Zallow finishes year, looks to 2018

Chad Zallow still cannot fathom what happened this past season.

• Third place at NCAA Indoor Nationals in the 60-meter hurdles, along with holding the nation’s best time for two weeks at 7.61 seconds.

• Ninth place at NCAA Outdoor Nationals in the 110 hurdles.

Zallow began outdoors with a career-best 13.37 seconds in the event at the Florida Relays, the top time which lasted throughout the regular season. It kept him as the nation’s best and second best in the world after that late March event.

“This indoor and outdoor season has been a long and successful journey,” Zallow said. “I accomplished a lot of things I never would have thought have been possible this year. I’m very happy to have completed the full year injury free and I’m eager to build off this season for next year.”

Saturday, the John F. Kennedy High School graduate finished his sophomore season at Youngstown State University with a 19th-place finish in the 110 hurdles at the USA Track and Field Outdoor Nationals — competing against a field peppered with professional athletes in Sacramento, Calif.

“Although I didn’t run as well as I wanted, this meet was a great experience for me,” Zallow said. “I learned a lot about what it takes to be a world class athlete in this sport and how these guys prepare for a meet of this caliber. Next time I come back I’ll be more prepared now that I have gone through this experience.”

Zallow has been the torch-bearer for a YSU program that won the triple crown in the Horizon League — winning the men’s cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field titles. Zallow’s exploits have brought national recognition to the Penguins.

“Breaking down some key barriers for the future of the program,” YSU track and field coach Brian Gorby said.

YSU sprints coach David Townsend and Gorby headed out to the west coast for the USATF event.

“Having coach Gorby and coach Townsend down there with me really helps me to stay relaxed and focused,” Zallow said. “They always instill in me to believe in myself and that I have to ability to compete with the best.”

He said he hopes to be more competitive at this time in 2018.

“This has been the longest year of track for me yet,” Zallow said. “I traveled across the country throughout the year competing in meets so I’m really looking forward to getting some down time away from track for a little while so I can recharge physically and mentally for what I plan to be my biggest year yet next year.”