Thursday, May 21, 2015

Another 2 Promises Kept! The 1980 Olympic Trials Video Is For Sale!

I promised former Olympian Javelin Thrower Duncan Atwood I would promote his efforts to put his personal 1980 Olympic Trials Videos together on DVD.  I may have been his first customer for that!  He has a lot of stuff for you javelin people out there.  And PSU has quite a few great javelin tossers too.  So check out his site.  As a new Friend of the Group (and Honorary member), I have linked his site on the right sidebar.

Duncan Atwood, 2 time Olympian.

The Video of the running events garnered much interest from the attendees at our Reunion meet and greet last Friday at LettermanS.  Coach Groves liked it a lot, as he was there trackside with many Nittany Lions competing on those days in 1980.  The videos are an eclectic mix which will bring a smile to just about every track fan out there, regardless of era. The short shorts, high socks, and afros of the disco era will make you chuckle.  When you see the mustache on Greg Fredericks on the Awards stand, you'll be tempted to shoot Dr. Pete's Recovery Drink from your nose!  Anne Fredericks even had to hold back as the rest of us gently nudged Greg and bought another round!

In addition to a brief glimpse of Mariel Hemingway in the days of the making of the movie Personal Best, you see glimpses of Nittany Lions Greg Fredericks, Larry Mangan, Peggy Cleary, Kris Bankes and Liz Berry. The interviews of athletes, coaches and others at the end are great too.

Mariel Hemingway, Scott Glen in Personal Best.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

As Promised, I Had My First Glass of Milk In 39 Years

My last glass of milk came 39 years ago at Cross Country Camp at Mount Saint Mary's College.  The morning lecture extolled the absolute importance of drinking milk for the protein and calcium, so I had 2 big glasses at breakfast.

When it came time for the late morning 10 Miler, I wasn't feeling too bad, but halfway through I had to duck into the woods for a rather rude bathroom break.  I caught back up to the group soon enough, but then it happened 3 more times and I was hopelessly lost.  Luckily, one of the other campers, albiet a special invited one, came back to find me.  It was none other than Alberto Salazar, and we had a short conversation about maybe not drinking milk again!  I explained to him that I wasn't the suckiest runner at camp and we arranged for another 10 Miler with 2 others the next day. It was a tremendous run that sealed my love of Mountain Runs forever. That run ended up at the Grotto of Lourdes, a place I would visit again when I finally found my way in my 40's.

Scout's Honor.  That is an absolute true story, not one of the fact-challenged posts usually appearing on this blog.

But here I was again, about to drink a big 16 ounce glass of "milk" yesterday I had purchased at the Creamery at the behest of Jeffrey Dover.  I took 4 Lact-Aid pills, a Beano because it also has soy in it and dove right in to my Dr. Pete's Recovery Drink.

I must say, it was delicious.  And although I can't say for sure that I know what chocolate milk tastes like, I can say that I finished it very quickly with a smile on my face.  My daughter loves the stuff and I purchased a six pack of the stuff for her.  It has 35 grams of protein from 3 different sources.  That's something that no other product can claim.  It has earned the first ever Blog Seal of Approval!  Thanks, Jeff.

Monday, May 18, 2015

More Randomness of the Alumni Reunion Weekend Now Improved With Photos!

  • Here's our 2015 Champions (2-Under)! Curt Allison, Brian Boyer and Bill Whittaker make it into our Hall of Honor with their second appearances on the Coach Harry Groves CupTodd Kletter makes his first appearance, but that does garner him immortality on the Trophy of Trophies.
    Curt Allison, Coach Bill Whittaker, Brian Boyer and Todd Kletter. Photo by Digital Archive Goddess Kay Warfel.
  • Here's my dog Pooky (named after my bestest-ever dog Pookie) near the summit of Mount Nittany, posing with a Lady Slipper wildflower. A certain red-headed ex-PSU football coach was there to greet them with his dog!
Photo by Barb Black.

Pooky and Pookie together on her last day. RIP Photo by skwilli.

  •  Jim McClelland took great pictures of the gang at just about every venue.  Here's a artsy couple of shots from the Alumni "Run" with Beaver Stadium in the background.  I had to explain to Jim that we already had a Jim Clelland in the group, so I'm glad he added the Mc so we didn't have to! We're way too confused already.
Coach Groves spins some yarns.

Clark Haley, Hugh Hamill, Charlie Hull and Bob Hudson.

  •  The first 4 attendees to the Alumni "Run" all had Alumni Singlets and tees!  Next up we are going to do jackets!  Plans are under way.  Hugh's shirt still had the tag on it!
Greg Fredericks, skwilli, Jake Bartholomy and Hugh Hamill.
  •  Mike McClelland, high jumper for PSU out because of a (freak) injury golfed with his dad and snagged the Golden Putter on the 18th green.  Holder of the Golden Putter Greg Fredericks was there to measure the effort at more than 10 feet.  Congrats Mike.
Horace the Golden Putter with Mike McClelland.  Photo by Jim McClelland.
  •  The Fuller Clan with the Fuller Harem actually stretched before the Alumni "Run" and then did honest-to-goodness Intervals under the watchful eye of Coach Groves afterward!  (3 up, 4 x 400, 3 down)

  • The Awards Dinner went off almost without a hitch.  Prizes were awarded following a meal of ribs, grilled chicken, a really good salad and scalloped potatoes at the new LettermanS.  Make sure to thank Clark Haley for all the work he did by himself this year to arrange everything.
Photo by Jim McClelland.

