Great day for JFK

COLUMBUS – Robert Andrews knew Chad and Carl Zallow when the brothers were 10 and 11 years old.

Chad, now a John F. Kennedy High School sophomore, and his older brother, Carl, a junior, were brought to Andrews’ Speed-N-Skills training by their father, Chuck.

In addition to his speed training, Andrews is JFK’s track and field coach.

Building speedsters is Andrews’ specialty. He saw, even at a young age, the two siblings had great potential.

Saturday, the Zallow brothers proudly displayed their lightning-quick talents for the crowd at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium by winning three state championships.

Chad won the 110- and 300-meter hurdles, while Carl captured the 100 at the Division III state track and field meet.

This was the first JFK boys individual state title since Ben Nolan captured the Division III 400 title in 2002 in Dayton. The two Zallow brothers had a combined one loss coming into Saturday’s state meet in the respective 110 hurdles and 100.

“They were young kids,” Andrews said. “They had some ability. They worked hard. They put the time in as young kids and bought in. Fortunately, I was able to inherit those guys at Kennedy’s track program. They already know what to expect. They didn’t have to go through, ‘This guy works us too hard.’ They already knew. It was going to be hard work and there would be great results.”

Chad began the day dominating the 110-meter hurdles in a time of 14.35 seconds. Colonel Crawford’s Keith Martin came the closest to the younger Zallow (14.49).

“I knew I could win it,” Chad said. “I had some good guys come out and push me. I went out and finished strong.”

He made a similar push in the 300 hurdles against Columbus Academy’s John Lint, the defending state champion in this event.

Chad made adjustments from regionals and powered himself over the last three hurdles to edge Lint. Chad ran a Division III state record time of 36.87. Lint ran 37.15.

The previous Division III state record was set in 1993 by Fremont St. Joseph’s Kevin Huntley of 37.58. Huntley still holds the 110 mark of 13.79, set in the same year.

“I knew he was the defending state champion,” Chad said. “I knew if I beat him I would have a great time.”

After the girls 100 and boys 110 hurdles, Carl came out, saw what JFK junior Morgan Rice did in winning the girls 100 hurdles and his brother’s 110 title.

It was his turn to show his speed on the Ohio State University track.

He could indirectly feel and see Ian Turner from Cincinnati Clark Montessori closing in near the finish line, but Carl felt he could hold off Turner. Carl ran 10.88 to Turner’s 10.93.

“I knew the 80-meter mark,” Carl said. “I saw peripheral vision left and right. I saw the finish line and decided to win this.”

Kennedy’s 4×200 relay team knew Lima Central Catholic stood between them and the school’s third state championship.

JFK senior Rob Seger said his team was able to come out and run its best time.

Lima Central Catholic ran a Division III state meet record of 1:28.04 to Kennedy’s 1:28.85.

“They’re a real good team and they deserve it,” Seger said. “We still beat our school record. You got to be proud of that, to break the school record, also.”

Then, Eagles junior Zach Watt took sixth in the boys 400 (49.93). The top eight in each final are all-Ohio.

Kennedy had 31 points at the time and was in the hunt for a team state championship. It would’ve been the area’s first team state title since 2011, when McDonald’s boys, led by Kent State University athletes Miles Dunlap and Matthias Tayala, captured that honor.

Instead, Kennedy finished in third place with 41 points. Columbus Academy, which won the 4×400 relay, vaulted itself to the team title with 49 points. Lima Central Catholic was second with 43.

This marked the second third-place team trophy Kennedy has received since 2000. JFK took third in 2004 behind Dayton Jefferson Township and Defiance Tinora.

Kennedy’s highest team finish was in 1984 when the Eagles split the Class AA title with LaBrae.

Andrews, who is a former Glenville assistant track coach, understands the importance of preparing for a state meet.

“I think our guys bought in last year to the idea of what we could accomplish with hard work,” Andrews said. “We just set our program so that it’s geared toward this day. We’re not big on the meets in April and May. We work and we train toward a day like today. Unfortunately that’s all I know after spending the time at Glenville. We always had our season set if we do this, this and this, we’ll be here at this time.

“Our guys are excelling at their events and it’s because they’ve prepared.”

Andrews even wore his enlarged ring to state that simply says, “Three-peat.” It signifies three straight Division I boys team state titles Glenville won from 2003-05. The Tarblooders went on to win two more consecutive state crowns.

“Hopefully it inspires those guys and they can see,” Andrews said. “It helps them. When they see that I’ve been there and done that, they believe I know what I’m talking about.”

Saturday, Kennedy’s boys proved Andrews definitely knew what he was teaching.

“I’m still in shock how good we did. All the hard work paid off,” Chad said.