Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Another 4 x 800 World Record Makes These Guys Honorary PSU Track Alumni Golfers!

Charles Rogers, the baby of the group.

When Charles Ross (91) discovered that it hadn't been done before, he knew he had an opportunity.  So he got a few of his fellow 90 year-old-plus friends together and entered the USATF Masters Championship Relays.  That mean he and his friends, Champion Goldy Sr. (97), Orville Rogers (96), Roy Englert (92) and Charles Boyle (91), combined to set World Records (and Here) in the 4 x 100, 4 x 400 and 4 x 800 Relays! (Goldy was on the 4 x 100 team and Charles Boyle took his place on the other races.)

4 x 100M (90+)   2:22.37  WR
4 x 400M (90+)  12:41.69 WR
4 x 800M (90+)  28:17.10 WR

Champion Goldy Sr.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Another PSU Track/XC and Rugby Link

Last year's episode of arson of the golf course shed housing supplies for both PSU Rugby and Cross Country was one link.  Two disgruntled rugby players had too many adult beverages and decided to take their frustrations out on the innocent shed.  I suppose the XC course supplies have been replaced in time for the Coach Groves Spiked Shoe Meet this year.

Dane Rauschenberg represents another link between Dear Ole State's XC and Rugby teams.  Before embarking on his incredible endurance sports career, Dane played on PSU's Rugby team.  Dane is from Titusville PA, not very far away from The Blog Muse Rob Whiteside's home in Harmonsburg, and also my former team captain John Zeigler's Meadville.

Dane relates that when he was running his 52 marathons in 52 weeks, he had the Georgetown Running Company  (I've been there!) as a sponsor and was getting tired of the cheer "Go Hoyas!" from the crowds.  So he inquired about getting a PSU singlet to wear instead, to reflect his PSU Pride.  He relates at the time he didn't know much about Coach Groves (or he might not have asked!).  But in a true reflection of Coach Groves (not the image others might believe) Coach came through for him.

Dane was quick to add that he rarely wears the singlet now because he did not run for PSU back in the day.  I assured him that our Alumni Singlets signal support for the PSU Program and are not an exclusive perk available only to ex-PSU Track athletes.

Another sale will be coming very soon.  And don't forget the new dri-fit work-out shirts which are suitable for the out-of-shape joggers (sloggers?) like me!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

PSU is 800U: World Record Masters Edition

Congrats to our very own PSU Track Alumni Golfer and frequent longest drive winner Beth (Stever) Shisler on her new World Record!  She teamed with Sarah Allers, Claudette Groenendaal & Lorraine Jasper to set the new 50 and over 4 X 800M World Record!  The USATF Masters Outdoor Championships were held at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC.

Beth Shisler
10:24.21 - Beth-2:41, Sarah-2:40, Claudette-2:35, Lorraine-2:26.

Sarah Allers is coached by Phil Peterson, a PSU Track Alum for Coach Lucas AND Coach Groves in 1965 to 1969.  Welcome to the warm embrace of our wonderful group!  And do you golf?

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Monaco is 800 Heaven

There were many good races at the Herculis Monaco Diamond League Meet, but the one that turned my head was the 800 M, where the world record holder returned to form with a splendid 1:42.98Which got him 5th place!

1 AMOS Nijel BOT 01:42.45 WL,MR
2 BOSSE Pierre-Ambroise FRA 01:42.53 NR
3 AMAN Mohammed ETH 01:42.83 SB
4 CHERUIYOT Ferguson RotichKEN 01:42.84 PB
5 RUDISHA David KEN 01:42.98 SB

In other races, Leonel Manzano and Matt Centrowitz (I'll forgive him his NCAA throat-slash gesture, reluctantly) ran splendid times in the 1500 M of 3:30.98 and 3:31.09 for 8th and 9th place!



Friday, July 18, 2014

Updates in Totally Unrelated Things: Red Klotz, "The Best Outside Shooter Ever" and Higgs In Action!

As sports go, I was originally hoping to be a world-renowned basketball player.  My game didn't quite live up to my dreams, so I reluctantly turned to a more solitary sport, running.

