Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Will A Member Of Our Group And Holder Of An Alumni Singlet Become The Grand Poobah Of Nike?

We previously chipped in and bought Alumni Singlets for Mark Parker '77 and his wife Kathy (Mills) Parker '78.  These were delivered to them by Olympian Bridget Franek.

When Phil Knight steps down from the company soon, he relates he wants Mark Parker to succeed him.  HERE may be why.  With all the different titles held by all the upper echelon of people of Nike, I suggest that they just utilize the moniker Grand Poobah, from the leader of the Loyal Order of Buffaloes Lodge of Bedrock and Gilbert and Sullivan's Mikado.

It's all hats nowadays.

"Knight said he wants Nike president and CEO Mark Parker, who has held those positions since 2006, to succeed him. No specific date was set for Knight's departure, though he said he plans to stay involved in the business. Nike Inc. said it expects to name a new chairman in 2016."   -ESPN

Monday, June 29, 2015

Teammates Once More

I was anticipating a big day for PSU on the last day of the USATF Championships.  And everyone came through with great performances.  Joe Kovacs defended his Shot Put Championship on his birthday and Casimir Loxsom held on for third in the 800M off of a blistering 50.00 second first 400M.  They now become teammates again and are headed to the Bird's Nest in Beijing, China.

Never, ever eat bird nest soup.

Chasing Solomon to a a 50.00 first 400M.

Cas Loxsom, with Ryan Foster and Coach John Gondak.

Here's the stats of a great day for PSU, with Darrell Hill garnering 6th with a near PR and Ryan Whiting a half inch back in 7th.

1    Joe Kovacs            Shot Put       21.84M  (71' 8"))
6    Darrell Hill            Shot Put       20.80M  (68' 3")
7    Ryan Whiting*      Shot Put       20.79M  (68' 2 1/2")
3    Casimir Loxsom    800M           1:45.35

And we had a big bump in readership when George Brose featured my story of the 24-Hour Relay "24-Hours in Hell" on his Award-Winning Track and Field Blog. I would love to hear any more stories of that event from everyone!  Thanks, George!

*Although not an ex-Nittany Lion, Ryan is an Assistant Coach and has trained in Happy Valley for many years, grooming several big guys to prominence.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Penn State So Far At The USATF Championships, With A Big Day Today

So far, the top finish for PSU has been Karlee McQuillen's 6th in the Javelin.Here's the list, so far.  Today, top seed Casimir Loxsom and Joe Kovacs join Darrell Hill and Ryan Whiting in trying to do even better!

6        Karlee McQuillen        Javelin         56.76m (186-3)
8        Bridget Franek             300M SC     9:47.81
14       Brannon Kidder           800M         1:48.26
15       Evonne Britton            100M H      13.18
17       Robby Creese              1500M        3:47.12
17       Rachel Fatherly           Shot Put      16.49 (54-1 1/4)
17       Tori Gerlach                3000M SC   10:12.8
18       Kiah Seymour             400M H      58.66

Friday, June 26, 2015

Murder At The Penn State Track! And More Roommate Pictures

A suspect is still at large in the Tuesday murder of the large tree at the entrance to the PSU Outdoor Track Facility.  An All Points Bulletin has been issued and the suspect is thought to be in hiding in either Greece or Italy.  Zeus (aka Jupiter) struck the tree with a lightning bolt under the cover of darkness during a storm.  Penn State authorities had to put  the tree down the following day.  A replacement will not be available for approximately 60 years.

Photo by Course Marshall Greg Fredericks.

Photo by Golden Putter Attendant Greg Fredericks.
 And our Oregon Duck connection Dan Martinez sent me some additional photos of Alan Scharsu from Walt Chadwick's wonderful vintage track photo siteBon Appetit.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Changing Of The Guard

At one point, my roommate Alan Scharsu had the All-Time 5th best high school 2-Mile time in the nation.  Close to 40 years later, he finally dropped out of the top 10 with performances over the weekend.  (Hat tip to our Chief Laundry and Morale Officer for that one!)

8:29.46*Lukas Verzbicas’ (Sandburg, Orland Park, Illinois) 2011

8:34.40German Fernandez (Riverbank, California) 2008

8:36.3Jeff Nelson (Burbank, California) 1979

8:37.22+————Fernandez 2008

8:39.15iEdward Cheserek’ (St. Benedict’s, Newark, New Jersey) 2013

8:40.0iGerry Lindgren (Rogers, Spokane, Washington) 1964

8:40.70i————*Verzbicas’ 2011

8:40.9Craig Virgin (Lebanon, Illinois) 1973

8:41.55Matthew Centrowitz (Broadneck, Annapolis, Maryland) 2007

8:41.5Steve Prefontaine (Marshfield, Coos Bay, Oregon) 1969

**10 performances by 8 performers**
8:43.2iDave Merrick (Lincoln-Way, New Lenox, Illinois) 1971

 8:44.03Alan Scharsu (Fitch, Austintown, Ohio) 1978
             (8:42.51  Drew Hunter   2015)
             (8:43.57  Grant Fisher    2015)

 Incidentally, I once had the all-time best average mile time for a 17 year old in the 24-Hour Relay, a loosely kept "record" by Runners World (27 miles in 4:57 4:58).  My future roommate, it turns out, demolished the time just days after I did it in 1977 (a sub 4:50 4:47 or so average, if I remember correctly).  For you young bucks out there, never do this.  Nothing good happens...