  • Absolutely NO ONE could convince Larry Mangan to take more than* a lap for the Alumni "Run. ".  Larry was subsequently appointed a Co-Administrator of the Blog with it all! It's sorta like being runner up at the Miss America Pageant.  (In the event that the Leader can no longer fulfill his duties...) Larry's lap was timed between :47 and :48 and occurred exactly on the 35th anniversary of his very first sub-4 run!
Photo by Jim McClelland.
*errors of fact are a feature of the blog, not a detriment.  They involve many people who are busy checking them and trying to correct them.  And besides, they drive certain people up the wall where they belong!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

A Few Random Highlights of the Alumni Reunion Weekend

  • I had the opportunity to golf with 3 guys that prove my observation that Our Group represents the finest people the world produces.  Ex-roommate Doug "Do Right" Kent, Mark "Le faucon de'orange" Hawkins and Bob "Opie" Hudson.  We tied for third place.  And despite anything they tell you, I did not kill anyone on the course!
  • Another current team parent joined our festivities and thus led to another turn with the Golden Putter.  Jim McClelland took plenty of great pics I will gradually feature in the coming days, and his son Mike McClelland happened to win the Golden Putter with the longest putt on the 18th green!  Mike has another year of eligibility in outdoor next year and won't run afoul of any NCAA infractions, as the prize must be returned at next year's tourney.   Mike is recovering from a concussion suffered at the Big Ten Indoor Championships.  
  • Jake Bartholomy came all the way from Seattle to snag the Longest Trip prize, and brought along a few 90's friends including Todd Kletter and Artie Gilkes to the links.
  • Curt Allison was again on the winning foursome, becoming the first non-PSU student to make it into our Hall of Honor. He also won Closest to the Pin on the 2nd hole with a shot less than 4 feet from the cup.  Curt is a childhood friend of Clark Haley.  Talk about dedication...
  • Che Aresomena won the longest drive for the third time on hole #3, which was also one of my best holes.  Just ask my foursome about that.
  • Coach Groves made it to Friday night's meet and greet, the Alumni "Run" and Saturday night's dinner.  Thanks to Matt Groves for bringing him so many times.  And look out for that dog!
  • Clark Haley did all of the work himself this year and should be thanked by everyone via any means possible.  He only was a little freaked out during the drawing of the foursomes, but somehow it all worked out.  I think this year's draw was the best ever.
  • My dog Pooky made it to the top of Mount Nittany for the 4th straight year.  Barb Black and Daughters the Elder and Younger climbed for the 8th straight year.
  • The Jackson Horner Memorial was well attended and had speeches by Coach Groves and Bob Hudson.  A fine tribute to one of our own team captains during Horace Ashenfelter's era.
  • Coach Groves gave a typical short speech at last night's dinner where he called our 14 years of  efforts as the "best thing anyone has ever done for him".   You're welcome, Coach.  Mark Hawkins also presented him with a recreation of the fading photo in the Ashenfelter Complex and a smaller version for his residence.
  • The video of the running races at the 1980 Olympic Trials was a big hit.  I'll be putting a post up shortly on how to purchase one for yourself for a very nominal fee.  I was unable to show the field events at the dinner evening because the TV had none of the old-fashioned video inputs.
  • There will be more to come...

Only The Second Accepted Excuse For Missing This Weekend's Festivities

Previously, I accepted Sam Masters' excuse of his wedding day in Missouri as the first certified excuse for missing our Reunion and Golf Tourney.  Good luck Sam!  Now, a second excuse was (reluctantly!) accepted from  Ron Moore.  Ron ran a 50-Miler  56-MilerTrail Run in mountainous Tennessee Northern Georgia yesterday!  That's plenty of time to contemplate the wonders of the Universe, as Physicists are wont to do...  I alerted Ron that errors of fact are features of the blog, not a detriment.  But I can understand being upset by failing to mention that additional 6 miles AFTER the first 50! As a peace offering (and bribe) his first year's attendance at the Event will be paid by me!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Alumni "Run" Another Success

My blurry cell phone pic of the start.
More than 20 brave and hardy Alums and Boosters braved the warm and muggy conditions for the 14th Annual Alumni"Run" at 9:00AM today.  One lap of the track was followed with a loop of the campus and then actual intervals again on the track.

We will actually have a plethora of real photographer pics of the event by Jim McClelland from the PSU Track Parents Connection.  The future is bright for PSU Track and Field with Alumni teaming with Parents and the PSU Program itself.  When recruits see the breadth of support from so many forces, they can't help but be impressed.  I hope Jim is having as much fun with us as we are having him with us.  Now we'll see if he can golf!  (Don't worry  Jim.  I can't.)

