By Madeline Hippeard
Two Penguins on the Youngstown State University track & field team had a record-breaking season opener at the YSU Icebreaker.
Youngstown State’s previous long jump record was broken by senior Tye Hunt with a distance of 8.08 meters. He set the previous record at 7.74 meters last season.
The record-setting day continued as fifth-year senior Jakari Lomax set the triple jump record for the Penguins with a distance of 15.52 meters. The previous school record — set during the 2022 Icebreaker — was 15.4 meters.
Senior multi-event athlete Alexis Prater said the Penguins used the Icebreaker to ease their way into the indoor season.
“The first Icebreaker is kind of just to get our foot in the door and just kind of see where we’re starting. We haven’t competed since May, so this kind of just gets our nerves out and kind of see where we need to improve from here,” Prater said.
Eleven other Penguins posted victories during the meet, including senior Dorian Chaigneau who broke the YSU Icebreaker meet record in the pole vault by clearing 5.35 meters.
Four other athletes placed first in men’s events. Senior Lonnie Harper won the high jump at 1.99 meters, and fifth-year senior Dominic Perry won the shot put with a total of 17.79 meters.
Laubacher placed first in the 60 meter hurdles with a time of 7.91 seconds. Fifth-year senior Christian Ford won the 200-meter dash with a time of 21.65 seconds.
The Penguins had five more athletes take first place in women’s events.
Graduate student Morgan Cole won the 5,000 meter run with a time of 17:25.10. Senior Nia Williams-Matthews placed first in the triple jump with a distance of 12.26 meters, and senior Madison Murry won the 60 meter hurdles with a time of 8.69 seconds.
The Penguins have been practicing for their indoor season since they returned to campus in August. Murry said practice is crucial to prepare for a successful season.
“I have been practicing everyday, making sure that I have been focused in my practice and being very intentional in everything I do. I know we have a very big reputation to hold up, so that is something that is definitely driving me through practice all the time,” Murray said.
Sophomore Ainsley Hamsher, senior Emma Etzwiler and graduate student Erin Bogard all cleared 3.80 meters in the pole vault, putting them and an athlete from Slippery Rock University in a tie for first place.
The track & field team will return to action Jan. 13, 2024 to compete in the Penn State Nittany Lion Challenge and the Kent State Jud Logan Memorial Invitational.
For more information on the meets and to follow the team’s scores throughout the event, visit ysusports.com.