On the heels of individual titles by a thrower, a distance runner and two jumpers, the Youngstown State men's track and field team made its move on the second day of the Horizon League Championships at Farmers National Bank Field in Youngstown.
Bobby Grace opened the day with a shot put title, soon after Arnaldo Morales won the high jump and later in the day Jay Jakovina picked up the long jump title while Austin McLean pulled out a narrow victory in the steeplechase to cap off an impressive day. The Guins had 1-2 finishes in the steeplechase, shot put, high jump as well.
The men have a 63-point advantage over Milwaukee (118-55) and will be looking to secure their first-ever outdoor Horizon League crown on Sunday.
Grace proved why he is one of the best in the country as he did his job of winning the shot put on day two of the meet with a Horizon League-record throw of 19.49 meters. He had complete control of the event as he beat his old Horizon League record of 18.30 meters that he set in 2012 on every throw that he had today. He was just .07 meters away from his best throw of the year (19.56m) which is also the seventh best throw in the country. Grace wasn't alone in the shot put as his teammates senior John Seaver, freshman Stephen Lyons, and junior Jacob Chiclowe all followed as they took second through fourth.
Seaver was the next Penguin in line as he finished in second place with a throw of 17.59 meters which beat his personal best by .10 meters that he set at the Jesse Owens Classic. Lyons had his best throw of the meet in the finals of the shot put as he had a launch of 15.70 meters to finish in third. Chiclowe came after Lyons finishing in fourth place with a toss of 15.63 meters.
Just like in the shot put Youngstown State was able to take first and second in the men's 3,000 meter steeplechase asMcLean took the title and Eric Rupe was the runner-up. McLean and Rupe set the tempo for the race the whole time and it wasn't until the end of the race when McLean took over first. McLean ran it in a time of 9:17.31 and Rupe had a time of 9:17.45 as they both finished with their top times for the year.
The same outcome happened in the men's high jump as it did in the shot put and 3,000 meter steeplechase for the Penguins. Freshman Arnaldo Morales made an impression at his first Horizon League Outdoor Championship as he was able to take the first-place spot with a jump of 2.09 meters killing his old personal record of 2.04 meters. Sophomore jumper Jay Jakovina who won the high jump last year at the Championships as a freshman came in second place jumping 2.06 meters.
Jakovina also took part in the long jump and locked in first place and took the title with a leap of 6.71 meters which made it his best jump for the season. Another Penguin, William Royal, also finished in the top five for Youngstown State as he finished with a fourth-place finish jumping 6.63 meters.
In the sprints YSU men had three runners be able to move on to the finals in the 400 meter dash. Freshman Robin Hall led the group finishing in first place in the third heat clocking in a time of 48.51 seconds then sophomore John Helms finished in second in the first heat with a time of 49.15 seconds which would become his new personal best for the year. Sophomore Marquis Williamson was the last runner to qualify for the finals as he finished in fourth in the first heat with a time of 49.47 seconds.
In the 100-meter dash sophomores Dalyn Gattison and Marcellus Embry finished within the top eight runners to continue tomorrow as Gattison had a time of 10.92 seconds and Embry ran a time of 11.01 seconds. Embry and Gattison also raced in the 200 meter dash and were again able to advance to day three of the meet in the finals. Embry finished with a time of 22.11 seconds and Gattison clocked in a time of 22.20 seconds, both times being their best of the outdoor season.
Junior Clay Febus took second in the first heat of the 110-meter hurdles in the preliminaries with a time of 14.58 seconds to move on tomorrow for the finals. Febus also competed in the 400 meter hurdles and had a time of 56.77 seconds to finish in the top eight to advance to the finals.
The last day of the meet will begin tomorrow at 10 a.m. with the men's hammer throw as the first running event will begin at noon with the 4x100 meter relay.