By Joe Scalzo
Even though Megan Gunther had competed at several indoor track meets at Youngstown State’s WATTS, and even though her father coaches basketball at a high school basically connected to the campus, the LaBrae senior never really took the time to look around.
Once she did, she stopped shopping around.
Gunther, a standout hurdler, signed with the Penguins’ track team last week after visiting several other schools, including Robert Morris, Wayne State and Ashland.
“I honestly wasn’t really expecting to like it so much,” she said of YSU. “When I went on my visit, I was surprised by the facilities and I really liked the coach. Plus, being so close to home — I didn’t think I would like being that close, but actually once I was on campus, I realized it won’t feel that close at all.”
Gunther, whose father, Keith, coaches boys basketball at nearby Ursuline, placed fifth in the 100-meter hurdles in Division II at last June’s state meet. She was also a state qualifier in the 300 hurdles as a freshman. Gunther has the state’s fastest indoor time (9.30) in the 60-meter hurdles among Division II/III runners so far this winter.
She’s planning to run the three hurdle races at YSU (60, 100 and 400) and is leaning toward a biology major, possibly pre-med.
Gunther started running track in seventh grade and has worked closely with her grandfather, Jerry Humenik, a former track athlete at Warren Harding. She has also worked with Rob Andrews and Jeff Jenkins at the Speed-N-Skillz training center in Niles.
“I have the most awesome coaches ever,” Gunther said. “I have a really good training foundation and I’ve really grown. Track has been my passion and it’s going to continue to be.”