Penguins Bidding For First Horizon League Triple Crown

Ryan Booth won the 2016 shot put title the HL outdoor title.
Ryan Booth won the 2016 shot put title the HL outdoor title.

The Youngstown State men's track and field team will look to cap off its first Triple Crown season since 1997-98 when the Penguins play host to the Horizon League Championships which start Friday in Youngstown.

YSU won the Horizon League Cross Country title in November and Indoor Track and Field title in February. The defending Outdoor champs, the Penguins are bidding to become the first men's program in Horizon League history to win all three in the same year.

The meet is being held Friday-Sunday at Farmers National Bank Field and the throwing area near YSU's Courtyard Apartments.

In the league rankings, YSU has two of the top four runners in the 100m dash, the top two in the 200m dash, two of the top five in the 5,000m run, three of the top four in the 10,000m run, two of the top three in the 110m hurdles, two of the top three in the 400m hurdles, two of the top four in the high jump, two of the top three in the pole vault, two of the top four in the shot put and the top three in the javelin. A YSU athlete leads the league in the hammer throw and ranks second in the 400m run and the discus.

Ryan Booth is YSU's lone returning event winner from last year's meet. Booth won the shot put and will look to defend his title on Saturday. Booth enters this year's meet ranked second in the discus and the shot put. While the Penguins have won the last nine shot put events, the last YSU win in the discus was in 2012.

In the javelin, Tyler Donati leads the conference at 60.90m, Jake Wilson sits second at 59.71m, Joe Dixon third at 59.23m and Will Thompson is fifth at 54.03m. Jarrod Davis was the last YSU athlete to win the javelin in 2006.

Matt Monroe has the league's best mark in the hammer throw at 53.36m. Last year, he finished third in the event. YSU has won three of the last five hammer throws.

Dylan Latone leads the conference in the pole vault while Macklin Rose is current third. Latone was was second in the pole vault last year. Derek Rider was the last Penguin to win the pole vault back in 2006.

Anthony Butler sits third in the long jump and fourth in the triple jump entering the meet. In the high jump, Brad Jones is third followed by Tim Holzapfel. YSU has won four straight high jump events and five of the last six at the league meet.

A group of seven athletes will be competing in the decathlon featuring YSU's Isaac Agyemang and Stefan Pontius. Agyemang was fourth at last year's league championship. A Penguin has never won the decathlon. 

On the track, Chad Zallow (200m and 110m hurdles), Collin Harden (400m hurdles) and Ryan Roush (10,000m) have the league's top marks so far. 

Harden is bidding to become just the second YSU runner to win the 400m hurdles. The lone previous winner is Martin Soloman back in 2011. The next closest runner to Harden is more than two seconds back. Caley Lloyd sits tied for third in the league standings.

Zallow will run the 100m, 200m and 110m hurdles. He leads the Horizon League in the 200m just ahead of teammate Brendon Lucas. In the 110m hurdles he is first by more than 0.30 seconds. He ranks first in the nation still with a best time of 13.37 seconds set back in March at the Florida Relays. Only two Penguins have won the 110m hurdles, the last Soloman in 2011. Zallow is fourth in the 100m dash.

Lucas is second in the 400m behind Oakland's Corey Goodloe. No YSU runner has taken first in the 400m. Carl Zallow ranks third in the 100m and seventh in the 200m.

Roush set a school record in the 10,000m run with a time of 29:34.12 and leads the league in the race. Ryan Sullivan sits third and Dylan Dombi is fourth. In the 5,000m, Sullivan is fourth and Roush is fifth.

Alan Burns is YSU's best scoring hope in the steeplechase as he sits third in the league at 9:14.42.

The Penguins' last titles in the relays were 2004 in the 4x400m and 2012 in the 4x100m.