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Isom, Elliott, Shipley and Thompson Take Horizon League Crowns

Thrilling Weekend Ends with Electric Finishes and Upsets

By Winners OnlyPublished 5 years ago 3 min read
Kayla Isom, Jaliyah Elliott, Lynsey Shipley and Kayla Thompson were among the most entertaining performers at the Horizon League Outdoor Championships.

Jaliyah Elliott and Suerethia Henderson placed first and second in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes.

Jaliyah Elliott continued her dominance, but upsets and new champions were crowned during the exciting final day of the Horizon League Championships, May 5, in Youngstown, Ohio.

Elliott won the 100-meter dash with a record time of 11.56. She is the first woman in the Horizon League to win the event under 11.6. She's also the only woman in conference history to run under 11.6, which she's accomplished twice as she ran 11.53 at the Miami Hurricane Alumni Invitational last month.

Elliott also won the 200-meter dash at 23.65. She became the first woman to win both the 100- and 200-meter dashes as a freshman and a junior without winning as a sophomore. She placed second in both events last year. An athlete from Youngstown State has won the 100- and 200-meter dashes in the Horizon League every season since 2011.

Kayla Thompson (center) stands with competitors Monica Johnson, to her right, as well as Kyri Johnson (far right), Tyra Kennedy (far left) and Brooklyn Mikesell.

Northern Kentucky earned its first Horizon League Championship wins in the 100-meter hurdles and 400-meter dash. Kayla Thompson (14.37), who placed third last season as a freshman, returned to the conference finals in the 100-meter hurdles edging out Cleveland State freshman Monica Johnson (14.38). Thompson had a bit of a rough outdoor season as she hadn't run faster than 14.73 in three meets.

In the preliminary round Thompson clocked in with the fifth best time of 14.69. Johnson raised eyebrows with the top time of 14.53, beating out Thompson and another favorite senior Brooklyn Mikesell of Wright State at 14.58.

Kayla Thompson shows emotion after her win.

In the finals, Thompson had to grind out a win, holding off Johnson who made an impressive late surge. Thompson's teammate freshman, Lynsey Shipley had a shocking win in the 400-meter finals. The last two Horizon Indoor Championships and last year's outdoor championship meet saw Oakland junior Chanel Gardner take the 400-meter dash in dominant fashion.

Lynsey Shipley with Chanel Gardner on the podium.

It was logical to think that the same story would continue and it looked like script was playing out. On the final turn, Gardner had a solid lead but in the last five seconds of the race, Shipley sped up and slipped past Gardner to steal the win at 56.20. Shipley's win was her first 400-meter dash victory as a college athlete. Both Shipley and Thompson achieved personal best times in their wins. Thompson also placed third in the long jump finals, bettering her fourth place finish a year ago.

Kayla Isom gets a hug from her teammate after winning the 800-meter run.

Another new champ rose up when Illinois-Chicago sophomore Kayla Isom won the 800-meter run at 2:11.96. She became the first Illinois-Chicago runner to win the Horizon League title in the 800-meter run since Ariel Kriby did it in 2012. She is the first Illinois-Chicago runner to win a race at the Horizon League Championships since Rebecca Zaiter won the 1,500-meter run in 2015.

Isom is famous for her late pushes and she didn't disappoint in this year's 800-meter run. On the final turn Isom passed last season's champion Victoria Angelopoulos of Wright State to take the lead, which she never surrendered from that point. Her finish was a Youngstown State Stadium record and was the fastest time to win the conference since 2013.

Last season Isom placed fourth in the 800-meter dash championship, finishing behind Angelopoulos, Lauren Peters of Milwaukee and Amairany Cruz of IUPUI. This year Isom passed Peters and Cruz just prior to catching Angelopoulos for the win. This was Isom's first individual win in any of her collegiate meets.

Overall, Youngstown State won its sixth consecutive Horizon League team championship with 251 points. The Penguins finished ahead of second place Milwaukee (118) and third place Oakland (103). Northern Kentucky, Wright Sate, Detroit, Cleveland State, IUPUI and Illinois-Chicago placed fourth through ninth. Youngstown State's 251 points are the second highest in Horizon League history. Milwaukee posted 252 points back in 2003. The win is YSU's eleventh Horizon League championship in school history. The Penguins won their first team title in 2004.

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    Winners  OnlyWritten by Winners Only

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