Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Another Olympic Trials Qualifier Added!

Our newest Idiot Officer has the Interns working hard.  Intern Czar Kevin Kelly O'Brien has posted the news that Brian Leap has been added to the list of American Olympic Trials athletes in the Triple Jump.

So far, I think the list of qualified and declared Nittany Lions includes:
  • Brian Leap - Triple Jump
  • Darrell Hill - Shot Put
  • Isaiah Harris - 800M
  • Brannon Kidder - 800M
  • Casimir Loxsom - 800M
  • Joe Kovacs - Shot Put
  • Bridget Franek - 3000M Steeplechase
  • Rachel Fatherly - Shot Put
  • Evonne Britton - 100MH
  • Mahagony Jones - 200M
  • (Ryan Whiting) - Shot Put (former assistant coach)
Let the Interns know if we missed any current or former Nittany Lions entered in the USA T & F Olympic Trials!

Thanks to Wade Endress and Darrell Hill for the additions!   Remember, I'm in West Virginia and have limited internet access.  Yeah, that's my excuse, and I'm sticking with it!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Big Ten Loses A Legend

I was alerted to the passing of long-time Indiana Coach Sam Bell by our Blog Laureate yesterday.  Most of us realize what great influences a good track coach can be, and the best among them mean even more to thousands of athletes.  Sam Bell was one of those among the best. RIP

Bell was a head coach at Oregon State (1958-65), California (1965-69) and Indiana (1969-98). His 1961 cross-country team at Oregon State won the N.C.A.A. championship. At Indiana, his men’s team won 22 Big Ten titles in indoor and outdoor track and cross-country; his women’s team there won four titles.
He had wide success coaching milers and half-milers. Berny Wagner, who succeeded him at Oregon State, told Track and Field News in 1991, “Sam’s very intense, and middle-distance runners have to be intense.”

Monday, June 27, 2016

Darrell Hill Drafted!

Into the Tracktown Track and Field Series!

I'm not sure how it all works.  That's for the Interns to figure out under the direction of our new Intern Czar Kevin Kelly O'Brien.  But it is another attempt at a professional track and field league culminating in a championship at Hayward Field.  I think I read that there will only be one meet this year, but regional meets in the home cities will be in the future.  Including Franklin Field!

Darrell Hill was selected for inclusion on the Philadelphia team.  No news on ridiculous mascots, but I'm sure they are coming.  I suggest the Philadelphia Schuykylls, so that no one ever spell it correctly or know what the heck they are talking about.  In addition to the 16 drafted athletes on each of the four teams, there will be 20 athletes added via free agency.  Look for some more Nittany Lions among the ranks.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Nittany Lions Are One Of The Greatest Beasts Of All

There will be 2 former Nittany Lions running in the 800M Olympic Trials.  That's because Brannon Kidder has joined Casimir Loxsom at the Brooks Beast team

That also unites him with other great 800M talent, including Mark Wieczorek, Drew Windle, Angela Bizzari,  Garret Heath, Riley Masters, Nick Symmonds, and Dorian Ulrey.

In addition to Brannon Kidder, the Beasts also have signed Shaquille Walker (early) prior to the Trials.

Brannon and Casimir will also have Sophomore-to-be Isaiah Harris joining therm at the Trials.

Professional Runner Brannon Kidder.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

A Bad Start In The Land Of Limited Internet!

I have missed 2 days in a row of blogging, which means I have dropped to the lowest levels of  page views in years.  This coincides with the start of my long-deserved vacation and the first ever excursion of the rolling blog flagship RV "Podd 2"

This has not been a smooth start, and I spent all day today at the service center getting things fixed after pleading and begging last night to be seen today.  The fine folks at Keystone RV in Greencastle PA are to be commended for getting everything back in order and possibly salvaging the rest of my vacation in wild, wonderful West Virginia.  I hope to actually bring some Track and Field in the next days!

Artist's Conception.
Update:  All is well.  I'm back up and ON VACATION!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

We Have Lost Another Boy In Blue

It is with sadness that I report the passing of Jim Allahand.  Jim was a stalwart of the early years of Coach Groves' tenure at PSU.

