YSU’s Zallow clinches another NCAA berth
By Charles Grove
Youngstown State track and field athlete Chad Zallow has qualified for the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships for the second consecutive year.
The sophomore hurdler’s best time this year in the 60-meter hurdles is 7.61 seconds. That’s second-best in the country behind Florida’s Grant Holloway who ran a 7.58 on Feb. 10.
“It’s really exciting for the program,” YSU head coach Brian Gorby said. “It just shows the program is getting better. To send a freshman and now a sophomore to nationals back-to-back years is phenomenal.”
Last weekend Zallow won at the Horizon League Championships with a time of 7.61. That was better than Holloway’s second-place finish at the Southeastern Conference Championship meet at 7.64.
Six of the 16 national qualifiers in the event appear to be Zallow’s main competition. Along with Holloway, Michael Dickson (North Carolina A&T), Aaron Mallett (Iowa), Freddie Crittenden III (Syracuse) and David Kendziera (Illinois) have run times below 7.70 this year.
Zallow said he expects to win the national title.
“I’m not going to shoot for anything less,” Zallow said. “Everyone else is going to be gunning for the win so that’s what I’m going to be doing too.”
Last year, Zallow — a Warren JFK graduate — finished ninth while battling strep throat at the national meet with a time of 7.76. Ninth place was just enough to keep him out of qualifying for the final.
“No strep this year,” Zallow said. “I’m healthy right now and I’m feeling good.”
Last year the event was won by Oregon’s Devon Allen who ran a 7.56. Allen went on the finish fifth in the 110-meter hurdles at the Rio Olympics.
Gorby said after an off day after the conference meet, Zallow has gotten back to a full day of training and is focusing mainly on the final section of the event.
“He’s been focusing on the back end of it,” Gorby said. “Making sure he’s staying tall coming off of that last hurdle. He’s trained to peak at conference and nationals so he’s just trying to sharpen things right now.”