Penniman's Horizon League Champions
- 2019 Wyatt Lefker (HL Outdoor) Pole Vault
- 2019 Dylan Latone (HL Indoor) Pole Vault
- 2018, 2017 Dylan Latone (HL Outdoor) Pole Vault
- 2018 Dylan Latone (HL Indoor) Pole Vault
- 2015 Hannah Ropp (HL Outdoor) Pole Vault
- 2014 Nicole Waibel (HL Indoor) Pole Vault
- 2006 Derek Riker (HL Outdoor) Pole Vault
- 2004 Derek Riker (HL Indoor) Pole Vault
- 2002 Kelly Leonard (HL Indoor) Hurdles
- 2002 Kelly Leonard (HL Outdoor) 100 hurdles
- 2002 Laura Schatz (HL Indoor) High Jump
Former Youngstown State multi-events athlete Rick Penniman has steadily moved YSU's pole vaulting program toward the top of the Horizon League in his last 18 years as an assistant coach.
His vaulters have won nine conference championships while 12 times they have been a conference runner up.
The Penguins had their first men's title in the event in 2017 in 11 years. Dylan Latone won the outdoor title (which was held at the WATTS) clearing the bar at 4.80m. For the women, Sarina Mauerman and Caitlyn Trebella were third and fourth. Indoors the women placed fourth through seventh while the men had the fourth and fifth-place finishers.
In 2019, the men had an excellent year sweeping both the indoor and outdoor Horizon League titles. At the indoor league championship, Dylan Latone captured his second consecutive title while Jett Murphy was the runner-up and Macklin Rose finished third.
During the outdoor season, Wyatt Lefker secured the title(which was held at the WATTS), Latone finished second and Rose took third again. Lefker set the school record in the pole vault on May 10 when he cleared the bar at 5.01m at the Harrison Dillard Twilight. Lefker went on to qualify for the NCAA East Preliminary Round.
For the women, four of the top eight finishers at the indoor league meet were Penguins as Shelby Marken lead the way with a fourth place finish. At the outdoor meet, Marken finished as the runner-up while also breaking the school record after clearing the bar 3.75m. Caitlyn Trebella and Katlyn Griffie finished in a tie for fourth while Denise Machamer was eighth.
In 2018, Latone had a tremendous year sweeping the indoor and outdoor events. At the Indoor meet he cleared the bar at 4.45m and outdoors had a height of 4.71m. At the indoor meet, the men placed first, second and fourth. For the women, five of the top seven finishers were Penguins as Caitlyn Trebella led the way. At the outdoor meet, the women were third, fourth and fifth. At the outdoor meet, Latone was first followed by Brock Wooten who was third.
The Penguins' men's and women's teams swept the championships in 2017 winning both the indoor and outdoor meets. In 2018, the women won the indoor and outdoor crowns once again while the men were in indoor champion.
In 2016, Latone finished second in the event at both the indoor and outdoor conference championships. At the outdoor event, Mauerman and Trebella each cleared a then-school-best height of 3.57m. The Penguins's men's program won both the indoor and outdoor conference championships in 2016 while the women took first in the outdoor meet after a runner-up finish indoors.
The Penguins had a conference champion in the two previous years on the women's side. In 2015, Hannah Ropp ended her career with her first league title during the outdoor slate. The year prior, Nicole Waibel won the program's first pole vault title in eight years during the indoor season.
Ropp, who was third in the indoor season and had a previous-best second-place finish in 2013, won the outdoor Horizon League title clearing the bar at 3.50 meters. That mark set a then YSU school record eclipsing a mark that had stood since 2008. As a team the YSU women won both the indoor and outdoor league titles for the second straight year while the men placed second in both.
Also placing in the top five in 2015 were Mauerman (fourth in outdoor and indoor) and Garrett Mathias (third in outdoor and fifth indoors).
In 2014, Waibel took home the indoor Horizon League pole vault crown. She was named the HL Field Freshman of the Year for her efforts. During the year she set a school record in the event with clearing a height of 3.89 meters. As a team, the YSU women won both the indoor and outdoor crowns while the men claimed their first-ever Horizon League Outdoor title.
In 2013, Garrett Mathias was third at the Outdoor Horizon League Championships and fourth at the indoor meet. Ropp led the way for the women at the indoor championships with a second-place finish. She set the indoor school mark clearing the bar at 3.50 meters at the league meet.
Ligore, Ropp and Brianna Wise all had career-best indoor marks during the 2013 slate, clearing at least 3.20 meters (10 feet, six inches). In the outdoor campaign, Ropp set the school record of 3.50m (11-5 3/4) at the Raleigh Relays and Ligore cleared a career-best 10-10 at the Horizon League Championships.
During the 2011-12 slate, Johnny Copley set school marks in the event during both the indoor and outdoor campaigns. Copley eclipsed 4.77 meters during the outdoor slate and cleared a height of 4.80 meters during the indoor campaign. Copley was second at the indoor league meet while finishing third at the outdoor championships. He had two second-place finishes at the league meet during his career.
In 2010-11, Copley was third at the outdoor Horizon League Championships and finished fifth during the indoor meet.
In 2009-10, Stephanie Jarvis was fifth in the pole vault at the indoor league meet and YSU had two women finish in the top seven of the event in the outdoor event.
During the 2008-09 season, Penniman coached a runner-up in the outdoor championships and a second-place finisher at the indoor meet. Copley was a second-place performer at the Horizon League Outdoor Championships while Jarvis finished second at the indoor league meet.
Jarvis ended the season with a fourth-place finish at the outdoor HL Championships while fellow vaulter Amanda Carpin improved her previous best marks by placing third at the Indoor Championships and sixth at the league's Outdoor Championships.
Copley established a new school record during the year breaking the old mark set by Derek Riker in 2006.
The 2007-08 season, Copley took fourth at both the Horizon League Indoor and Outdoor Championships while Jarvis went on to finish third in the pole vault with a school-record mark of 11-1 3/4 at the Horizon League Championships.
Carpin finished fourth at the Horizon League Indoor Meet, while Darla Wilson also recorded a personal-best mark at the Horizon League Indoor Championships, finishing fourth.
In 2006, Jarvis set the school record during the outdoor season with a height of 11-1 1/2 at the Horizon League Championships to earn second-team all-league honors.
In addition, Riker became Penniman's first conference champion when he won the pole vault during the 2004 indoor season and repeated the accomplishment at the 2006 Horizon League Outdoor Championships.
Penniman spent his first three seasons as the hurdles and jumpers coach. During that span, Kelly Leonard won the Horizon League indoor hurdles title in 2002 and Laura Schatz was the high jump champion. Leonard repeated in the outdoor season and won the 100m hurdles.
As a student-athlete, Penniman was a member of YSU's first Mid-Continent Conference Championship team in 1997. He ranks seventh in YSU history in the pole vault (outdoor) and fourth all-time in the decathlon.
Penniman graduated from YSU in 1999 with a Bachelors degree in Speech Communications. He received his USATF Level One coaching certification in April of 2005.
He is also employed at Bank of America in Beachwood and resides in Broadview Heights.
He and his wife, Wendy, have a son, Beau.