Six Penguin Titles Lead the Way at HL Championships

YSU was first, second and third in the 5,00-meter run highlighted by Samantha Hamilton's first-place finish.
YSU was first, second and third in the 5,00-meter run highlighted by Samantha Hamilton's first-place finish.

The Youngstown State track and field teams competed in day one of the Horizon League Track and Field Championships this Saturday at the WATTS.The Penguins had an outstanding showing as six Penguins won their events.

Nicole Waibel, Samantha Hamilton, Ciara Jarrett, William Royal, Connor Neu and Eric Rupe were the Penguins who finished in first in their events on Saturday.

Many other Penguins were able to advance in their event to make it to the second day of the Championships.

The women are leading the rest of the teams with 52 points while Wright State is in second place with 22 points, Milwaukee is in third with 18 points, Detroit is tied with Valparaiso in fourth place with 12 points, and UIC is in sixth place with eight points.

In the field events, Jarrett had a solid showing as she finished in first place in the long jump with a jump 5.78 meters. Freshman jumpers Savannah Osborne and Ellie Pollock finished in the top five in the long jump as well where Osborne finished in third place with a jump of 5.43 meters and Pollock finished in fifth place leaping 5.36 meters. Both Jarrett's and Osborne's jumps were their best of the season so far.

Waibel, just a freshman competed in her first Horizon League Championship in the pole vault, and ended up winning the event with a height of 3.45 meters. Junior Hannah Ropp ended up placing in fourth with having a personal best day with a height of 3.45 meters. Waibel was able to finish in first with having the least amount of missed attempts at the heights.

Jaynee Corbett was another Penguin able to finish in the top five in her first appearance at the Horizon League Championships. She placed third in the weight throw with a throw of 16.07 meters which beat her previous-best throw by .72 meters.

In the 60-meter hurdles YSU was able to pull away with two Penguins making it to the finals tomorrow. Senior Kendall Homan finished in fifth place with a time of 9.09 seconds and freshman Sage Spotleson finished in sixth place clocking in a time of 9.10 seconds.

Sophomore Nina Grambling, Jarrett and senior Alexis Washington all finished with fast enough times in the 60-meter dash to continue on tomorrow in the finals. Grambling finished in second with a time of 7.58 seconds and Jarrett was right behind her as she crossed the finish line in third at a time of 7.60. Washington was able to rack in a sixth place finish with a time of 7.81 which would tie her fastest time of the year.

Jarrett got her second first place of the day in the 200-meter dash where she posted a time of 24.61 seconds. Jarrett will be going for her fourth win in four years in the 200 meter dash tomorrow to make her the first-ever four-time Penguin champion in one event.

Grambling and Washington also competed in the 200 meter dash and finished back to back where Grambling finished in fourth (25.13) and Washington finishing in fifth place (25.32). All three of them had their fastest times of the indoor season in the race as well.

Sophomore Jen Shiley proves why she is ranked first in the conference in the 400 meter dash as she finished in first place in the prelims with a time of 57.31. Senior Alteeka Vanwright is the other Penguin who was able to squeeze in the final eight in the 400 meter dash to move on tomorrow. She placed in eighth running a time of 58.76.

Senior Alexis Cooper was the only Penguin to make it to the finals in the 800 meter run. She placed in sixth with her best time of the year (2:16).

Hamilton did some serious damage in the 5000-meter run as she lapped some of the competition to take home her first ever Indoor title. Hamilton finished in first with a time of 17:08 as the Klim sisters finished right behind her finishing in second and third. McKinisie Klim finished in second (17:51) and Michelle Klim finished in third (17:59).

The YSU men are also leading the other Horizon League teams with 55 points. In second place is UIC with 27 points, Valparaiso is third with 24, Milwaukee is fourth with 22, Detroit is fifth with 21 and Oakland is sixth with six.

Neu keeps making an impressive impression this season and adds another win to his resume in the weight throw as he has a throw of 20.26 meters beating the second-place finisher Eric Lewis of Detroit by almost two meters. Senior Bobby Grace wasn't far behind as he finished in fifth place with a toss of 17.72 meters.

YSU had two long jumpers that finished in the top five with Royal, a freshman, winning the event with a jump of 7.04 meters. Teammate sophomore Jay Jakovina was the other Penguin to add points for YSU as he finished in fifth with a jump of 6.79 meters making it his top jump of the season.

Sophomore Garrett Mathias competed in the pole vault and ended up finishing in fourth place with one of his best performances of the year with a height of 4.30 meters.

Another freshman, Marcellus Embry, made an impact in today's meet as he finished in fifth place in the 60-meter dash qualifying with a personal best time of 6.98 seconds. He also competed in the 200 meter dash and was able to capitalize on winning the event with another personal best time of 21.64 which is the best time in the Horizon League in the 200 meter dash so far.

Freshman sprinters Robin Hall and John Helms along with sophomore Marquis Williamson were the Penguins who made the cut in the 400 meter run. Hall and Helms finished back to back as Hall placed in third (48.85) and Helms placed in fourth (49.09).

For the distance event of the day, Rupe, Austin McLean and Nick Gliha beat all of the competition in the 5000 meter run.

Rupe had a solid lead for most of the race and was able to take advantage of it as he won the race with a time of 15:04.01. Rupe is the second winner ever for YSU to win in the 5000 meter run at the League Championships with the last winner being in 2009. McLean and Gliha caught up to Rupe near the end as Austin finished in second (15:06) and Gliha finished in third (15:07).

The Penguins will finish off the Championships tomorrow at the WATTS starting at 9:00 a.m. with the high jump.