YSU Track and Field Lives Up to Expectations
By Jeff Brown
The Youngstown State University men’s track and field team was dominant on it’s way to its first Horizon League indoor track and field championship in over 13 years over the weekend.
The men swept the competition, winning by 65 points and finishing with a total of 197 points. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee finished second with 132 points.
“To see them finish as the best team in history of the program was a tremendous feeling on an awesome accomplishment,” YSU head coach Brian Gorby said. “What the men did was amazing. They were picked to finish first. Its one thing to say they’re going to do it, but it’s another to execute and finish.”
Chad Zallow continued his impressive freshman season taking the Horizon League championship in the 60-meter hurdles and the 60-meter dash. Zallow set the new meet record with a time of 6.81 in the 60-meter dash.
Zallow was named Horizon League Athlete of the Year for his performance, and has earned a spot in the NCAA Championships in Birmingham, Alabama, on Mar. 11 and 12. Even though Zallow is
only a freshman, he has his sights set on the national championship.
“I think everyone going in there has the mindset to win. The first thing I need to focus on is making the finals. And then if I get in the finals I’ll have a good push and I’ll have to run a great race to win it,” Zallow said.
Teammate Conner Neu will be joining Zallow in the national championships after winning the Horizon League title in the weigh throw, his third consecutive title in the event.
“We’ve never had two guys go,” Gorby said. “That shows you the depth from a national level. Two guys in the top 10 of the national level in what your doing is a great accomplishment.”
Freshman Issac Agyemang was the first Penguin since 2006 to win the heptathlon. Agyemang was selected as the Horizon League Field Freshman of the Year.
“Coaches always told me trust the process. Work hard keep grinding,” Aguemang said. “I came in hoping that I could have a school record, that I could be the Field Athlete of the Year. I didn’t think it would happen, but with hard work and listening to my coaches and trusting them … I guess god blessed me.”
Gorby was selected as the Horizon League Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season.
“Honestly Gorby has been like a father figure to me. He gave me a second chance. Kind of pulled me out and gave me the opportunity to run for Division I. I owe everything I have to him, and him giving me that opportunity,” senior distance runner Austin McLean said.
The women’s team saw had its hopes for a third-straight conference title fall short. The women’s team finished in second place behind the Oakland University. Oakland won the Horizon League championship with 159 points. YSU finished as the runner-up, just four points behind the Grizzles with 155 points.
YSU’s Chenera Lacey tied Northern Kentucky University’s Jordan Horning with 747 points in the women’s high jump pentathlon — finishing fourth in the pentathlon.
YSU thrower Jayne Corbett won the women’s weight throw with a throw of 16.40 m and the shot put (15.44 m) — her first Horizon League indoor titles.