COLUMBUS - To say that John F. Kennedy hurdler Chad Zallow had a target on his back at this year's State Track and Field Meet might be an understatement.
And rightfully so, as the junior came into Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium as the defending state champion in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles and is a major college recruit.
Though Zallow was a favorite to repeat, he understood it wouldn't be an easy feat, as Columbus Academy's John Lint was poised to challenge the two-time champion.
At the end of the day - the two best Division III hurdlers in the state split the bill.
Zallow successfully defended his 110 title, defeating Lint with a time of 13.93 seconds. Lint clocked a 14.20.
However in the 300, Lint would not be defeated as he beat Zallow by 2 seconds - 36.32 to 38.23. Zallow finished second.
"I saw his time coming in," Zallow said. "He was running killer 300s this year. I knew I had my hands full in that one. I'm not quite in the shape I was last year, but I'm happy to come away with a state runner-up to him. He's a great athlete - one of the best in the nation.
"I'm definitely satisfied. I wanted to come away with a state championship."
While Zallow was pleased with his individual performance, his Eagles came up short of their goal of winning a team Division III crown. The four-man team of Zallow, his brother Carl, Jacob Coats and Zach Watt finished fourth with 36 points. Lima Central Catholic won the title with 52.
While Chad was able to defend one of his titles, his brother fell short.
Carl - the 2013 Division III 100 champion - took third in the same event with a time of 11.028, behind Lima Central Catholic's Jamir Coleman (10.94) and Archbold's Levi Wyse (11.022). He also took seventh in the 200 with a 22.84. The eldest Zallow's career now takes him to Youngstown State University next year.
"He ran a good time for this year," Chad said. "He had some great competition. I'm sure he's disappointed. He's got college track coming up and he's excited about that."
After Lima Central Catholic, Gilmour Academy had 42 and Columbus Academy was third with 39.
Carl said his team didn't look ahead when it competed on Saturday.
"We had to take it one event at a time," he said. "That's all we can worry about throughout the meet. At the end, we'll tally it up. We finished all right."
JFK set another school record in the 4x200 relay, breaking Friday's state semifinal mark with 1:28.24. That was good enough for third. The 4x400 relay was fourth with 3:23.18.
"Our coach always said we have quality, not quantity," Chad said. "With four kids, we did the best we could do. We're all satisfied with what we did today."