YSU’s Chad Zallow falls short in NCAA semis
YSU hurdler gets lead, but can’t hang on in NCAA race
By Brian Dzenis
The NCAA finals continue to elude Youngstown State’s Chad Zallow.
The junior hurdler from Warren JFK finished fourth in his heat and 15th overall at the NCAA Track and Field Championship Semifinals on Wednesday in Eugene, Ore.
Competing in the third and final heat, Zallow took an early lead, but on the last few hurdles, Illinois’ David Kendziera caught up to him before Louisiana State’s Damion Thomas and Florida State’s Trey Cunningham followed suit.
“I got out to a really good start. I was in control of the race and had a lead,” Zallow said. “I banged a couple of the hurdles with my right leg as I was going over them and it slowed me down a little bit.
“That’s part of hurdles. I’m definitely disappointed, but it’s just more fuel for the offseason.”
Zallow finished with a time of 13.88 seconds.
In the NCAA championships, the top two runners in each heat advance, plus the top two times across all heats. Kendziera won Zallow’s heat with a time of 13.43.
From that same heat, Cunningham took one of the at-large bids with a time of 13.64. Nebraska’s Luke Siedhoff took the final bid at 13.71.
Zallow’s time in Eugene matched his winning time in the Ohio State Jesse Owens Classic this year.
“It’s pretty much just getting back into offseason work. The whole thing with working with hurdles is repetition,” Zallow said. “The more comfortable I get going over the hurdles, the better I’ll be working with the hurdles.”
Zallow’s season comes to a close in the NCAA semifinals for the second consecutive year after placing ninth in his sophomore season.
This spring, Zallow earned the Horizon League’s Alfreeda Goff Athlete of the Year honors while winning the League’s 110 hurdles title and running a leg of the winning 4x100 relay.
For his senior season, his quest will have a change of scenery with the NCAA moving the championships to the University of Texas in 2019.
“Being up [in Eugene], there’s a lot of talent up here — some of the best in the world,” Zallow said. “I’m really looking forward to watching some of these kids run and compete.
“I’m going to enjoy my time here and then get back to work.”