In Memory
James Allahand - Bensalem HS Class Of 1969

James R. Allahand of Trevose passed away Sunday June 19, 2016. He was 64.
He was born in Philadelphia, and was a lifelong resident of Trevose.
Jim was a graduate of Bensalem High School and Penn State University. Jim was recognized as a premiere distance runner at both the high school and university levels.
He was employed as a Sports Specialist at Fort Dix and Maguire Air Force Base, where he managed their sports programs.
He enjoyed his family, especially his nieces and nephews.
Beloved son of the late Benjamin and Anna Allahand, he will be sadly missed by his siblings, Patricia Allahand, Robert Allahand (Lynn), John 'Jack' Allahand (Marilyn), and Edward Allahand (Margaret).
Relatives and friends are invited to attend his visitation at 6 p.m. Monday, followed by his memorial service at 7 p.m. at Tomlinson Funeral Home, 2207 Bristol Pike, Bensalem, PA 19020. Interment will be held privately.
Contributions may be made in Jim's name to the Penn State University Cross Country Team online at Funeral Home, Bensalem
Jim graduated from PSU in 1973, but was still running competitively when I was just a skinny Freshman scrambling to make the team in the later 70s.  He won the 1979 Spiked Shoe XC Meet, and was still mixing it up with the team on the XC course even after my career was over!

Jim also had some unique American Records and great performances in his day.
  • The American Record in the Half Marathon 1979 (1:05:41)
  • An American Indoor Record in the 4 x Mile (with Greg Fredericks, Charlie Maguire, Bob Hillman)  (17:07.5)
  • A 4-time NCAA Championships competitor.
  • Still in the top-10 of PSU Steeplers  (8:51.84)
  • Former PIAA HS XC Champion and 2-Mile Champion.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Challenging The White Mountains

Rob and Phoebe Whiteside continue on through New Hampshire toward Katahdin Mountain and the prudes of the Maine wilderness.  I have always heard that the hiking is at the toughest at this part, and Rob gives us confirmation of that...

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

New Tracks In The Big Ten

Well, the PSU Track is being refurbished so we can host next year's Big Ten Outdoor T & F Championships. And don't forget that our Reunion will be that weekend too!!! This is the second time the track has been resurfaced since its 1979 conception.  I will let our Official Physicist Brian Boyer tell us...
First track lasted 79-95...and was in terrible shape after about 10 ducks and their poop all spring.
This track lasted 96-16...and the last time I was by it was in far better shape than the old one at about 5-6 one will probably last until my mortal demise....
And I hope they don't make it a goofy color, which is all the rage right now.  The emphasis should be on the performance, not the appearance.  Just wish they would bother to make a stadium around it.  (I do have preliminary sketches if anyone is interested?) If I only had a few $Million...

All photos stolen from Greg Fredericks' emails...

A decent metaphor for my track career.

Rolling, rolling rolling...

And not to be outdone, Michigan is building a new complex to host Track and Field and Cross Country (and a few other minor sports!).  Interestingly, they will also have seating for a few thousand fans for the indoor track and 500 for the outdoor one.  Sound familiar?

Monday, June 20, 2016

Some Of My Favorite People

The Olympic Trials are coming up in 2 weeks and PSU athletes are very active! 

  • Darrell Hill scared 70 feet with a PR of 21.16M in the Shot Put!
Darrell Hill.

  • Casimir Loxsom ran a tune-up 600M (1:17) at the Brooks PR, which was broadcasted live by FloTrack and our very own Undersecretary of Fun Billy Francis Cvecko!
Billy Cvecko, center, with Cas Loxsom, right.

And here's one of me that my High School Principal Carl Nelson dug up for me! He is now north of 90yo and grandparent of some fine Nittany Lions. A very great man.

An 880Y in 1977.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Back On The Track With Barriers

Bridget Franek stepped back on the track for the first time in the steeplechase this year at the Valley Royals T & F Club in Vancouver and came away with the victory (9:49.37).

Friday, June 17, 2016

Submissions From Fans Of The Blog!

I love receiving just about anything from my 100's of fans!  Yes, I did say hundreds.  Things are really starting to pick up steam here at Blog Central.  And just about anything YOU submit will be included too.

  • Coach Bill Preston generously submitted a more complete map of the PSUAC Mont Alto XC Course I helped to map out last week. Thanks Coach!  I will certainly be there for the races.
  • KKOB sent me an article reminding us that PSU was there at the very beginning of the Nike Oregon Project.  Friend Tom Clarke, PSU Biomechanics PhD, started it all and recruited Alberto Salazar as the coach.  Previous post on this HERE.
  • Rob Whiteside and his daughter Phoebe (Large and White Rabbit) have had a terrible time of it once they entered the New England area.  They are currently in New Hampshire headed toward Maine on the Appalachian Trail, where the hiking is at some of the most difficult of the whole trail.  Weather has not been their friend at all, and Rob took a tumble with a few lingering side effects.  I hope all of you say a prayer for them as I do daily.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A Post With Both Golf And Physics

Well, it's not really golf, it's disc (frisbee) golf.  And it only seems to defy Physics.  But it sure is sweet.  A "double albatross" (a 2 on a par 5!).

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