Zallow again in Millrose Games

Chad Zallow has earned plenty of frequent flier miles to New York City. The John F. Kennedy High School graduate has visited the city many times, usually after his business is done there.

The Youngstown State University senior hurdler and sprinter reserves his energy in his hotel room, letting out some of that pent-up emotion on The Armory track. His momentum carries his body over each and every high hurdle.

It’s all in preparation for the 60-meter hurdle final at the Millrose Games, scheduled today for 4:21 p.m. and televised on NBC.

He’s facing a mostly American field with 2016 Olympians Devon Allen and Johnathan Cabral. Zallow, who has run 7.66 seconds this season, faces an elite-level field, something he’s used to running against.

That traces all the way back to high school when he raced the top prep athletes in the nation in the Millrose, indoor track and field’s spotlight winter event.

The elite fields come with more pushing and shoving out of the block than normal races as the hurdlers try to jockey for position.

“I’m hoping for a nice, clean race without bumping into anyone of course, but in hurdles sometimes that happens,” Zallow said. “Over the years, I learned to adapt to that and not let it affect me. My coach always tells me to get out in front of everyone else so I don’t have to worry about that.”

He’d like to be there at the end. Zallow finished fourth here last year. He’ll be racing next to Allen. Zallow is in Lane 5, while Allen is in Lane 4.

Zallow has struggled with his finishes. It’s something the YSU senior has tried to improve.

“My finish is finally starting to get where I want it to be,” he said. “I’ve been working a lot in the offseason getting stronger for the end part of my race. I’m excited to put it to use in a loaded field at the Millrose Games. I’m going to need it.”

Zallow is motivated to represent YSU today and then go shopping and visit Times Square once his business is finished.

For now, it’s about representing the Penguins.

“Any time I travel to a big meet with high-level competition people are shocked to see a kid from a mid-major school there,” Zallow said. “I think they are starting to get used to it now over the years.”