The Youngstown State men's and women's track and field teams both won Horizon League Championships for the third consecutive year. Senior Chad Zallow and junior Jaliyah Elliott gave the program national recognition by earning second-team All-American honors at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships last weekend.
The men set school records in the 60m dash, long jump, triple jump while the women set school marks in the 60m dash, 200m dash, triple jump, high jump and distance medley relay. The 60m dash, 200m dash and high jump women's records were broken at the Horizon League Championships at the WATTS in February.
The men won their fourth consecutive Horizon League Indoor Track and Field Championship. For the women, it was their fifth title in the last six years five years and eighth Horizon League championship overall.
Season Highlights and Record Breakers
- Chad Zalow ran time of 7.787 seconds in the 60m hurdles at the NCAA Indoor Championships
- Jaliyah Elliott posted a time of 7.36 seconds in the 60m dash at the NCAA Indoor Championships
- Three school records were broken by the men's program: In the 60m dash, Chad Zallow eclipsed Kofi Owusu Ansah's record (6.73 seconds) with a time of 6.69 seconds. In the triple jump, Akeem Cooper broke Darius Reeves' record (14.59m) with a jump of 14.87m. Daiquain Watson set the school record in the long jump at 7.30m which passed Chris Volmer's mark of 7.18m in 1996.
- The women's program set five school records during the year: Jaliyah Elliott lowered her mark in the 60m dash from 7.41 seconds to 7.25 seconds. Abby Jones increased her school record in the high jump from 1.74m to 1.75m at the Horizon League Indoor Championships. Chontel Fils extended her mark in the triple jump from 7.20m to 7.28m. In the 200m dash, Elliott broke Keishawnna Burts (24.10) with a time of 23.85 seconds. In the DMR, Nicole Squatrito, Iva Domitrovich, Natalie Fleming and Jennifer Muhlenkamp set the record with a time of 12:04.19.
Horizon League Accolades
- Men's Champions – Chad Zallow (60m dash, 60m hurdles, 200m dash), Dylan Latone (pole vault), Sean Peterson (800m), Daiquain Watson (long jump)
- Men Runner-Up Finishes – Brendon Lucas (60m dash), Jamynk Jackson (200m dash), Collin Harden (400m dash, 60m hurdles), Cole Lovett (one mile run), Alan Burns (5,000m), 4x400m relay team, Jett Murphy (pole vault), Dom Westbay (shot put)
- Women Champions – Jaliyah Elliott (60m dash, 200m dash), Natalie Fleming (800m), Kaitlyn Merwin (shot put), Nicolette Kreatsoulas (weigh throw), Olivia Jones (pentathlon), Jessica Stever (long jump)
- Women Runner-Up Finishes – Suerethia Henderson (60m dash, 200m dash), Nicole Squatrito (one mile run), Destiny Washington (60m hurdles), Abby Jones (high jump), Chontel Fils (long jump, triple jump), Nicolette Kreatsoulas (shot put)
- Men Award Winners – Chad Zallow (Athlete of the Year, Outstanding Performer Running Events) and Brian Gorby (Coach of the Year)
- Women Award Winners - Nicolette Kreatsoulas (Outstanding Field Performer), Suerethia Henderson (Freshman Runner of the Year), Olivia Jones (Field Freshman of the Year) and Brian Gorby (Coach of the Year)
Men's Horizon League Championship Notes
- The Penguins scored a school-record 238 points to win by 113 points.
- The margin-of-victory is the most at a league meet since Notre Dame won by 136 points in 1989.
- The 238 points was the second most in league history behind Notre Dame's 242.5 in 1985.
- YSU has won seven of the last seven 60m dash titles. A Zallow - Chad from 2016-19 and Carl in 2015 - has won the past five years.
- Zallow became the first sprinter in league history to win the 60m dash and 60m hurdles four times.
- Zallow became second three-time winner in the 200m dash and first since Milwaukee's Tyler Bucholz in 2008-10.
- Sophomore Sean Peterson became the first back-to-back winner in the 800m since Milwaukee's Cory Peterson in 1996-98.
- Daiquain Watson won his second consecutive long jump title and third in school history. William Royal is the only other winner (2014).
- Dylan Latone captured his second consecutive pole vault championship and third in school history. He became the first back-to-back winner since Valparaiso's Justin Zosso in 2014-15.
- YSU scored 29 points in the 200m dash, 28 in the 60m hurdles, 27 in the 60m dash, 24 in the pole vault, 19 in the shot put, 17 in the 400m dash and 13 in the triple jump.
- YSU had the top-four finishers in the 200m dash, the top-three finishers in the 60m dash and 60m hurdles.
- Head Coach Brian Gorby earned his sixth Coach-of-the Year honors.
- Zallow was the Alfreeda Goff Men's Athlete of the Year and the Men's Championship Outstanding Running Performer
Women's Horizon League Championship Notes
- The Penguins accumulated 193 points, the second most in school history, to win by 40.5 points.
- YSU has won the last five 60m dashes with three different runners. Jaliyah Elliott in 2018 and 2019, Taylor Thompkins in 2017 and Nina Grambling in 2016 and 2015. Elliott broke the meet, facility and school record with a time of 7.25 seconds.
- The Penguins have won nine straight Horizon League 200m dashes. Four different Penguins have won the last four races. Elliott broke the meet and school record with a time of 28.35 seconds.
- Sophomore Natalie Fleming became the first Penguin in school history to win the 800m. She ran the second-fastest time in school history at 2:13.37.
- Kaitlyn Merwin won her first Horizon League shot put championship with a personal-best throw of 15.29m. YSU has now won nine consecutive titles and 14 of the last 15 years.
- Nicolette Kreatsoulas won her first Horizon League title in the weight throw after throwing a personal-best of 17.40m. She helped to extend YSU's winning streak in the event to four straight years.
- Freshman Olivia Jones won the Horizon League championship pentathlon after scoring a personal-best 3,420 points. Jones became the third Penguin in school history to win the event.
- Sophomore Jessica Stever won the Horizon League title in the long jump after posting a personal-best jump of 5.81m. Stever becomes the fifth Penguin in school history to win the event and first since Savannah Osborne in 2016.
- YSU scored 24 points in the 200m dash, 22 in the shot put, 19 in the 60m dash, 18 in the long jump, 15 in the high jump, and 15 in the weigh throw.
- Kreatsoulas was the Women's Championship Outstanding Field Performer
- Suerethia Henderson was the Women's Runner Freshman of the Year
- Olivia Jones was the Women's Field Freshman of the Year