Zallow ranked No. 1 in nation

Chad Zallow began the 2014 indoor track season where he left off the 2013 outdoor season – on top of the hurdling world.

The defending Ohio High School Athletic Association Division III state champion in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles set a new mark on Saturday.

After the weekend tallies are accumulated, Zallow, a John F. Kennedy High School junior, will see his name atop the 60-meter dash on

His time in Saturday’s Jerome Fields High School Open inside the Stile Fieldhouse on the University of Akron campus bumped Zallow to No. 1 in the nation.

He overtook Hoover (Ala.) High School senior Marlon Humphrey, who had a time of 7.92 seconds.

“I’ve been thinking about this day since my freshman year,” said Zallow of his time of 7.84 seconds. “I’ve always wanted to be up there, No. 1. I’m finally here.”

Zallow ran 7.98 in Saturday’s prelims in Akron, but found an extra gear in the finals.

He beat Shaker Heights High School senior Rameses Owens in the 60 hurdles, who had the best 60 time in Ohio coming into Saturday’s meet of 8.08 seconds.

Zallow said the competition in Saturday’s race made him run that much faster.

“I knew I was going to run a good time,” he said. “Definitely a PR (personal record). This is the first time doing the 60-meter hurdles since last year.

“I know I got a lot of work in during the offseason. I was feeling good. I was feeling fresh. I knew I was going to run a good time, but not that good.”

With Saturday’s time, Zallow is invited to this year’s New Balance Nationals Indoor at The New Balance Track and Field Center at The Armory in New York City.

“It’s exciting,” Zallow said. “I definitely want to go out there and compete against some bigger competition across the country. It’s going to be interesting to see how I do there.”

In addition to the whopping time in the 60 hurdles, Zallow set a personal best to win the 200-meter dash in a time of 22.06. Last year, he was clocking 22.4 in the same event.

“I got a good feeling where I’m at and for the season,” Zallow said.

There’s still a little less than two months left of the indoor track season. The Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches state meet in March 8 at the Stile Fieldhouse.

Zallow said he’ll not push as hard the rest of the season en route to defending his 60 hurdle title.

“I definitely don’t want to peak too early,” he said. “Next meet, I’ll probably have to go a little easier. At the same time, I still want to run those times consistently.”