Penguins continue to dominate league
YOUNGSTOWN — Jaynee Corbett looked around the WATTS. No wooden platform below her,or even her wide variety of music blaring through the indoor track and field facility.
There were more people invading her space, more than just her sprinter teammates around the track.
But, there’s no place she’d have rather been on Sunday as she capped her indoor career by capturing the shot put and weight throw — dominating both events by a couple of meters — in the Horizon League Indoor Track and Field Championships. For her accomplishment, she was named for the second time the Alfreeda Goff Female Athlete of the Year in the league.
Corbett led the Penguin women to the team’s fourth title in five years as YSU distanced itself from Milwaukee, 201-162.5.
She said she was caught off guard Saturday after winning the weight throw, but said after taking Sunday’s shot put she was bit more composed.
Corbett couldn’t say the same as she hoisted the Horizon League trophy once again.
“Today I haven’t cried, so I’m proud of myself for that,” she said. “I know when we bring it in as a team that’ll probably catch up to me then. It’s very bittersweet.”
John F. Kennedy graduate Chad Zallow, who won the Alfreeda Goff Male Athlete of the Year for the third straight season, said he was mentally and physically spent after two grueling days of events. He won the 60-meter hurdles and 60 dash, but had one more event — the 200.
He knew his team needed points to capture a third straight title.
“You’re body is running on fumes,” said Zallow, whose YSU team handled second-place Oakland, 203.83-121. “I know my team needed the points coming in. At that point, I had to run for my team.
“I cramped up a little bit when I warmed up. I was scared. I won that 200 cramping. Ten points for my team in that race, that’s the most important thing.”
The inspiration for the men’s win came from Girard graduate Collin Harden. He was ranked around fourth or fifth when he produced a personal best time of 47.64 seconds.
“That came from within,” Harden said. “I did the best I could. I seen my teammates cheering for me. I heard them too, so I heard the extra push. I got my second burst out.”
He came across the line and collapsed. Eventually he was tended to by medical personnel in the infield as YSU President Jim Tressel looked on.
“I would’ve got up and said a couple of words to him,” Harden said. “It’s so great to have a president out to support us, especially at events like this. It gives everybody that extra push and we do absolutely amazing.”
Jaliyah Elliott, who was part of the winning 4×400-meter relay and won the 60, said there was one focus for the women’s team today.
“We know we wanted another championship,” she said. “Everybody had to come out here and run their best. We wanted to get another ring.”
Coach Brian Gorby is quick to say the rest of his staff is to be credited with both wins.
“There’s no simulation for this meet,” he said. “It’s something that just happens and you have to flow with it.”
He said the teams will take a couple days to celebrate, but knows full well this is never a given.
“It’s a tradition and we’re trying to keep it up,” said Gorby, who was named men’s and women’s Horizon League Coach of the Year.
As Zallow looks around and sees his older brother Carl, who took second in the 60 and third in the 200, he knows he was part of the foundation of this YSU program.
“He’s a huge asset to the team,” Chad said. “We couldn’t have won all those championships without him.”