Red Klotz, the long-time Coach of the Washington Generals and the greatest ambassador the sport of basketball has ever known, died last week.  His snub at the Basketball Hall of Fame (They let Nike Chairman Phil Knight in recently!) needs to be corrected.

Player/Coach/Owner Red Klotz in his 70's against the Harlem Globetrotters.

Long-time runner and good friend Tim Kelly recently finished a book on his life that is garnering praise from every angle.  It is being mentioned on national sports shows to highlight a remarkable man and promote his inclusion in Basketball's most prestigious organization.  Red represents the best of America's great sport of basketball, but more importantly, he represents the greatness that America can produce outside the sport. May he RIP.  (Red is probably just now taking over the coaching duties of the top team in Heaven and upping their game.) I recommend the book as a companion to the book Pistol (about "Pistol" Pete Maravich) as the 2 books to read to appreciate the history of America's home-grown sport. I'll bet Coach Red is allowing Pistol Pete to fire away from anywhere on the Heavenly court.  Red certainly knew a customer draw when he saw one!

And I was once the 2nd leading scorer on my Junior High team at 2.8 points per game.  Yeah, you read that right, 2.8 was second best on my JH team.  That's because Curt Clawson, a seventh grader was on my team averaging 18.4 points per game against 8th and 9th graders!  Curt eventually became what his Coach, Gene Keady of Purdue called "the best outside shooter he has ever seen." (Curt never played a game with a 3-point line though!) He said this with Michael Jordan sitting next to him at his retirement celebration.  With Curt just a man in the back of the auditorium.  When Michael demanded a 3-point shoot-out (with substantial wagering!), Curt beat him like a rented mule with the whole crowd moving to the gym for the spectacle.

Congressman Curt Clawson

Now Curt is the newly elected member of the US House of Representatives for his district in Florida, replacing the disgraced former member caught with cocaine.  Curt is also someone who upholds the ideals our Founders wanted America to reflect.  As a Mormon, he lives up to strict standards in his personal and professional life some of us can only wonder about.  His lessons from his sporting career mirror those all of us have been exposed to.  Coach Keady and Coach Groves may have never met, but they were both old-school types with similar views on what coaching means.  I wish Curt well in the cesspool that is our Government.  I really want him to make a difference.

And in lighter news, the Higgs Boson was finally seen in action!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Penn State Cross Country Loses a Champion

You may not have ever heard of Stanley Lindner Jr., but a part of him lives inside each and every one of you.  Stanley was a Letterman on the 1950 NCAA National Championship Cross Country Team.  He passed away this week, but left a world better off than the one he entered. His story is an impressive one.   My condolences to all his family and friends are on behalf of everyone from our group.

Stanley Lindner Jr.

But with the Rusty Boots legacy we have been using as a way to link all PSU athletes, we know we all have a spark of Stanley with us at all times.  If you so inclined, say a little prayer for him and his family and friends and say a thank you for all the good he did during his lifetime.

Addendum:  I was originally alerted to this by Ryan Foster, Director of Operations.  That the PSU Track and Field Team has such a great relationship with our motley crew is a testament to everything we wish to accomplish. (That is, celebrating the past and present of PSU Track/XC, and  thus fortifying the future of PSU Track/XC.)

Addendum II:  Stanley was the father of Susan Lindner, an early 80's hurdler for Coach Schwartz and the Nittany Lions.  Thanks to Coach Schwartz for the info.  My sympathies go to her at this time.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly: Another Obsessive/Compulsive Personal Note

The end of an era will be occurring in the next few weeks for me.  Alas, I have averaged at least 5 miles a day since I started running "every day" in 1975.  (I had run a few miles previously starting in 1974, but only because our basketball coach made us join the cross country team!)

The Good:

My percentage of days in which I have run in my career continues to rise.  It is now at a level of 92.4% of days since July 1975.  I'm at better than 99% of days since my mother's passing in 2000.

The Bad:

My overall total miles is only at 71,000, a far cry from many others.  I'll very unlikely ever make the list of people over 100,000 lifetime miles.  (I'll bet there are a lot of cheaters on that list BTW!) Remember, Coach John Lucas had more than 160,000!

