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2008 Ultimate Athlete

New York man comes up big at Men's Fitness competition

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The first annual Men's Fitness Ultimate Athlete event was a success, drawing hundreds of athletes to New York City's Central Park last Sunday. Readers competed against one another in a series of skill competitions, including golf, basketball, baseball, football, soccer, volleyball, and tennis.

UFC lightweight contender Kenny Florian was on-hand to meet fans, soak up some sun, and check out the competition. "It comes down to having all the attributes," said Florian of what it takes to be the Ultimate Athlete. "Speed and skill, coordination and balance."

Contestants competed in all the events, but only the top five scores were counted. After the smoke had cleared (and the final scores were tabulated), one athlete emerged as the winner: Danny Soto, 29, from Wappingers Falls, New York.


Editor-in-Chief Roy S. Johnson, Danny Soto and Publisher Marc Richards

So how did he do it? For starters, Soto took first place in the speed-pitch competition by throwing a 76 mph fastball. He then went on to sink eight 3-pointers to claim second place in the basketball skills event, and also took second place in the bench-press competition, putting up the 135-pound bar 59 times. Soto's impressive effort on the bench was second only to Nathan Cochran, 33, who put up the 135-lb bench press a record 67 times in one minute. Soto was able to seal a victory by driving a golf ball nearly 400 feet to push his point total to the top of the heap.

After a few grueling hours of testing his mettle, Soto walked away with keys to a brand-new customized Hummer H3, a trophy, and of course, bragging rights as the Men's Fitness Ultimate Athlete. When asked how he'll use his prize, Soto happily explained that his wife and two daughters will get good use out of their new ride.

"I'll cruise around with my family," he said. "That'll be good."

Ironically, he owns a company called Ultimate Fitness Equipment, so his new title as the Men's Fitness Ultimate Athlete is fitting. Soto learned of the event after his wife showed him a flier. "She said, 'honey, why don't you compete? It'll be a good family event,'" he said. "[Winning] was awesome. It's a blessing."

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