The Youngstown State men's track and field team will look to capture their fourth straight league title when the Horizon League Indoor Track and Field Championships begin at the WATTS on Saturday.
On Saturday, action begins with the heptathlon at 9 a.m. followed by the long jump finals at noon. The pole vault and weight throw get started at 2:30 p.m. while the running events kick off at 3:30 p.m. with the 60m hurdles prelims. Finals of the 5,000m and DMR are scheduled to conclude day one.
On Sunday, the heptathlon will continue at 9 a.m. while the high jump finals getting started at 9:15 a.m. The triple jump and shot put are set to begin at 11 a.m. and all of the running events will get underway at 1 p.m.
The Penguins won the championship last year while outscoring second-place Milwaukee by 38.5 points. YSU also set a school-record by scoring 201 points, a score last posted by Notre Dame in 1986. It also marked the first time in program history that the men had won three consecutive indoor Horizon League Track and Field titles.
Five different Penguins look to defend their Horizon League titles including Chad Zallow (three events), Collin Harden (400m), Daiquain Watson (long jump), Dylan Latone (pole vault), and Sean Peterson (800m). Zallow has won the last three Horizon League titles in the 60m dash and 60m hurdles, while also taking home championships in the 200m dash the last two seasons.
Zallow is looking to become the first runner since Milwaukee's Durell Bubsy (2010-14) to win the 60m hurdles four times. With a win in the 60m dash, he would become the the first runner in Horizon League history to win the event four times. Zallow is also looking to become the first three-time winner in the 200m dash since Milwaukee's Tyler Bucholz in 2008-10.
Zallow has been one of the fastest runners in the country in the 60m hurdles this indoor season. He currently holds the fourth-fastest time in the NCAA.
YSU athletes who lead the Horizon League in their respective events include: Chad Zallow (60m dash, 200m dash, 60m hurdles) and Daiquain Watson (long jump). Individuals who rank in the top three in their events are Josh Beaumont (60m), Brendon Lucas (200m), Collin Harden (400m, 60m hurdles), Cody Sikora (400m), Sean Peterson (800m), Cole Smith (60m hurdles), Dylan Latone (pole vault), Jett Murphy (pole vault), Akeem Cooper (triple jump), Dom Westbay (shot put) and Brandon Orlando (shot put).
Harden is bidding to become the first YSU sprinter in program history to win two titles in the 400m. Harden enters the weekend with the second fastest time in the Horizon League
Watson is looking to become the first YSU jumper to win the long jump title two times. He recorded the school record and furthest league mark in the long jump this season at the Penn State National Open when he jumped 7.30m. In 2018, Watson became the second jumper in program history to win the event, while also being named the Field Freshman of the Year.
After becoming the second pole vaulter in program history to win the event, Latone is bidding to become the first back-to-back winner in the event since Valparaiso's Garrett Vetesnik accomplished the feat in 2012-13. Alongside Latone, YSU has a deep group of pole vaulters that currently hold four of the top five marks in the conference.
Last season, Peterson was named the Running Freshman of the Year after winning the 800m for the Penguins for the first time since 2002. Peterson will look to defend his title after becoming just the second runner in program history to win the event. The Penguins will lean on seniors Alan Burns and sophomore Tyler Polman in the 3,000m and 5,000m as both of their times in the rank in the top-10 in the league. Freshman Chris Butler is the fastest Penguins' runner in the 3,000m and mile run.
In the high jump, YSU will be led by freshman Terron Taylor who posted the fourth-best mark in the league at 2.01m.
In the throwing events, Joe Pfeffer will represent the Penguins in the weight throw, while Westbay and Orlando lead the charge in the shot put. Pfeffer heads into the weekend with the fourth longest weight throw in the league at 16.95m. Westbay ranks second in the shot put at 17.39m, while Orlando comes in at third with a toss of 16.93m.
Junior Stefan Pontius will compete in the heptathlon after finishing third at last year's championship.
Schedule of Events
Saturday, February 23
9 a.m. • Pentathlon (60-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, long jump, 800-meter run)
9:30 a.m. • Hepthathlon (60-meter dash, long jump shot put, high jump)
Noon • Long Jump Final (Women & Men)
2:30 p.m. • Pole Vault Final (Women & Men)
2:30 p.m. • Weight Throw Final (Women & Men)
2:30 p.m. • Men's 5,000-Meter Run (Slow Section)
2:50 p.m. • Women's 5,000-Meter Run (Slow Section)
3:30 p.m. • 60-meter hurdles (prelims) (Women/Men)
3:50 p.m. • 400-meter run (prelims) (Women/Men)
4:25 p.m. • 60-meter dash (prelims) (Women/Men)
4:40 p.m. • 800-meter run (prelims) (Women/Men)
5:05 p.m. • 200-meter dash (prelims) (Women/Men)
5:35 p.m. • 5,000-meter run (finals) (Women/Men)
6:20 p.m. • Distance Medley Relay (finals) (Women/Men)
Sunday, February 25 (All Finals)
9 a.m. • Heptathlon (60-meter hurdles, pole vault, 1,000-meter run)
9:15 a.m. • High Jump (Men/Women)
11 a.m. • Triple Jump (Women/Men)
11 a.m. • Shot Put (Men/Women)
1 p.m. • Women's Mile Run
1:15 p.m. • Men's Mile Run
1:25 p.m. • Women's 60-meter hurdles
1:30 p.m. • Men's 60-meter hurdles
1:40 p.m. • Women's 400-meter run
1:45 p.m. • Men's 400-meter run
1:50 p.m. • Women's 60-meter dash
1:20 p.m. • Men's 60-meter dash
2:05 p.m. • Women's 800-meter run
2:10 p.m. • Men's 800-meter run
2:20 p.m. • Women's 200-meter dash
2:25 p.m. • Men's 200-meter dash
2:30 p.m. • Women's 3,000-meter run
3:05 p.m. • Men's 3,000-meter run
3:30 p.m. • Women's 4x400-meter relay
3:45 p.m. • Men's 4x400-meter relay