The Ugly:

Because of my concern for my knees following the three surgeries, I rarely run more than 3 miles daily.  The days that I don't run 3 or the rare instances where I don't run at all are lowering my average quite steadily.  There isn't any way to stop the leaks and I will soon fall under the "magic" 5 miles a day mark.  Maybe if I quit my job, I would be able to muster enough miles to continue to hover at the 5 level, but who am I kidding?  

Actually my daily average has been declining ever since 1980 anyway, so this is all certainly only a figment of an obsessive/compulsive nature.

Many of the people I know who certainly have run more than I have never bothered to keep track.  But is there anyone out there who has documented more miles or a better percentage of days?  Maybe I'll throw in a "PSU is 800 U" t-shirt for confirmation.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Strong Recruiting Class

With the changes at the top in the coaching staff, Penn State achieved a splendid recruiting class, seemingly unchanged by the abrupt departure of Coach SullivanThis is a testament to the hard work and talents of Coach Gondak Any remnant of "Interim" should soon be discarded.  John needs a clean slate to devote all of his time to bringing the Cross Country teams to the top of the Big Ten ranks.  That's no easy task, as there is a lot of talent in the league.

Here's a complete run down of the recruits from the Official Source. (Stolen for your reading ease!)

Cody Amengual - West Babylon, New York - West Babylon/Cortland University
Events: 3000m Steeple Chase
Personal Bests: 8:57.54 (3000m SC)
Two time qualifier to the NCAA Division 3 Outdoor National Championships. Posted a best finish of 6th place in the 3000-meter steeple chase. Also qualified to the NCAA Division 3 Cross Country Championships.
Justin Berg - Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. - Spring Ford/Temple
Events: Hammer Throw, Weight Throw
Personal Bests: 176-7 (Hammer Throw), 52-10.25 (Weight Throw)
4th place finish at Atlantic-10 Championships while competing for Temple. Qualifier to IC4A Outdoor Championships in the Hammer.
Tyler Hope - Tamaqua, Pennsylvania. - Tamaqua Area
Events: Javelin
Personal Bests: 198-4
Three time qualifier to the Pennsylvania State Meet outdoors. Best finish of 2nd in 2012. Three time District 11 Champion.
Jordan Makins - Perth, Australia - Aquinas College (HS)
Event: 800m
Personal Best: 1:49.33 (800m), 3:52.60 (1500m)
A former Australian Under 16 national champion at 800-meters, Makins, a native of Australia, will join the Nittany Lions just weeks after competing at the World Junior Championships in Eugene, Oregon, for team Australia.
Malik Moffett - Erie, Pennsylvania - Cathedral Prep/Penn State Behrend
Event: 100m, 200m, High Jump
Personal Bests: 10.61 (100m), 21.10 (200m), 6-9 (High Jump)
Had an outstanding freshman year at Penn State Behrend where he emerged as one of the best sprints talents in NCAA Division 3. Set PRs in both the 100-meter and 200-meter in 2014. Capped season with a bronze medal finish in the 200-meters at the NCAA Division 3 Outdoor National Championships.
Matt Nawrocki - Moscow, Pennsylvania. - North Pocono
Events: Javelin
Personal Bests: 201-4
Senior year capped off by 3rd place finish at Pennsylvania Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Also posted 2nd place finish at District 2 Championships.
Luke Pease - Haddonfield, New Jersey - Haddonfield Memorial
Events: Multis
Personal Bests: 15.16 (110mH), 188-2 (Javelin), 14-0 (Pole Vault)
Combining indoors and outdoors, was a three time qualifier to the NJ State Meet of Champions. Qualified in both the javelin and the pole vault.
Mason Post - State College, Pennsylvania. - State College
Events: 400m, 800m
Personal Bests: 49.57 (400m)
State Champion indoors and outdoors at the Pennsylvania Track and Field Championship as part of State College's 4x800-meter relay (split 1:54). Also qualified to Pennsylvania Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the 400-meters.
Robert Rhodes - Brooklyn, New York - Boys and Girls High School/University of Connecticut
