Yosief said. “They told me, ‘You should pursue running for a team,’ and they really motivated me to go for it. I didn’t know I would be a good runner until they believed in me and wanted to make sure I wouldn’t miss out on a good opportunity. I’ve gained a close knit community of people who love the sport and are supportive of it.”

 And while Yosief has only been running competitively for two years, he has already been able to win the Nevada State Championship.

“When I crossed that finish line, it was just a surreal feeling,” Yosief said. “I didn’t know what to say, I was so ‘in the moment.’ I shook all my competitors’ hands and said congratulations. My coach and my teammates all pushed me during practice and believed I could really do it.”

Former mentorship teacher and Palo Verde Cross Country Coach Robert Davis, has tracked Yosief’s progress at the meets. 

“He’s always respectful of the runners he’s running against and he always downplays his success,” Davis said. “Everyone is swirling around him and putting him on this pedestal and he keeps stepping down from it. It’s kind of fun to see this very mild mannered kid who is just coming into running have an incredible surge of success and he just handled it with grace. It didn’t go to his head.” 

Yosief has had many interesting opportunities, one of which included an invitation to a Nike-sponsored cross country event.

“He went out and was in third or fourth place for the first half mile,” Davis said, “But then a hundred people passed him and that seems devastating. I saw him after the race and I’m like, ‘Hey man! I saw you out there. Looking good. How do you feel?’ and most kids would be like ‘That was bad,’ but Dan was like, ‘That was amazing! I got to race against all these fast kids and really see what it’s like.’ He just wanted to see what the limit of his potential was and he never lets it get to his head or feed his ego.”

Though some may assume Yosief runs to work his body and practice, he uses it as a way to alleviate stress from past events and relax his mind.

“I use running to distract myself from reality,” Yosief said. “It’s like running away from all of my problems. It helps me to relax and feel the movement of my body when it hits the pavement. With anything that I personally went through, running is like a reliever that helps me cope with past problems that have occurred, making it kind of like therapy.”

Yosief’s future in running continues to grow. He plans on progressing in cross country in college. 

“I plan to pursue cross country and track while pursuing my education and improve from wherever that goes,” Yosief said. “I just want to keep my academics up and keep improving athletic-wise and stay healthy. I need to mentally prepare for anything.”