2014 Outdoor Track and Field Season Recap

2013-14 YSU Track and Field seniors
2013-14 YSU Track and Field seniors

The Youngstown State women's and men's track and field programs claimed Horizon League championships during the outdoor season while Bobby Grace and Conner Neu both advanced to the NCAA Championships.

At the NCAA Championships, Grace finished 14th in the shot put while Neu was 15th in the hammer throw. In total, YSU had nine athletes advance to the NCAA East Preliminary round. Neu, 

School records set during the outdoor slate included: Eric Rupe (5,000-meter run), Conner Neu (hammer throw), Bobby Grace (shot put) and Samantha Hamilton (1,500-meter run, 10,000-meter run). During the year, the men's team had 18 top-five marks in school history while the women had 12 top-five performances.

NCAA Highlights

  • Bobby Grace finished 14th at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the shot put, the highest finish by an indoor athlete in school history.
  • Conner Neu finished 15th at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the hammer throw.
  • Samantha Hamilton (10,000-meter run), Jessica Parham (javelin), Jay Jakovina (high jump), Arnaldo Morales (high jump), Grace (shot put), John Seaver (shot put), Neu (hammer throw), Austin McLean (steeplechase) and Eric Rupe (steeplechase) all advanced to the NCAA East Prelims. The total of nine was a school record eclipsing the previous high total of six (2006).

Horizon League Championship Highlights

  • The men and women combined to win 11 of 14 individual meet and season awards following the event.
  • The 199 points scored by the men were the most in the program's outdoor history eclipsing the previous best of 182 set in 2006. The 10-point margin of victory tied for the closest men's championship with the 2001 Championships (Milwaukee-Butler).
  • The women had 185 points, the fourth most by the program at an outdoor meet while the 69 margin of victory was the most in school history eclipsing the 43 that occurred in 2012.
  • Jennifer Neider picked up the first Horizon League Outdoor Championship on her career in the shot put and extended a YSU streak of six straight titles and nine of the last 10 at the meet.
  • Jessica Parham won the third javelin title of her career with a league-record throw of 44.75 meters. Parham previously won titles in 2011 and 2012.
  • Samantha Hamilton picked up impressive victories in the 5,000-meter run and the 10,000-meter run. It marked the third consecutive year that a women's runner had won both events at the same meet. Hamilton's previous three titles were in the steeplechase.
  • Nina Grambling became the third person to win back-to-back 100-meter dash's with her narrow victory. Grambling also won her first career 200-meter dash at the meet. She is the sixth runner to win both the 100m and 200m at the same HL Championships, joining teammate Ciara Jarrett who won both in 2011 and 2012.
  • Austin McLean won the 3,000m steeplechase while teammate Eric Rupe placed second. McLean became the first Penguin to win the event since Kurt Michaelis won the 2004 title.
  • Jay Jakovina became the second Penguin to win the long jump on Saturday. Previously the only YSU long jumper to win the outdoor crown was Shayne York in 2008.
  • In the shot put, Bobby Grace won the title giving the Penguins a win in seven straight and eight of the last nine Horizon League outdoor meets in that event. Grace won his third Horizon League Outdoor shot put title becoming the fourth three-time winner in the event.
  • Neu became the fourth Penguin to win the hammer throw with his record-setting winning toss of 64.22 meters.
  • Rupe won the 5,000-meter run becoming just the second YSU runner to win that event. Rupe joins Kip Tisia who won the 5,000m in 2009 as the only Guins to win the event. McLean was second in the event, which helped clinch the championship for the Penguins.

Horizon League Accolades

  • Champions – Nina Grambling – 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash, long jump; Samantha Hamilton – 10,000-meter run, 5,000-meter run; Austin McLean – Steeplechase; Arnaldo Morales – High Jump; Jay Jakovina – Long Jump; Conner Neu – Hammer Throw; Jessica Parham – Javelin; Jennifer Neider – Shot Put; Bobby Grace – Shot Put; Eric Rupe – 5,000-meter run.
  • Runner-Up Finishes – Austin McLean – 5,000-meter run; Eric Rupe – Steeplechase, 1,500-meter run; Chenara Lacey – High Jump; Jay Jakovina – High Jump; Connor Neu – Discus; Joe Dixon – Javelin; Jayne Corbett – Shot Put; John Seaver – Shot Put; Karlie Ligore – Pole Vault
  • Award Winners – Arnaldo Morales (Men's Field Freshman of the Year), Austin McLean (Men's Most Outstanding Track Performer), Conner Neu (Men's Most Outstanding Field Performer), Eric Rupe (Men's Individual Scoring Award), Samantha Hamilton (Female Athlete of the Year/Most Outstanding Track Performer), McKinsie Klim (Women's Track Freshman of the Year), Jayne Corbett (Women's Field Freshman of the Year), Nina Grambling (Women's Individual Scoring Award) and Brian Gorby (Men's and Women's Coach of the Year).