Eric Rupe and Bobby Grace each won events on Sunday to help keep the YSU men's track and field team in the championship hunt, but the Penguins fell just short placing second to Milwaukee as the Horizon League Indoor Championships concluded at the WATTS.
The final score was Milwaukee with 158 points, YSU had 143 points for second place, Oakland had 81 points to take third, UIC took fourth with 63 points, Detroit had 51 points with a fifth place finish, and Valparaiso who finished sixth with 30 points.
The Guins who earned Horizon League Performance Awards were Grace, who won the Athlete of the Year and Most Outstanding Performer, Freshman William Royal, Field Freshman of the Year and Rupe who won the Individual Scoring Award.
YSU hung tough with the Panthers trailing by five entering the 4x400 relay. Milwaukee won the event, after fumbling the baton, while Guins were originally third. Later after a video review, the Guins were disqualified. But they put everything on the line in the final event and throughout the day to keep pace with the Panthers.
In the shot put the Penguins took first, second, third, and sixth with Grace leading the way throwing 19.13 meters to break the Horizon League Championship record of 17.62 meters that was set in 2012.
Freshman Stephen Lyons had a personal-record day throwing the shot put 16.24 meters to finish as the runner-up and senior Eric Vendemia pulled off a third-place finish with a toss of 15.90 meters which is his best throw of the year as well. Sophomore Jacob Chiclowe just missed the top five by .11 meters and finished with a throw of 15.59 meters to finish in sixth place.
Sophomore Jay Jakovina and freshman Arnaldo Morales were the ones competing in the men's high jump and both had jumps of 2.04 meters to finish in the top four. Jakovina tied for second place with Oakland's Christopher Gozdor. Morales ended up finishing in fourth place. Morales had his best jumping day of the season beating his old best by .01 meters.
The distance runners, Rupe and Austin McLean, came back to day two for some more hardware as they once again finished back to back. In the mile, Rupe finished in second place with a time of 4:12.43 seconds and McLean followed him across the finish line with a time of 4:12.62 seconds to finish in third place. McLean was another Penguin peaking in their event at the Championships today as his mile run time was his best of the season.
Sprinters Robin Hall and John Helms were among the top six who scored points in the 400-meter dash. Hall placed in second with a time of 48.18 seconds to make it his top speed of the indoor season. Helms wasn't far behind as he finished in fourth place with a time of 49.12 seconds which was his personal best as well.
In the 60-meter dash freshman Marcellus Embry was the lone Penguin who crossed the finish line in the finals. Embry pushed for a third-place finish with his fastest time of the year of 6.96 seconds.
Royal, who won the long jump on day one of the Championships, competed in the triple jump on day two where he finished in fourth place with a leap of 13.92 meters to make it his farthest jump of the year by .20 meters.
Rupe also competed in the 3,000 meter run with teammates Nick Gliha and McLean who all finished in the top five in the event. Rupe won the event in 8:32.49 to make it his second title of the 2014 Horizon League Championships as he won the 5,000 meter run in day one. He is just the third male athlete to win the 3,000 and 5,000 at the same HL meet in 33 years.
Gliha and McLean finished alongside each other as Gliha finished in fourth with his fastest time of the season (8:37.25) and McLean raced home to finish fifth running a time of 8:39.10.