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

They Have Moved The Steeplechase Pit At Penn!

Progress is hard for us old-timers.

Jake Bartholomy shows us the real location of the steeple pit.

The new location during renovations.
More photos of the renovations HERE.

Did I hear they are moving the walls back also to make room for more lanes? This looks like they aren't, but maybe it's just one side?  Does anyone know?


Sunday, June 21, 2015

On His Way To A Century In The Woods

 "At 3:30 p.m., 10 hours into the race, Ron Moore, 45, a 1986 state cross country champion from Hempfield who now lives in Knoxville, Tenn., reached checkpoint No. 3"

Ron Moore took his Trail Running hobby to new Heights recently.  He finished the Laurel Highlands Ultra from Ohiopyle, PA to Seward, PA.  That happens to be 70 1/2 miles of superbly treacherous trail.  The kind of run where really prepared runners finish only 64% or 65% of the time.  It also happened to be a terrible weekend for the event, with humidity hovering at around 110% the whole time.  And many, many people have told me that Ron's IQ is significantly higher than mine...  

Changing shoes after the finish.

So, as it turns out, Ron finished in 20th place (16:19:24) in his first attempt at the distance.  He has gradually increased his knowledge as his distances have increased.  Changing shoes during the event as your feet swell is just one thing he has learned the hard way.  I'm chipping in for some special shoes for him to finish his first 100-Miler.*

Artist's conception of the shoes required for swollen feet after 100 Miles.

*Ron knows I mean no disrespect at all.  He is an Animal and I will not attempt to make him mad. Ever.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

We Have An Insider At Next Week's USATF Champs. Turns Out We Also Had One At The NCAAs!

We may get reports, pics, and maybe even videos from an insider at next week's USATF Championships.  The identity of the insider has until now been kept under complete wraps, but can now be partially revealed for the first time.  Double-O Eight (008) is the person's code name, one better than James Bond.

008, right.

Our insider at the NCAAs was none other than Jake Bartholomy, who attended our last Alumni Reunion and helped bolster our largest ever delegation from the classes of the 90s.  Here are some samples of his first-hand glimpses of Nittany Lions at the Meet.  More of Jake's pics can be seen HERE.

Friday, June 19, 2015

The Earliest Ever Heads-Up For Next Year's Reunion And Golf Tourney*!

Next year's Reunion and golf tournament will be the biggest and bestest event yet.  It will mark the fifteenth anniversary of Clark Haley's original idea and will incorporate many decades of past PSU Tracksters along with the current crop too!

Set aside the weekend of May 13-15th, 2016 for the festivities.  That does not conflict with Mother's Day, Memorial Day or Graduation.  It also coincides with the "off" week between The Big Ten Championships and the first round of the NCAAs.  That means that Coach Gondak (who has been golfing with us since the very first year he came to Happy Valley) and his forces can celebrate with us.  We plan on having many extra surprises for everyone. 

There are only 330 days left to prepare.

*The golf is always optional, but highly recommended.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Our Friend Wins A Blogging Award!

Friend and our blog's Obersturmbahndronenfuhrer George Brose has snagged the Adams Jacobs Blogging Award from the Track and Field Writers of America for his wonderful Once Upon A Time In The Vest blog.

Congrats George!  I am redoubling my efforts to get an award for blogs combining T&F and Physics.  I just need to know who is in charge!?

RIP Ron Clarke

Aussies have a special place in my heart.  Today I identify as an Australian.

A special tribute from some of Australia's finest:

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Some Extras From the Past Weekend's Meets Sent My Way

Beef Cubed
 Field Official Extraordinaire Mark "Beef" Heckel rounded up a few PSU Alums following the Adidas Diamond League Meet in NYC. That's winner of the Shot Put Joe Kovacs and Phil Monastra.

Cas Loxsom 1500M PR!
Casimir Loxsom did not run the 800 nor the 600, but opted instead for the 1500M at the Portland Meet.  Evan Jager may have lit up the crowd with his 4-second PR in 3:32.97, but Cas also set his PR by 4 seconds!  3:45.23  It must be nice to start a taper from 1500M prior to the USATF Championships where he will be in the mix for the 800M.
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