This week on '20 Questions' we chatted with senior Darin Baltezore from West Fargo, N.D.
20Q: How did you get started in track & field?
DB: I got started running in seventh grade after enjoying watching my older brother David, compete and run in the distance events. We were always super competitive and I would always try to outdo him (emphasis on the try)! I was skinny and fast just like him so I thought I would just follow in his footsteps. I really looked up to him and wanted to crush all of his times and personal records.
20Q:In your own words, describe your event and what you love about it?
DB: I run the 10k which is 6.2 miles and approximately 26 laps around the track. I love this event because I get to spend the most time on the track compared to sprinters or even mid distance. I love running, so it is fun for me to compete for around a half an hour on a track. The distance allows for a lot of racing strategy to take place which is fun as well.
20Q:What is your goal for the season?
DB: My goal for the season is to run the 10k at Conference which is in Sacramento, California this year. I have a lot of relatives out in that area who never get to see me compete, they always call and ask how I am doing, but it would be awesome to compete in front of them. Another goal is just to end my collegiate career with a personal record in the 10k, which would be a good way to go out.
20Q: What was the best advice ever given to you?
DB: Best advice I have ever been given is simply to enjoy the moments, not just moments on the track, but moments with my teammates. Not just moments in athletics, but moments in life. I have been fortunate enough to be a D1 college athlete at a great university and I can graduate saying that I lived in the moment with my family, friends, and teammates.
20Q: Which athlete inspires you the most?
DB: One athlete that inspires me the most would be a former teammate Nate Peterson. He was a teammate of mine at West Fargo for four years and a teammate at UND for another three. I have been able to see and be inspired by a guy who didn’t have a lot of natural talent as a runner, but through hard work and faith in God made himself into one of the best runners I have had the privilege to watch. He inspires me to work harder not just in running, but in my life and faith as a man of God.
20Q:What would you like to be remembered for?
DB: I would like to hopefully be remembered as a leader and a loving teammate.
20Q:What is your pre-competition ritual if you have one?
DB: I don’t have have too many rituals, but before meets, depending on the time, I like to go to the Hyslop and shoot hoops in the old gym upstairs. I find it a great way to clear my mind of all the stress of the day/week. When I am actually at the meet, I love to listen to faith and worship songs before I compete, because it just puts my heart and mind in the same place before I compete.
20Q: What are your hobbies outside of athletics?
DB: I love to listen and sing to music. It really doesn’t matter the genre of music, wherever and whenever I hear a song, I just love to belt out and sing. I am definitely not that good at it, but I love it none the less. I also like to cook. I really enjoy trying new Pinterest recipes out (yes I do love Pinterest and it is great for cooking!). My roommate Joe is a good cook as well, so it is fun to talk about cooking food and comparing meals.
20Q: Name one thing most people would be surprised to know about you?
DB: I love to watch chick flick movies. I am a pretty sappy guy that loves happy endings. Some of my favorites are “How to lose a Guy in 10 Days, She’s the Man, Princess Bride, 10 Things I hate about You, About Time” and the list goes on for like another 50 movies.
20Q: The best part of being an athlete?
DB: The best thing about being an athlete is my teammates. I love each and every one of them so much. They are friends that are always there for you no matter what. When I get old I am not going to remember any of my races, but I will remember each and every teammate for being my loving family.
20Q: Which teammate inspires you the most and why?
DB: I can’t really say any one teammate inspires me the most. I respect and admire every one of my upperclassman with their dedication. They push me to get the most out of every work out and every day. I also love my freshman and lower class men, because they bring so much passion and excitement. It brings a lot of energy and joy to my life.
20Q: What are three things on your bucket list?
DB: I want to run a completive race in a nudist resort.
I want to qualify for Boston and New York marathon.
I want to backpack Europe and travel.
20Q: If you could do any event in track & field, what would it be & why?
DB: I would definitely do the high jump. It is an event that I watch every track meet. I have so much respect for Nolan Hovland, Aubrey Hovland, Izzy Waite, and Katy Johnson. I love the power and grace that goes into jumping that high over the bar and think it would be really fun to do.
20Q: Who has made the biggest impact in your life?
DB: I would have to say that my parents have made the biggest impact in my life. They have raised me to be a goofy confident young man. They challenge me to be better in all aspects of my life and are there for me when I am at my worst. I don’t think I would be the man I am today if it weren’t for the love and support from my parents. They mean the world to me and I love them so much.
20Q: What is your goal after you graduate?
DB: I plan on being a middle school social studies teacher. I have so much passion and love for the youth. I want to educate the next generation of leaders and hopefully be a small step on their pathways to being successful people in life.
20Q: How would your teammates describe you?
DB: My teammates would describe me as a guy that likes to work hard, but also have a lot of fun goofing around and having some laughs.
20Q: What is your favorite movie of all time? Why?
DB: My favorite movie would have to be Shawshank Redemption. I love the idea of perseverance through trials and struggles of an innocent man.
20Q: Which road-trip are you most looking forward to this season and why?
DB: I am looking forward to the conference trip out to Sacramento, because it will be fun to race at conference. I am also looking forward to Drake, because it is always a great time to travel with a small squad, because the bonding is just so much better.
20Q: What makes UND special to you?
DB: The thing that makes UND special is the people. My friends and teammates have become my family. I am always going to cherish the memories and adventures I have had with my family these four crazy years.
20Q: What is the best thing about living where you do?
DB: The best thing is being in such close proximity to family and friends that I love.