Men and Women Maintain Leads; Five Win Titles on Saturday

Ryan Booth
Ryan Booth

Rochester, Mich. - Both the Youngstown State men's and women's track and field team's maintained their leads at the Horizon League Championships on Saturday. Three women's athletes and a pair of men picked up titles on day two.

Winning events on Saturday were Hannah Ropp (pole vault), Nina Grambling (long jump), Jennifer Neider (shot put), Ryan Booth (shot put) and Eric Rupe (steeplechase).

In the team races, the women have 88 points while Valparaiso is second with 49, Wright State third with 32, Detroit fourth at 38 and Milwaukee fifth with 34. The men have 78 points, Valparaiso is second with 58, Milwaukee third with 43 and UIC is fourth with 27.

Ropp, a senior, won the pole vault at the Horizon League Championships in her last attempt. Ropp, who's previous-best finish was fifth in 2013, cleared a height of 3.50 meters to win. She tied her own school record which she set back in March of 2013. Sarina Mauerman finished fourth clearing a height of 3.20m.

Grambling won the eighth championship of her career - indoor and outdoor - with a jump of 5.61 meters to defeat Milwaukee's Alisha Harper who had a 5.59m with a tail wind of 3.3. Grambling, who won the event last year with a distance of 5.54m, had a head wind of 1.8 mph on her attempt. Also in the event, Ellie Pollock was fourth and Savannah Osborne was fifth.

Neider won her second straight Horizon League title in impressive fashion with a throw of 14.49 meters. She won the event by .43 meters. In the prelims, she tied her personal-best and set a Horizon League Championships record with a throw of 14.51m. She had clinched the title entering her final attempt before uncorking a throw that was .02 off her career best.

In the high jump, the Penguins took second, fourth and sixth. Leading the way was Chenera Lacey who was second clearing the bar at 1.69 meters. Lacey eclipsed the height on her third attempt while Valparaiso's Jazmin Taylor earned the win by clearing the bar at 1.69m on her first try. Lacey and Taylor missed all three attempts at 1.72m. Finishing fourth was Mackenzie Sturtz at 1.63m while Leanna Hartsough was sixth at 1.60m.

In the lone other final on Saturday, Brittany Stockmaster was third in the steeplechase with a time of 11:22.67 while Libby Rogenski was sixth  at 12:09.02.

Grambling qualified with the top time in the 100m dash at 11.89 seconds as Taylor Thompkins qualified third with a time of 12.22 seconds. In the 200m, Grambling posted the second-fastest time at 24.72 seconds while Jennifer Shiley was third with a 25.27. Thompkins qualified fifth with a 25.38.

In the 100m hurdles, Amber Eles and Taylor McDonald advanced. McDonald also reached the finals in the 400m hurdles with a time of 1:02.89. Shiley was second again, this time in the prelims of the 400m (57.55 seconds) while Jayme Ritchie also advanced with a time of 59.62 seconds.

Rupe and Austin McLean finished one-two in the men's steeplechase. Rupe had a time of 8:58.52 to win the event for the first time in his career. McLean, the 2014 Horizon League Champion, ran a time of 8:59.48.

Booth, who has improved throughout the outdoor season, had a toss of 17.54 meters on his second attempt to win the shot put by 0.37 meters. His throw was the fourth-longest in school history and Booth's best effort entering Saturday this year was 16.52m. Placing fourth was Jacob Chiclowe with a throw of 16.02m.

YSU qualified three of the top four in the 100m dash. Leighton Antonio had the top time at 10.78 seconds, Carl Zallow was third at 10.89 seconds and Marcellus Embry was fourth at 10.90 seconds.

In the 200m dash, Antonio qualified for the finals with a time of 21.67 seconds, Embry was fifth with a time of 21.67 seconds and Zallow was sixth with a 21.79.

Caleb Lloyd qualified for the finals in the 110m high hurdles and the 400m hurdles. Lloyd was fourth in the 110m (15.23 seconds) and the 400m hurdles (54.48 seconds). Clay Febus and Sam Shaviss joined Lloyd by making the finals of the 110m hurdles.

In the 800m, Dylin Wilhoite and Mike Navratil advanced to the finals with career-best efforts. Wilhoite ran a 1:54.09 while Navratil had a 1:54.52 in the race.

Also in finals on Saturday, Garrett Mathias was third in the pole vault clearing a height of 4.40m.

The final day of competition starts at 10 a.m. on Sunday with the hammer throw, triple jump and high jump. The running-event finals all start at noon.