By Robert Hayes
After a successful 2019 indoor season, the Youngstown State University track and field team is ready to host its first meet of the outdoor season on Friday.
Both the men’s and women’s teams claimed Horizon League titles earlier this year in the Horizon League Indoor Track and Field Championships, and the women’s team is entering this outdoor season as the defending outdoor champions.
For coach Brian Gorby, being able to host a meet this early in the outdoor season is huge for the development of his teams.
“It gives opportunities for all of our kids to run, with not having to travel. And of course it’s a great opportunity for all of our fans and spectators,” Gorby said.
The Northeast Ohio Quad was originally supposed to be held at the University of Akron, but issues with tree roots growing under their track caused them to have to move all of their home meets for the season. Akron reached out to YSU and is able to host the meet using YSU’s facilities.
Many of the events will be held at the Covelli Sports Complex, although the Watson and Tressel Training Site will be available if weather becomes a factor. Pole vault and long jump times are eligible for national records if they have to be held in the WATTS, but none of the other events would count for national rankings.
The throwing events will still be held at Akron on Saturday.
“I know our kids are definitely going to be excited to be able to run in front of the home fans on the outdoor track,” Gorby said.
A few Penguins started their season a week earlier than the rest of the team, as YSU sent athletes to the University of Texas at Austin, Texas State University and North Carolina State over the weekend to compete in various events.
Highlights of these events include Chad Zallow’s time of 13.70 seconds in the 110-meter hurdle, which was good enough for fifth place overall at the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays in the event.
Jaliyah Elliott took home eighth place overall in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.57 seconds. The Texas Relays brought in more than 2,400 athletes from 210 universities.
Suerethia Henderson ran a time of 24.01 seconds in the 220-meter dash in the Texas State Bobcat Invitational, which gave her a sixth place finish overall.
Down at the Raleigh Relays, Joe Pfeffer threw of personal best distance of 51.74 meters in the hammer throw. Caitlyn Trebella posted a height of 33.35 meters in the pole vault.
“We probably had 15 to 20 personal bests. It’s kinda tough to personal best right out the gate because its your first meet. A lot these other teams down south, kinda like baseball in a sense that they have 2-3 meets under their belt,” Gorby said.
The Northeast Ohio Quad begins at 12:30 p.m. on Friday at the Covelli Sports Complex.