Zallow hurles into national spotlight tonight
YSU star to make
third NCAA run
By DAN HInER
Youngstown State sprinter Chad Zallow has become comfortable competing against some of the top runners in the country.
The Warren JFK graduate will compete at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships tonight in College Station, Texas. The 7:55 p.m. preliminary race will be his third appearance at nationals.
“Being at nationals, it being my third time, I definitely feel a lot more comfortable here,” Zallow said. “I feel like this is somewhere I belong now and I’m excited to be on this stage — the national spotlight and to represent YSU while doing it.”
He believes he’s now proven that he’s one of the top hurdlers in the country and the expectation is to make nationals every year.
“At the end of the day, my goal is to make nationals and become an All-American,” Zallow said.
Zallow finished ninth in the 60-meter hurdles as a freshman in 2016, and placed third last year.
Zallow is one of eight runners who have qualified for nationals three consecutive years. The other eight runners come from Southeastern Conference, Atlantic Coast Conference or PAC-12 schools.
Zallow ran a 7.65 in the hurdles during the indoor season, the fourth-fastest time in the NCAA.
During the indoor season, Zallow won the 60 hurdles at the YSU Icebreaker (7.65), Kent State Golden Flash Gala (7.71), YSU College Invitational (7.77), Dr. Sander Invitational Armory Challenge (7.66), the SPIRE NCAA Invitational (7.75 seconds), Akron Zips Invitational (7.87 seconds) and the Horizon League Championships (7.73).
He was named Horizon League’s Indoor Championship Outstanding Running Performer and finished fourth at the NYRR Millrose Games with a time of 7.70 seconds.
The Millrose Games features professional runners and former All-Americans.
“Being in New York this year, running against some of the best runners in the world, I think helped me a lot,” Zallow said. “It just made me feel more comfortable running against the college guys rather than the professionals. I still have a lot of competition here at nationals.”
Zallow learned a valuable lesson during his first two trips to nationals. He can’t focus on his time. Instead, he needs to worry about where he finishes.
“I’m not looking so much at the time this time around,” Zallow said. “My main goal is becoming top eight in prelims and making finals. I’m gonna take it day by day.
“I feel like over the years, you can’t really force any times. If you’re going to run something fast, it’s just going to come. I’ve learned over the years if I force at times or get upset with the times I’m running, than I’m not going to run a good time.”
Zallow said the national stage had a slight impact on him mentally, especially the first time.
“I think I’ve grown a lot mentally. My freshman year I was a little nervous coming in here — being star struck with the Big Ten athletes here and it’s a big stage,” Zallow said. “But I think I feel really relaxed this time around. I’m excited and anxious to go, but I’m not nervous or anything. I’m ready to go.”