Gorby, athletes roll out this season in style

Chad Zallow just wanted to put his 19th-place finish at the USA Track and Field Outdoor Nationals behind him.

Collin Harden had his USATF U19 Junior Nationals performance on Friday.

The two were out in Sacramento, Calif., with Youngstown State University track and field coach Brian Gorby. The three needed a bit of rest and relaxation.

Zallow, a YSU sophomore, had an idea.

Bowling.

The John F. Kennedy High School graduate made his coach a very happy man with this venture.

“Coach Gorby beat me and Collin pretty good in bowling,” Zallow said. “It was actually my idea to bowl because I like to bowl time to time even though I’m not too good at it.

“I just thank God I’m fast because bowling definitely isn’t in my future.”

Harden, a YSU freshman and Girard High School graduate, pleads the fifth on this trip.

“To protect myself, I’ll say that was for fun,” he laughed.

Gorby had some fun watching this unfold.

“I don’t think they hit the head pin one time out of 10 frames,” he said. “They can throw it hard. They just can’t throw it straight.

“We were joking about bumper bowling and stuff like that. Just having some fun.”

You see this is more like a family than a team. That’s what YSU track and field is about, being unified.

This was the longest season the three of them ever had.

Zallow saw Harden have a very successful season in the 400-meter hurdles.

“It’s great to have another kid on the team that has a lot of talent in the hurdles,” Zallow said. “He has a great mindset to be able to go far in this sport. We both share very big goals and are very determined individuals. Me and Collin are constantly pushing each other to be our best we can be.”

“Overall, he’s a great person,” Harden said. “He pushes you to do the best that you can. Having someone with the same, good mindset as you, it only makes things better.”

To showcase their respective talents at national events takes money too, something that’s normally not part of the track and field budget. Most of the other athletes had their seasons completed about a month ago.

The Penguin Club, along with YSU Director of Athletics Ron Strollo and his department, found ways to get athletes like Zallow and Harden at these USATF events.

“It’s huge for YSU to have somebody competing into June at the Olympic level,” Gorby said. “Our administration wants them, from our perspective, to have the same opportunity as someone has at an Ohio State or Oregon. We want to give them the same opportunities that they can touch their goals and dreams. They are.”

Both Zallow and Harden live track during the season and are very self-motivated, Gorby said.

“These two are the consummate professionals and very mature for their ages,” he said.

They work well together.

“It’s great to be able to spend downtime with my coaches and Collin,” Zallow said. “We’re always joking around and having a good time, which is a good thing to take our minds off of track while we can and just relax.”

Even when they attempt to bowl and make Gorby feel pretty good about competing against some of the best athletes YSU has to offer.

“He was very excited,” Harden said. “I didn’t know he was that good at bowling. I was like, ‘Wow.’

“He can have bowling as long as me and Chad stick to track.”

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