July 23, 2024

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Track & Field Concludes 2021-22 Indoor Season Tallying 12 School Records, Pair of Team Titles

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The Youngstown State track and field program accumulated 12 school records en route to winning a pair of Horizon League indoor titles for the sixth-straight time during the 2021-22 season.

The men’s team raced to their seventh straight league title and eighth overall, scoring the second-highest indoor point total in program history with 225 points while winning eight event titles (60m, 800m, mile, triple jump, high jump, weight throw, pole vault and DMR).

The women closed out championship weekend setting a Horizon League record for most points scored (211) across a championship meet, winning eight event titles (60m, 200m, 800m, mile, 3000m, 5000m, long jump, triple jump). With the victory, the women capture their sixth consecutive league title and eighth in the last nine years.

Both squads held the outright lead in team-point totals across both days of conference competition. YSU upped its team scores from the 2021 Horizon League Indoor Track and Field Championships when the men finished with 218 points and the women totaled 186.16 points.

For the second-consecutive season, senior Sean Peterson was named the 2022 #HLTF Alfreeda Golf Indoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year Peterson remains the fifth YSU male athlete to be selected for the prestigious award, and just the third athlete since the honor was established in 2003 to be selected more than once. Overall, a YSU athlete has been selected nine times during the award’s 20-year history, including in eight of the last nine indoor seasons.

Season Highlights
The men’s team etched four school records during the regular season:

  • Wyatt Lefker set a new school record with a 5.15m pole vault at the YSU Icebreaker, edging out the 4.95m mark he etched at the YSU Collegiate Invitational during the 2021 indoor season.
  •  In his YSU debut, Anthony Woods stepped into the blocks and clocked a school record 6.63 60m dash at the YSU Collegiate Holiday Classic. Woods’ time overtook former All-American and YSU alum Chad Zallow’s mark of 6.69 posted in 2019.
  • On Jan. 15, Peterson set a new YSU program record in the men’s 1000m run, posting a time of 2:22.17. The previous record (2:27.70) was held by former Penguin-standout R.D. Goodright and was set in 2006.
  • At the Notre Dame Meyo Invitational, Peterson set a YSU school record in the men’s mile run with a time of 4:00.22. The previous record (4:02.71) was held by former All-American and Penguin-standout Kurt Michaelis and was set during the 2003 indoor season, standing for nearly 19 years.

Eight school records was set by the women’s program:

  • Clearing a 4.05m bar, Erin Bogard set a new YSU record in the women’s pole vault and uplifted her previous school record of a 4.00m vault set at the 2021 Horizon League Indoor Championships. The vault also qualified as a new YSU Icebreaker record. Bogard, then, cleared a 4.11m bar at the YSU Collegiate Invitational, overtaking her previous record of 4.05m.
  • Victoria Lanese, in just her second collegiate appearance, cleared a 1.78m bar and etched her name atop the school’s all-time marks in the women’s high jump. With the jump, Lanese uplifts former Penguin-standout Abby Jones’ mark of 1.74m set at the YSU Collegiate Invitational in 2018.
  • Clocking a time of 11:47.81, the women’s DMR squad comprised of Nicole Squatrito, Aiamyia Dudley, Natalie Fleming and Morgan Cole etched their names atop the YSU record books, setting new YSU program record in the event.
  • Jessica Stever logged a YSU school record 5.94m (19′ 5¾”) mark in the women’s long jump on her sixth and final attempt in the event at the Horizon League Indoor Championships.
  • Clocking a time of 8.39, Madison Murry set a YSU record during preliminary heats of the women’s 60m hurdles competition at the Horizon League Indoor Championships. The Columbus, Ohio, native beats out former-Penguin Amber Eles’ time of 8.40 set in 2018.
  • With a time of 2:11.11, Nicole Squatrito set a new YSU school record in the women’s 800m run at the league meet to pick up just the second 800m conference title in program history and the first since 2019. Squatrito replaces her previous school-record time of 2:11.95 set during the 2020 indoor season.
  • With a 12.29m (40′ 3¾”) leap, Nia Williams-Matthews set a YSU program record in the triple jump en route to her first career league title. Williams-Matthews’ mark overtook former-Penguin Chontel Fils jump of 12.28m (40′ 3½”) logged in 2018.

The Penguins tabbed 10 Horizon League Athlete of the Week nominations across six weeks with Jahniya Bowers (3-time) and Anthony Woods (2-time) earning multiple nominations.

Jahniya Bowers tallied a team-best six event wins during the 2022 indoor season across the 60m and 200m dash events, clocking her fastest 60m race of the season at Grand Valley State’s Big Meet with a time of 7.25 – a time that ties Jaliyah Elliot’s school record time set during the 2019 season.

Logging a 7.49m (24′ 7″) mark, Tye Hunt matched Daiquain Watson’s school record length in the men’s long jump competition at the Grand Valley State Big Meet – the day’s top performance in the event.

In the women’s 3000m race at the Penn State Nittany Lion Challenge on Jan. 15, Morgan Cole clocked the second-fastest event mark in school history with a time of 9:54.69. Cole earned a runner-up finish with the effort. Later in the season, Cole upped the second-quickest 3000m time in program history, slashing her previous personal-best by 12 seconds with a time of 9:42.06 at Grand Valley State’s Big Meet on Feb. 11.

