Kagarise, Hamilton key strong start to indoors
YSU's Alisha Anthony won her only event, tying for first in the long jump to earn Horizon League women’s field athlete of the week.
By Joe Scalzo
YSU track and field coach Brian Gorby made a calculated gamble last year, redshirting a handful of veterans in hopes of making a run at the Horizon League titles this winter.
“We felt this was going to be a big year,” said Gorby, adding that Milwaukee and Butler had senior-laden teams last year, “It’s turning out to be.”
Thanks to some first-place finishes by senior Adam Kagarise and sophomore Samantha Hamilton, the Penguins got their indoor season off to a good start at last year’s Golden Flash Gala and the Kent State Fieldhouse.
Kagarise, a Fitch High graduate, was one of the athletes who redshirted last season and didn’t miss a beat, winning the 300-meter dash.
His fiancee, Alisha Anthony, also redshirted last season and won her only event, tying for first in the long jump to earn Horizon League women’s field athlete of the week.
“They’re both kind of the keys to our program,” said Gorby. “Losing those two after this year is going to be tough.”
Hamilton, a Jackson-Milton High graduate coming off a tremendous cross country season, recorded the fourth-best time in school history en route to winning the mile (5:07.43). She also won the 5,000-meter run in a career-best time (17:53.23).
“We usually let them rest coming off cross country season but her fitness level is very high and we wanted to see what she could do,” Gorby said. “We think she can make a great run at nationals.”
Freshman Darius Reeves was named the Horizon’s men’s field athlete of the week after recording the second-best triple jump in YSU history (14.15 meters) and the third-fastest 60-meter hurdles mark (8.44).
Junior Alexis Hall, who redshirted last year, threw 58-71/4 in the weight throw, and junior Kaitlyn Griffith threw 44-43/4 in the shot put. Both are conference-best throws so far.
Sophomore Michael Davis ran well in the 60 and 200, as did sophomore Tarrelle Irwin, who ran unattached and finished in the top four in both those events. Irwin, who cleared up some eligibility issues, will be a full-fledged member of YSU’s team at its next meet Jan. 15.
“We’ve never had so many [YSU-record] top-10 performances at one meet,” Gorby said. “So many kids deserve credit. If we stay healthy and hungry, this group has a great shot of making history.”