Rocket running toward future

Solomon Yoder and Stephen Pop each visited their schools and knew they made the right decision for next year.

Yoder stepped on the Walsh University campus and saw that the small-school atmosphere was similar to what he left when he graduated Maplewood High School. He said Youngstown State University and Edinboro were also interested in him, but Walsh felt like the right fit.

“I really like the small-school feeling,” Yoder said. “All the classes are a walk away from each other. I really don’t have to drive that far. The program has really been growing great. I think I would fit in great with this school.”

As for Pop, he just needed a call from Ashland University’s track and field coach Jud Logan.

“Really excited,” Pop said. “They have a great throwing program. It should be fun. It’ll be a pleasure to work with them.

“I was always set on Ashland. When Jud called me and said they were interested me, I was kind of sold at that point.”

Pop, who placed fourth in the Division III boys discus, said he’s happy to work with not only Logan, a former Olympic thrower, but also Ashland strength and conditioning coach A.G. Kruger, another former Olympic thrower.

“The feeling when I went there, I felt it was a good college for me,” Pop said.

Yoder took fourth in the Division III 800-meter run. He’ll be on the Cavaliers’ cross country team and hopes to run the 800 and steeplechase next season in track and field.

Yoder said his cousin, Lissa Yoder, a standout distance runner at Walsh, told the Cavalier coaches about him.

“She had contacted the coach about me,” Solomon said. “She was like a predominant factor in getting to coach to look at me. As soon as I saw the school, I knew it was going to be the one for me.”