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly: 2015 Alumni Reunion

The Good:
  • A lively and sizable crowd representing the 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, 00's and 10's plus Parents and Boosters alike.  (As well as the Fuller harem!)
  • A good reception for the video of the 1980 Olympic Trials.  More on how to purchase this for yourself in coming posts.
  • The 1980 video showed at least 5 Nittany Lions, including attendees Greg Fredericks and Larry Mangan, as well as Chris Bankes, Peggy Cleary and Liz Berry.
The Bad:
  • The forecast is for rain starting at our tee-time today!  We have never been thwarted in our efforts in the preceding 13 years of the tournament.
  • Neither The Cup nor the Golden Putter made it back for this year's outing.  Suitable punishment for the miscreants will be formulated at tonight's Awards Dinner. Owen Dawson actually drove from Coattesville to State College to hand deliver the golden Putter in time for the finish of the Golf Tourney!  The punishment thing was really just a joke and the Idiot Officers have awarded him a Special Prize for his efforts.  He will be receiving his Prize shortly. 
The Ugly:  
  • Not one, but 2 of our number made visits to the Nittany Valley Medical Center yesterday.  All is well this AM. Thankfully.
  • Todays golf will be very painful for me.

Friday, May 15, 2015

A Visit With Coach

Greg Fredericks arranged a visit with Coach Groves for early arrivals to the Alumni Weekend.  I joined Greg, Hugh Hamill and his lovely wife Yunhee and visited Coach at his residence.  It was a good time.  All photos by Yunhee Hamill.

The weights are 5X what our President uses!

He just told a joke!
I then headed over to the Blue Course for PRACTICE.  Bob Gabel has moved into position to become and "A"golfer in our group.  Clark Haley is already rounding into good shape in all phases of his game for a FIFTH appearance on The Cup.  As for me, the stats are as usual.  14% adequate shots, 7% good shots and 79% atrocious shots.  Pray I'm not in your foursome.

I Snuck Into Town Early

I am still being guided by forces far more powerful than I.  With a day off work (hallelujah!), I came to Happy Valley for some leisure time prior to the Reunion weekend.  I did my usual things no one else would care to do with me and ended up at a downtown Szechuan restaurant to pick up some Kung Pao for dinner.  And the only person that I know that I run into is, again,  Greg Fredericks with his son Jeffrey.  This is the third time I have run into Greg without trying.  This wasn't the most fortuitous of the three, but still pretty cool none-the-less.  It tells me that continuing the work it takes to put on this event is worth it.  Remember everyone, Founder Clark Haley, does Herculean efforts to keep this event alive.  Make sure to thank him when you see him. Today, I'll visit Coach Groves before ending up on the links for some practice time with Clark and previous Holder of the Golden Putter, Bob Gabel. Then I'll see YOU at the Alumni Reunion!

Greg will be stopping by at the Reunion event this evening, maybe in time to see himself on the big screen!  I have a DVD of the 1980 Olympic Trials, featuring him and Larry Mangan in action in the distance finals.

Greg Fredericks, NCAA 5000M 1972.
1. Steve Prefontaine (Oregon)......13:31.4
2. Greg Fredericks (PennState). 13:34.0 (PSU Record)
3. John Hartnett' (Villanova)....13:43.4

4. Glenn Herold (Wisconsin)..13:45.8
5. Mike Keogh' (Manhattan). 13:48.3
6. Rick Hitchcock (Kansas State).......... 13:49.5
(also under old MR)
7. Dave Tocheri' (Northern Arizona) ......14:03.0
8. Phil Burkwist (Washington State) .......... 14:04.4

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Greatest Track Coach In The World

Back at his retirement dinner in 2006, Coach Groves gave his typical short speech ("If it takes longer than a paragraph, you don't have anything to say anyway.") in which he declared that he was...
"... for a brief time, I'm the greatest Track Coach in the world."

This was actually a  paraphrase of Jesse Owens in a speech that Coach attended.  In it, Jesse alluded to the fact that "ACCORDING to all the nice things said about him that day,he was the world's best track athlete".  

And here's the interview of The Coach at a previous Alumni Reunion's Alumni "Run"

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Yogi Berra is 90 Years Old

But he managed to have sporadic dementia for many, many years.  Much to everyone's delight.  Here are a few of his best lines pertinent to our group.

  1.  “It’s deja vu all over again.”   This is our 14th Annual Reunion and Golf Tourney.
  2. “It ain’t over till it’s over.”  The Awards Dinner caps off our weekend every year.
  3. “We made too many wrong mistakes.”  The Idiot Officers of the group have been expanded in order to create more.
  4. If the people don’t want to come out to the ballpark, nobody’s going to stop them.” The herding of cats is a lonely endeavor.
  5. “Pair up in threes.”  We may have a few threesomes this year.
  6. “Why buy good luggage, you only use it when you travel.”  Bring some things in a paper bag if you have to, but do come golf with us!
  7. “You can observe a lot by watching.”  Golf is optional, but highly recommended.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

More Golfers Wanted: A Letter From Coach Gondak

Make Coach Groves happy!

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