Penguins Open YSU National Invitational With DMR Record

Austin McLean and Mike Navratil.
Austin McLean and Mike Navratil.

The Youngstown State track and field team opened the first day of competition at the YSU National Invitational on a high note as the men's Distance Medley Relay set a school record.

In the DMR, the group of John Helms, Eric Rupe, Mike Navratil and Austin McLean won the event with a school-record performance of 9:52.33. With McLean running the anchor leg, the Guins nipped Horizon League rival Oakland by 2.32 seconds. The previous mark in the event was 9:58.61 set in February 2009.

The record was the fifth different school mark the Penguins have established so far this season. The performance by the four runners set a meet record.

Conner Neu had a record-setting night as well setting a WATTS and YSU National Invitational record in the weight throw with an impressive heave of 19.98 meters. Neu was just .01 meters off his season-best performance and won the event by a solid 2.85 meters.

In the women's long jump, Nina Grambling finished second with a personal-best leap of 5.72 meters just missing first by .02. The leap by Grambling was .27 meters longer than her previous best distance of 5.45 meters.

In the women's 5,000-meter run, McKinsie Klim was third with a personal-best time of 17:41.30. Her sister, Melissa, also had a personal-best performance in the event clocking in at 18:07.61.

In the women's pole vault, Hannah Ropp placed in a tie for second clearing a height of 3.45 meters. Saurina Mauerman tied for fourth in the event reaching 3.30 meters.

In the men's long jump, Tyree Ballenger finished second with a leap of 6.87 meters. Ballenger jumped the distance on his second try in his first long jump competition for the Guins.

The second day of competition gets underway on Saturday at 10 a.m. with the field field events while the first running event of the day is the mile at 11 a.m.