Archive for the ‘Track And Field’ Category

YSU Track And Field Teams Fare Well At Horizon Meet

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The Youngstown State women’s track and field team was second while the men placed third at the Horizon League Outdoor Championships which concluded on Sunday at Rynearson Stadium.

Winning individual championships on Sunday were Nina Grambling (100-meter dash), Ciara Jarrett (200-meter dash), Laura Kosiorek (100m hurdles), while that trio teamed up with Alexis Washington to win the 4×100-meter relay with a meet-record time of 45.83 seconds.

In the team race, the women scored 150.50 points and placed second behind Loyola which scored 202 points. The men finished with 87 points trailing Milwaukee (231) and Loyola (171). It marked the fourth time the YSU women placed second at the outdoor meet and was the first title for Loyola in the outdoor circuit.

Grambling was named the Running Newcomer of the Meet.  Ashley Wagner, who won the high jump on Saturday, was tabbed the Field Newcomer of the Meet, and Jay Jakovina was named the Men’s Field Newcomer of the Meet. Jakovina won the high jump on Saturday.

The women opened Sunday’s action with a win in the 4×100-meter relay beating Loyola by just over a second.

In the 100-meter dash, Grambling nipped Jarrett, the two-time defending champion in the event, by .03 seconds. Grambling crossed the line in a time of 11.97 seconds while Jarrett was right behind her at 12.00 seconds. Grambling became the fifth Penguin to win the 100m title with her win.

The roles were reversed in the 200m as Jarrett took first and Grambling was second. Jarrett posted a time of 23.83 seconds, eclipsing her own meet record. Grambling had a time of 24.11 seconds finishing just ahead of third place by .01 seconds.

The Penguins went 1-2 in the 100m hurdles on the women’s side. Kosiorek became the fourth YSU hurdler to win the 100m, but first since 2007 by posting a time of 14.03 seconds. Homan was second at 14.33 seconds.

In the 400m hurdles, Nicole Pachol was edged out by Loyola’s Candice Carajohn. Pachol had a time of 1:01.04, but Carajohn clocked in at just under a minute.

YSU concluded the event with a second-place finish in the 4×400-meter relay with a time of 3:48.43.

Allison Roth, who won the shot put on Saturday, placed second in the discus with a throw of 43.62 meters.

 

Getting To The Other Side Of The Fence

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Over the past few years, the facilities have improved, some coaching changes have been made, and school spirit is as high as it has been in about twenty years.  Ron Strollo (above) is finally getting to see the benefits of his hard work.  The athletic director at Youngstown State had come under fire three years ago.  When Jon Heacock was failing, both basketball programs were declining, and all the other sports we had to have for scholarship and conference alignment purposes, no one was sure if Strollo could survive.

Not only has he survived, he has prospered.  The whole athletic community has prospered.

Ask Eric Wolford.  Wolford was appointed to be the savior of a football program that seemed to cater to individuals instead of team.  All Wolford has done in two years is put a program in place, recruited like it is his last day on Earth, surrounded himself with good coaches, and worked on good character and life skills tirelessly for his players.  The expectation on Wolford’s 2012 Penguins is to win.  With a victory over FCS Champion North Dakota State last season, expectations on the coming season are very high.

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Perhaps no coach is more misunderstood than Jerry Slocum.  Recently completing his seventh season at the helm, the reserved, but opinionated, coach proved he can win. Strollo rewarded Slocum with a contract extension, and Slocum paid back when he put the best product of his tenure on the court last season.  Slocum is in the Top-10 list for wins of active coaches and knows the game of basketball.  People are sometimes critical of his personality, but no one should ever question his ability to coach.  Strollo made the right decision in rewarding Slocum a few more years as the program continues to move forward.

Bob Boldon probably couldn’t get the pen out of his pocket soon enough to sign a contract to coach women’s basketball at YSU.  It is a nice place to start, following a departed coach who went 0-30 the year before.  Boldon has had good success in installing a three-point shooting offense and is always preaching defense, he is a good choice, another feather in Strollo’s cap.

Rich Pasquale will endure some growing pains with his 2012 YSU baseball squad. Pasquale has a very young team with only two seniors and is another tireless recruiter.  Don’t be surprised to see this team in the hunt next season as they get their bearings and learn to play together.  Coach Campbell is at that point now with the Lady Penguins softball team.  These girls can flat out play.  He has pitching, he has hitting, and he is proving very proficient at managing both.

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Recently, the Penguins hosted the Horizon League Indoor Track Meet.  The WATTS proved to be a terrific venue for the event and Strollo reflected on the feedback.

“The feedback has been positive.  Obviously there are a few things, as we will go through growing pains, that need fixed.  We will address those minor issues. Fortunately, we ran college and high school meets a month and a half prior to tune up for that event.”

The weekend of the Horizon Meet, there were also basketball home games and the swimming home finale.

“There is no question we don’t mind being busy if that is what it takes.”

Strollo has surrounded himself with outstanding personnel.  This department has evolved into a prototype of how a collegiate athletic department should be run.  The marketing and sports information departments have exemplified consistency, which can be tough with subpar products.  Fortunately, the products are ‘new and improved’ and will continue to draw bigger crowds.  Keep up the good work Ron Strollo, and thanks for what you have done so far.

Kaitlyn Griffith Dominates At Horizon Track Meet

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When I asked Kaitlyn Griffith where she called home, she replied, “Orrville, you know, Bobby Knight”.  If she performs as well as she did at the Horizon League Indoor Track Meet, Bobby Knight might tell people he is from Orrville too, you know, Kaitlyn Griffith.  The senior from Orrville dominated both weight events and nabbed a couple of first place trophies to play a big role in the Penguins second place finish.

“The home field advantage was nice”, said Griffith.  ”It is a plus to have friends and family here and we are used to practicing in the same ring that we threw out of.  It was a big advantage to now have the WATTS.”

Griffith swept the throwing events by winning the shot on Sunday. In the shot she ran away with the title with a throw of 14.60 meters. On Saturday, she threw a personal-best 18.17m to capture the weight throw title. Her mark is the third-longest throw in school history.

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“Track and Field has been sort of pushed out at YSU in the past”, remarked Griffith, “but today it was really nice to look around and see other athletes – football and basketball players, soccer players, and others, come here to support us.”

Griffith who fared well in last year’s outdoor meet, is going to lock in and focus on the 2012 version, which will be her finale in a Penguins uniform.  Expect a great finish to a solid career for Griffith.