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YSU men, women earn titles

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — It wasn’t your normal Horizon League Indoor Track and Field Championships.

Instead of two days of competition, there were four. Busses constantly kept taking athletes from Youngstown to Fort Wayne and back after their events wrapped up. There weren’t any spectators, runners had to utilize a shorter 200m track and the event wasn’t held inside YSU’s Watson and Tressel Training Site.

What was normal however, was the end result.

Monday afternoon, the Penguins, led by coach Brian Gorby clinched a pair of league titles, with it being the sixth consecutive title for the men’s team and the fifth straight for the women. The meet was held at Purdue Fort Wayne’s Lutheran Health Fieldhouse, as part of a rotation that started this season between YSU and the league newcomer Mastodons.

“It’s weird we had four days to do a two day meet,” Gorby said. “Our talent and stuff and being able to kind of now beat them up and do something over four days was a really big help.

“It was more like an Olympic-type schedule which I think kinda helped us a little bit, in regard to being able to score more points. At the end of the day, the resilience and we’re so proud of how these kids stepped up because this was more of a heavyweight fight then it’s been the last two or three years.”

The men tallied 218 points, beating their mark of 214 last season, with the women’s team recording 186.16, over 183 in 2020.

Sophomore Kyndia Matlock, a Youngstown East graduate, took first in the 60m dash (7.57s), winning one of the four event titles for the women, which also included sophomore Erin Bogard’s new indoor league record of 4.00m in the pole vault, Madison Murry’s 8.72s win during the 60m hurdle as a freshman, and junior Olivia Jones’ third-consecutive pentathlon title at 3439 points.

On the men’s side, there were nine first place finishes – with sophomore and Crestview graduate Dominic Perry taking the shot put crown (16.53m), sophomore Jakari Lomax in the long jump (7.24m), freshman Ryan Meadows running a 14:51.00 for a 5000m title, junior Terron Taylor winning the high jump (2.07m), junior Junior Wyatt Lefker cleared 4.60m in the pole vault, sophomore Chase Easterling took the 3000m at 8:40.24, along with the men’s 4000m DMR team at 10:18.91.

Senior Sean Peterson, the 2021 Alfreeda Golf Indoor Track & Field Athlete of the Year won his fourth straight 800m title, being the first runner in league history to claim the title all four years (1:54.63), and his second title in the 1 mile (4:17.68).

Purdue Fort Wayne’s facility uses a shorter 200m track versus 300m track that’s inside the WATTSs, meaning that track runs slower and features tighter bends. The rest of the league had the opportunity to compete at PFW during the season, something YSU didn’t do because they held their own meets on campus.

It was the first time the Penguins competed on a 200m track for such a big event since 2009.

“Sometimes a lot of people are like, ‘We run at our place, that’s why we win it all the time,’ so it’s kind of a nice message to send to the conference in a subtle way,” Gorby said “That ‘Hey, you pick the where, you can run it in a desert if you want to, you just tell us where you want to run it and we’ll be there.’ ”

The titles now mark Gorby’s 44th and 45th league championships between the men’s and women’s track and cross country programs at YSU.

The Penguins compete in the Horizon League Cross Country championships on Thursday.

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