14th Annual Reunion and Coach Groves Golf Tourney

May 15, 16th, 2015. See This Post for all the information you need to reunite with old friends and meet new ones who share your pride in Penn State Track and Field/Cross Country.

Monday, April 20, 2015

"The Race" Was 30 Years Ago

 "We made Harry cry"
-Randy Moore.

There's a great article in the Philadelphia Inquirer about our 1985 4x800M Relay Championship of America victory at the Penn Relays.  They really did a wonderful job, and we helped just a little bit here at the blog with it all.

Two were walk-ons, two were from the local high school!

The photo is from Walt Chadwick's vast stash.  And Walt does have extensive ties to our group from multiple angles.  Randy Moore's recollections of the event in the article come from an exclusive essay he provided to me for use on the blog.  It was a well written, humble and enlightening piece of prose from the most elusive of the 4. You need to read it all.
Other aspects of our blog were used for background also.  Be sure to check out all our previous posts on the topic.

Don't forget, you can still get your "PSU is 800U" t-shirts in the group store.  This single item both inspires and pisses off all the right people.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

A Couple Of Nice Pics Before I Bore You With Another Personal Penn Relays Story: It's Penn Relays Week!

Doreen Startare McCoubrie shows off her Alumni Singlet!
 Another round of Alumni Singlet sales will be coming once us Idiot Officers get together at the Reunion and Coach Groves Tourney Join us on May 15 and 16!  Remember there are also T-Shirts available, and we may just add a jacket next time!  Let me know if you are interested.

A really great photo! Michael Shuey
The addition of the Javelin corps and the Multi-Eventers make the team even more formidable than the Indoor version!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

There Sure Has Been A Lot Of Steeplechase Stuff This Year

And it continues, with Bridget Franek returning to the track in Oregon with a victory and an early season good time of 9:51.56

Friday, April 17, 2015

Gatorade And Muscle Milk (which has no milk) Better Watch Out!

There's a new Recovery Drink coming to the market, and the Big Boys better watch out!  Penn State's Dr. Pete Bordi has been working on the ultimate concoction for 13 years.  With the help of the PSU football team, Coach Joe Paterno and ex-star Franco Harris and his RSuper Foods company, the beast is about to be released to the public at the Berkey Creamery.  I'll be bringing a review when I get some during the Reunion weekend.

Our Group's very own Jeffrey Dover is intimately involved in the final stages of bringing it to the public through his job as Chef at the Bryce Jordan Center and in charge of the dietary needs of the Men's and Women's Basketball team training tables.  He raves about the stuff, and my Daughter the Elder (yeah I actually have progeny who maintains a near completely vegetarian diet!) can't wait to try the stuff.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

There's Only A Week Until Penn Relays!

My favorite time of year!  And to start off the festivities here at the blog with it all is a photo from our very good friend Mike Fanelli from the garage of his California home.  Mike and I have crossed paths numerous times throughout our lives, and just missed meeting face to face probably dozens of times.  I wonder if actually meeting me will really disappoint him too much?  Mike even had the good sense to marry a Nittany Lion.

Anyway here's a pic of two runners from the early 1950's at Penn Relays:

The Army runner is Richard Shea, a very accomplished runner who paid the ultimate price for America on Pork Chop Hill in Korea soon after this.  Army's track is named in his honor, Shea Stadium. Shea won the 1952 2-Mile at the Penn Relays.

The Nittany Lion is Lamont Smith, a 1953 All-American teammate of the Ashenfelters and Curt Stone, who enticed many onto the teams that won many titles.  Lamont was second in the 1952 2-Mile race at Penn.

Mike Fanelli has such a large stash of memorabilia in his garage that he went looking for more on Shea and Smith.  Although he didn't (yet) find any more, he did come up with a great program for the 1952 Millrose Games:

This stuff is gold, isn't it?

Physicist Joins Monty Python

There is a connection between Penn State Track Alumni and Monty Python I hope one day to report, but in the mean-time, here's Stephen Hawking singing the Galaxy Song from "The Meaning of Life".

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

There Aren't Many 6' 9" Joggers In French Lick

But there is one.  Never knew Larry Bird ran Cross Country in high school.  And he continues to run 4 times a week until today.  Once ran a 32 minute 5 miler in Boston.  AND he was the penultimate fundamental basketball player of his era.  Great trash talker I also hear.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Reunion And Golf Tourney Board Member Places 21st At Cherry Blossom 10 Miler

Even though they have added many other race distances into the mix, the 10 Miler is the classic race in Washington DC for the Cherry Blossom Festival.  You really do need to see the blossoms at least once in your life.  The last time I saw them was at 75 mph as I streaked by on the way to Reagan Airport to fly to China for my adopted Daughter the Younger.  Seeing just a glimpse of them in that fashion taught me that all would be OK on the trip.  Except for the food poisoning...  That story is for another day.  It's a long one.

