WARREN - For John F. Kennedy sprinters Carl Zallow and Morgan Rice, the decision on where to attend college and continue their athletic careers was one of the easier decisions they've had to make during their senior years.
Now, with both of them inking their National Letters of Intent, they can concentrate on repeating as state champions.
Zallow, the 2013 Division III 100 meter dash state champion, officially became the newest member of the Youngstown State University track team on Thursday. The senior, who is also currently ranked first in the state of Ohio in the indoor 60-meter dash, said while other schools were after his talents, he knew he wanted to become a Penguin.
Tribune Chronicle / Dana Sulonen
John F. Kennedy seniors Carl Zallow, left, and Morgan Rice, sign their National Letters of Intent on Thursday at John F. Kennedy High School.
"I was at a visit, and the sprint coach (David Townsend) informed me about the program and everything I would have to do," Zallow said. "I just loved everything I heard and it sounded like good news to me. I saw my future there and it was really bright. It felt like a good fit for me."
As for Rice, who is the reigning Division III 100-meter hurdle state champion, once Miami of Ohio showed interest, she knew that was her final destination. Both of Rice's siblings are already Redhawks, which made the choice that much easier.
"I had been thinking about Miami for a long time," Rice said. "I decided last week. There were a few other schools I was considering, but I really liked Miami because my brother and sister both go there. So when they were interested in me, that pretty much set it."
A FIRST FOR HOWLAND: HOWLAND - In the eight years Howland coach Dan Libert has guided the cross country team, he has never had a runner sign with a Division I school.
That changed on Thursday with Ryan Sullivan.
The senior, who finished in 11th place in the Division I state cross country meet in November, signed his National Letter of Intent on Thursday with Youngstown State University - a school he verbally committed to a few months back.
"I pretty much knew they were the school for me between academics and athletics," Sullivan said. "Being close to home, I felt like I'd be more comfortable. I was kind of nervous to leave home, so it will be nice to be close to home but still have the college experience."
For Libert, he knew this day could come if Sullivan put in the time and training. He did and is now reaping the rewards.
"The thing that has always separated him from other runners is that he works his butt off," Libert said. "He shows up everyday to practice and works hard and he works when nobody is watching."
TRIO FOR THE BLUE DEVILS: McDONALD - The McDonald Blue Devils had three track and field and cross country standouts sign NCAA Division I scholarships.
The Ohio Division III boys state cross country champion Bobby Johnson is heading to Butler University, part of the Big East Conference.
"It felt a lot like McDonald," Johnson said. "It was a smaller program. They do things on a large scale."
Tory Ross, who finished in the top eight the last two years in the Division III discus, is heading to Kent State University.
"I felt Kent would take me as far as I could go in my career," Ross said.
Joining Ross at Kent will be teammate Jai'Lyn Mosley, who finished in the top nine in the D-III discus the past three seasons. She also is keeping it in the family, as her sister, Joh'Vonnie, is a senior on this year's Golden Flashes' team.
"It has what I need, the program, education," Mosley said. "It worked out for the best."
In addition, Brianna Timko, who plays for the Internationals Soccer Club, was honored as well. She signed with Xavier University.