2019 Outdoor Track and Field Season In Review

Photo by David Dermer
Photo by David Dermer

The Youngstown State men's and women's track and field teams had historic performances at the Horizon League Championships while also receiving national recognition from junior hurdler Collin Harden, who earned Honorable Mention All-American after competing at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships earlier this week. 

The Penguins also sent a school-record nine competitors to the NCAA East Preliminary Round including Noah Drudy, Jaliyah Elliott, Zach Gehm, Collin Harden, Wyatt Lefker, Ryan Sullivan, Dom Westbay, Jake Wilson and Chad Zallow

NCAA Highlights

  • Harden advanced to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the 400m hurdles. Harden clocked a time of 52.30 seconds which placed him 22nd overall at the meet. Harden earned an honorable mention on the All-American teams. At the East Prelims, Harden punched his ticket to the NCAA meet after earning the 12th and final spot in the quaterfinals with a school record time of 50.52 seconds.
  • At the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field East Preliminaries: Gehm (discus) was 20th, Elliott (200m) was 26th and 27th in the 100m dash, Zallow (110m hurdles) was 31st, Drudy (javelin) was 40th, Wilson (javelin) was 41st. 

Record Breakers

  • The men's program set six school records during the year: In the 5,000m, Ryan Sullivan broke Eric Rupe's record (14:22.27) with a time of 14.21.06 at the 125th Penn Relays. Collin Harden initially lowered his own record in the 400m hurdles to 51.01 seconds at the Horizon League Championships, before ultimately posting a time of 50.52 seconds in the quarterfinals at the NCAA East Pelims. Freshman Wyatt Lefker surpassed fellow teammate Macklin Rose in the pole vault after clearing the bar at 5.01m at the Harrison Dillard Twilight. Freshman Zach Gehm broke Josh Hacker's 18-year old school record in the discus (53.37m) with a throw of 54.17m at the Ashland Alumni Open. Gehm extended his school record at the NCAA East Prelims when he recorded a throw of 54.67m. Jake Wilson edged out Tyler Donati's record in the javelin (66.22m) with a throw of 66.98m at the Horizon League Championships.
  • Three school records were broken by the women's program: Shelby Marken eclisped Sarina Mauerman's mark in the pole vault (3.65m) after clearing the bar at 3.75m at the Horizon League Championships. In the hammer throw, Nicolette Kreatsoulas broke Bethany Anderson's record (58.04m) with a throw of 58.72m at the Ashland Alumni Open. Freshman Olivia Jones eclipsed Chenera Lacey's score in the heptathlon (4,606) after recording 4,758 points at the Horizon League Championships (5/3-4/2019).

Career/Season Highlights

Horizon League Accolades

Men's Horizon League Championship Notes

  • The Penguins scored a Horizon League/school record of 311.5 points which beat the old record by 78.5 
  • YSU set the widest margin of victory in league history at 137 points, beating Milwaukee's record of 120 set in 2005
  • Chad Zallow won the 110m hurdles for the third consecutive year and became the third three-time winner in league history
  • Collin Harden won the 400m hurdles for the third straight year while also becoming the first athlete in league history to accomplish that feat
  • Zallow won the 100m and 200m dashes with facility record times
  • Sean Peterson won the 800m, sweeping both the indoor and outdoor titles
  • Dom Westbay won the discus, becoming just the fourth Penguin in school history to win the event
  • Jake Wilson won the javelin title while also breaking the school record 
  • Ryan Sullivan won the first 10000m title in program history
  • Freshman Wyatt Lefker was the champion in the pole vault, marking the third consecutive year a Penguin has won it 
  • The 4x100m relay team won the title for the second consecutive year and the fourth time in program history
  • YSU had the top four finishers in the 100m dash, four of the top five in the 110m hurdles, the top three in the pole vault and three of the top four in the shot put
  • The Penguins scored 29 points in the 100m dash, 27.5 in the pole vault, 27 in the 110m hurdles, 23 in the 200m dash, 22 in the discus, 19 in the shot put, 18 in the 400m dash and javelin

Women's Horizon League Championship Notes

  • The Penguins scored 251 points, just one point shy of tying the league record
  • Angela Lock won the the javelin for the third consecutive year, making her the second Penguin in program history to accomplish that feat
  • Olivia Jones won the heptathlon while setting a new school record with 4,758 points 
  • Kaitlyn Merwin won the shot put, sweeping both the indoor and outdoor titles, the Penguins have now won the event 11 straight years and 14 out of the last 16
  • Abby Jones won the high jump for third consecutive year becoming the second three-time winner in league history
  • Chontel Fils won the long jump and triple jump, she became the fifth athlete in league history to win both events in the same year
  • Jaliyah Elliott won the 100m and 200m dashes, sweeping both the indoor and outdoor titles in each event
  • YSU has now the 100m and 200m dashes nine years in a row
  • Shelby Marken set a new school record in the pole vault after clearing the bar at 3.75m
  • YSU had the top three finishers in the 200m dash, three of the top four finishers in the high jump
  • The Penguins scored 24 points in the 200m dash, 23 in the javelin, 21 in the high jump, 20 in the 100m dash, 18 in the pole vault, long jump and shot put, 17 in the discus, 16 in the triple jump and 15 in the hammer throw