Brian Fuller is now on the Board for our Golf Tourney and Reunion Committee, and had a very good run this year even though the race was abruptly shortened due to a car accident on the course.  His 48:01 9.5 to 9.75 Miler is estimated to be a 50 minute 10 Miler.  They will remeasure the course in the coming days for all of us OCD types.  And he is a much better golfer than I also.  Damn.  Nice run Brian.

21      BRIAN FULLER   48:01    CAMP HILL, PA

Join Brian and me at the 14th Annual Reunion and Coach Groves Golf Tournament on May 15, 16. Possibly get your name on the Memorial Cup with both of us even if you have little to no golf experience!  See this post from 2 months ago for all the info you need.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Honoring Two Great Coaches

First up is a celebration of Coach Groves' long string of Penn Relays ending this year.  Rather than dwell on the negative, Greg Fredericks has arranged a celebration at Coach's residence in State College to celebrate all the Carnivals he has attended.  This will be the first that Coach Groves has missed in about 70 years.  Coach started attending as a Grade Schooler in a 8 x 55 yard relay.  He ran there in high school and college, even running the same leg of a 4 x 880yd. against my father-in-law.  He also coached his Army team, his William and Mary team and, of course, the Nittany Lions.  Following that he was an honored trackside Official until last year. Not many people have as much history of their own at the Penn Relays.

Help Greg honor Coach on his birthday:

Penn Relays will be here soon and we all know what that means... Coach Groves birthday!

Coach's birthday is Friday April 24th and he will be 85.  We are planning a little celebration at his residence.  It would be really nice if you could drop him a card or give him a call.  He is a bit disappointed he will not make it to the relays so we can help cheer him up.  I believe he has missed Penn Relays only once in the past 70 years!

His address is:
Mr Harry Groves
c/o Juniper Village
610 West Whitehall Road
Room #132
State College, PA 16801

We are...

Thank you all.

 The second way to honor Coach is to attend our 14th Annual Reunion and Golf Tournament.  Now is the time to get your check in the mail to Clark Haley.  All the details are in this post from 2 months ago!

And in a happy coincidence (?), the Memorial Service for ex PSU Cross Country captain and long-time State College Coach Jackson Horner will occur during our reunion weekend.  Many PSU Alums are also State College High Alums and will get a chance to honor Coach Horner and still attend all our festivities!

A service of remembrance for Coach Jackson Horner has been set.

Jackson Horner memorial service & luncheon
Saturday May 16, 2015
Grace Lutheran Church, State College, PA


Sunday, April 12, 2015

New Time Steeple Goodness, With Early Season Big Performances

Director of Operations Assistant Coach Ryan Foster broke out his Alumni Singlet and won the Steeplechase at the Bison Classic yesterday in 9:10.76!  I'll have to help him with his water jumps...  hee hee hee

In other top notch action, Director of Operations Laura Loht won the javelin at the same meet.  Robby Creese ran the fastest 1500M in the NCAA so far this year (3:41.74, with Brannon Kidder at 3:44.57) and Joe Kovacs opened his season with a PR toss of 73' 3" (23.35m)  in the shot put out west!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Old Time Steeplechase Goodness, Finally In English!

We have had the video of Horace Ashenfelter's steeplechase victory in the 1952 Olympics several times before, but it was never narrated in English.  Here's a new version picked up by our Director of Fun Teddy Quinn with commentary by Mr. Ashenfelter himself, in English!

Come join Teddy Quinn and me at the Reunion and Coach Groves Golf Tourney on May 15, 16. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

It's Time To Get Your Entries In For The Reunion And Coach Groves Golf Tourney

Remember, everyone is invited. Even You.  I guarantee a good time to be had by all.  Supporting the Penn State Track and Field/XC Program has become my hobby, but my first job with the blog is to herd every cat I can to attend Clark Haley's original vision to honor Coach Groves in a fun and playful way.

We have had our ups and downs over the years, with the lowest year of attendance spawning this blog.  We've grown steadily since and our overall list of attendees is rather impressive.  This year looks to be a good one despite the "off" year meaning the team will be away for the Big Ten Meet.  Everyone already knows the challenges we are up against with our choice of weekends to hold the events.  We have much to avoid, meaning hard decisions being made excluding some of our best friends.
  • Mother's Day weekend
  • Graduation weekend
  • Memorial Day weekend
  • High School District and State Meet weekends
So, it falls on the May 15, 16 weekend this year, with apologies to everyone that gets left off because of it.  But I have heard from many old and new friends, which means we will have a good turnout and a good challenge to get your name on the Coach Groves Memorial Cup for all time.

Remember, the golf is the easiest part to qualify for.  Come join us even with minimal or no golfing experience.  The best ball scramble method we use evens the scoring so much that even non-golfers find their names on the Cup quite often.  The real intent of the event is to get everyone to interact for several hours with "new" and old friends, honor Coach Groves and the past, present and future of PSU Track. The Friday night Meet and Greet,  Alumni "Run" and the golf tourney accomplish this goal in a fun, family-friendly way. 

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