By Greg Gulas
Carl and Chad Zallow first started running when they were 8 and 7, respectively.
They participated in the same events and were so competitive — not just during meets but in practice — that their father, Chuck, finally had to step in and suggest that they find different events in which to participate, just so that he and his wife, Colleen, could cheer without having to be objective parents.
That advice paid off this past spring as the boys brought home a combined three titles for Warren JFK and in the process, helped lead the Eagles to a third-place team finish in Division III at the state track tournament, which was held in Columbus just 16 days ago.
The Zallows, along with two other area state champions, Morgan Rice of JFK and Salem’s Anthony Shivers, were honored Monday by the Curbstone Coaches during their special summer meeting at the Blue Wolf Banquet Centre.
Chad, who will be a junior at JFK this fall, won the 110- and 300-meter hurdles titles while Carl earned top honors in the 100.
Shivers placed first in the Division II discus while Rice was tops in the 100 hurdles in Division III.
The Zallows’ father, a volunteer assistant at JFK, was a member of Jack Thornton’s Warren Striders Track Club from 1977-80, the same place both brothers got a “running start” to their scholastic careers.
“Both boys played soccer and baseball and loved to run and compete, so I felt it was time to see if they would like track,” Chuck said. “They did and it was a chance meeting during an indoor practice at Kent State University several years later that we ran into Jeff Jenkins, a hurdles-only coach who worked with record-setting Ted Ginn of Cleveland Glenville that he started working with Chad.
“In Carl’s first race, which he won, he didn’t even know where the finish line was and just kept on running. He’s been running ever since.”
Chad set the all-time Division III mark in the 300 hurdles (36.87) and won the 110 hurdles (14.35). Carl won the 100 in 10.87.
Forced to watch his brother at the state tournament last year due to hamstring, quad and hip flexor injuries, Carl made it a personal goal to make sure that he got back to the state with his brother, only this time as a participant.
“Having to watch from the sidelines was tough because you want to be out there competing. My main goal since last summer was to get to the state tournament,” Carl noted.
Chad finished 11th in last year’s 110 hurdles as a freshman.
“I had faced most of the competition during the indoor season but never felt like I had either event won until I crossed the finish line,” Chad said. “Just missing the finals last year was enough motivation for me this year.”
Of the first four events at this year’s state tournament, JFK won three with Rice (who was unable to attend Monday’s meeting) winning the 100 hurdles, Chad taking the 110 hurdles and Carl walking off with the 100 crown.
Shivers, who was also unable to take part, earned top honors in the discus with a heave of 203 feet, 2 inches — just five inches shy of the Division II mark (203-7) set by Fostoria’s Cory Echelberry in 1999.
The group will take the remainder of the summer off and resume regular weekly meetings in September.