Clearing a 2.11m (6′ 11″) bar, Lonnie Harper upped the second-best high jump mark in school history from his previous personal-best jump of 2.10m (6′ 10¾”) for a third-place finish at the Grand Valley State Big Meet.

The Penguins were led by Hunter Christopher who recorded the second-fastest mark in program history of 14:23.98 while also setting a new YSU Mid-Major Invitational meet record in the men’s 5000m race at the YSU Mid-Major Invitational on Jan. 28. Just behind, Ryan Meadows clocked the fifth-fastest time in program history of 14:37.10 and Chase Easterling posted the tenth-quickest mark in program history of 14:40.02.

Samuel Challis captured his lone event victory of the 2021-22 indoor season with a personal-best 7.41m (24′ 3¾”) leap at the YSU Mid-Major Invitational – the second-furthest long jump in program history.

The men’s DMR team made up of Ty Coon, Ryan Laird, Evan Alten and Sean Peterson clocked the second-fastest race in program history with a time of 9:52.54 to post the eighth-quickest relay across 24 entries at Grand Valley State’s Big Meet.

In just his second appearance as a Penguin, Luke Laubacher nabbed the event victory at the inaugural YSU Collegiate Holiday Classic in the men’s long jump, posting a personal-best 7.20m mark – a jump good for third-best in YSU history.

League Honors
Men’s Champions – Elijah Nelson (pole vault), Dominic Perry (weight throw), Ethan Sparks, Ryan Laird, Mikel Lagaras and Ty Coon (DMR), Anthony Woods (60m), Sean Peterson (mile, 800m), Jakari Lomax (triple jump), Terron Taylor (high jump)

Men’s Runner-Up Finishes – Tye Hunt (long jump), Zach Gehm (weight throw), Luke Laubacher (60m hurdles), Dominic Perry (shot put)

Women’s Champions – Jessica Stever (long jump), Morgan Cole (3000m, 5000m), Nicole Squatrito (mile, 800m), Jahniya Bowers (60m, 200m), Nia Williams-Matthews (triple jump)

Women’s Runner-Up Finishes – Alexis Prater (long jump), Madison Murry (60m hurdles), Katlyn Griffie and Erin Bogard (pole vault), Emily Bee (heptathlon), Natalie Fleming (mile), Kyndia Matlock (60m), Suerethia Henderson (200m), Stephanie Simon (triple jump), Molly Radcliffe (shot put)

Men’s Award Winners – Sean Peterson (Alfreeda Goff Indoor Track & Field Male Athlete of the Year), Elijah Nelson (Freshman of the Year), Fielding Brian Gorby (Coach of the Year)

Women’s Award Winners – Nicole Squatrito (Championship Outstanding Performer, Running), Brian Gorby (Coach of the Year)

Men’s Horizon League Championship Notes

  • The men’s team raced to their seventh-straight league title and eighth overall, scoring the second highest point total in program history with 225 points and winning by a 58-point differential
  • Won eight event titles (pole vault, weight throw, DMR, 60m, mile, 800m, triple jump, high jump)
  • Upped team point total from 2021 indoor championships (218)
  • Peterson was named the Alfreeda Goff Indoor Track & Field Male Athlete of the Year
  • Becoming the only Horizon League athlete to ever accomplish the feat, regardless of event, Peterson clinched a Horizon League record fifth-straight 800m league title
  • Peterson became one of only three athletes in conference history to win a league title in the mile three times
  • Woods bolstered the Penguins to nine league titles in the last 11 indoor seasons
  • Lomax notched back-to-back conference championships in the men’s triple jump
  • Taylor boasted the Penguins to back-to-back high jump titles and their fourth in school history
  • Nelson’s victory extends YSU’s reign in the men’s pole vault competition to five straight seasons
  • Perry logged YSU’s second weight throw title of the past three seasons
  • Nelson was named the Freshman of the Year, Fielding
  • Brian Gorby was named the Coach of the Year for the seventh-straight year and ninth time overall

Women’s Horizon League Championship Notes

  • The women closed out championship weekend with a total of 211 points, winning eight event titles (60m, 200m, 800m, mile, 3000m, 5000m, long jump, triple jump) and outpacing second-place Milwaukee by 87 points
  • Set Horizon League record for team points (211). Upped team point total from 2021 indoor championships (186.6)
  • Posted runner-up finishes in the long jump, 60m hurdles, pole vault, heptathlon, mile, 60m, 200m, triple jump, shot put
  • Squatrito picked-up just the second 800m conference title in program history and the first since 2019
  • Squatrito earned just the second Penguin league title in the women’s mile
  • Bowers upped the streak to eight-consecutive seasons that a Penguin has finished atop the 60m dash
  • Cole earned YSU its first 3000m conference title, second 5000m title in school history
  • Williams-Matthews’s victory in the triple jump punches YSU’s second league title since 2015 and third all-time in the event
  • Stever tallied YSU’s second long jump conference title since 2019 and eighth all-time
  • Bowers earn YSU its 10th event title of the last 11 years in the 200m dash
  • Squatrito was honored as the Championship Outstanding Performer, Running
  • Brian Gorby received Coach of the Year for the ninth time overall
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