Event: 400m, 500m, 600m, 800m
Personal Best: 47.81 (400m), 1:02.02 (500m), 1:17.36 (600m), 1:49.34 (800m)
During two years as a University of Connecticut Husky, Rhodes set a school record indoors at 500-meters and was the IC4A champion at that event. Ran the number 3 time in the NCAA for 600-meters during the 2014 indoor season. Outdoors, qualified to the NCAA Championships First Round.
Lindell Robinson-Swenson - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. - Milton Hershey
Events: 200m, 400m
Personal Bests: 22.29 (200m), 48.21 (400m)
Multiple Pennsylvania Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field Championships qualifier competing at 100m, 200m, and 400m.
Joseph Segreto -Oakdale, New York - St Anthony's
Events: Hammer Throw, Weight Throw
Personal Bests: 204-9 (Hammer Throw), 68-0.25 (Weight Throw)
Twice competed at New Balance Outdoor Nationals - posting a best finish of 10th in the hammer throw. Twice competed at New Balance Indoor Nationals with a best finish of 2nd. Also finished runner-up in the weight throw at the prestigious Millrose Games in New York.
Xavier Smith - Douglasville, Pennsylvania. - Daniel Boone
Event: 60m, 100m, 200m
Personal Bests: 6.86 (60m), 10.67 (100m), 21.50 (200m)
Recorded two runner-up finishes at the Pennsylvania State Meet during 2014. Indoors finished second in the 60-meter dash. Outdoors finished second in the 100-meter dash, and third in the 200-meter dash.
David Stellato - Ambler, Pennsylvania. - Wissahocken
Events: 200m, 400m
Personal Bests: 21.74 (200m), 47.89 (400m)
Pennsylvania Outdoor Track and Field Championship runner-up at 400-meters. Posted a 4th place finish at the Pennsylvania Indoor Track and Field Championships at 400-meters
Bryce Williams - State College, Pennsylvania. - State College
Events: Triple Jump, Long Jump
Personal Bests: 48-7.5 (Triple Jump), 22-10 (Long Jump)
Pennsylvania Outdoor Track and Field Championships 3rd place in the triple jump. Runner-up finish at the Pennsylvania Indoor Track and Field Championships in the triple jump. Multiple time qualifier to New Balance National Championships with a best finish of 8th indoors.
Lisa Bennatan -Lake Forest, Illinois - Lake Forest
Events: Cross Country, Mile Run
Personal Bests: 5:16.85 (1600m)
Typhanee Booker - Cibolo, Texas - Schertz Steele
Events: 60m, 100m, 200mPersonal Bests: 7.66 (60m), 11.99 (100m), 24.70 (200m)
2014 Carl Lewis Invitational 60-meter Champion. Outdoors was District 28 Champion at 200m, as well as posting a runner-up finish at the Region 4 Championships.
Hannah Catalano - State College, Pennsylvania. - State College
Events: Mile Run
Personal Bests: 5:06.51 (1600m)
Qualified to the Pennsylvania Track and Field Championship during both the indoor and outdoor season. Outdoors she advance to the final in the 1600m.
Rachael DeCecco - Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. - Cumberland Valley
Events: 400m Hurdles
Personal Bests: 43.68 (300m Hurdles), 1:02.53 (400m Hurdles)
Multiple time qualifier to Pennsylvania Track and Field Championship at 100-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles. Best finishes include a 4th place effort in the 100-meter hurdles in 2012, and a 3rd place finish at 300-meter hurdles in 2013.
Megan Hellman - Rumson, New Jersey - Rumson Fair Haven
Events: Cross Country, Mile Run
Personal Bests: 5:10.25 (1600m)
Two time qualifier to New Jersey Meet of Champions in cross country. Set best 3-mile time of 17:58 at the Shore Conference Championships.
Obeng Marfo - Ontario, Canada - Father Henry Carr
Events: Shot Put, Discus
Personal Records: 44-3.25 (Shot Put), 131-9 (Discus)
A Canadian Youth Champion, Marfo was a representative at the2013 IAAF World Youth Championships held in Kiev, Ukraine
Elyse Skerpon - Sayre, Pennsylvania. - Sayre Area
Events: 400m Hurdles
Personal Records: 44.55 (300m Hurdles)
Three time qualifier in the 300-meter hurdles at the Pennsylvania Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Recorded an 8th place finish at the 2013 New Balance National Outdoor Track and Field Championship over 400-meter hurdles.
Annjulie Vester - Homburg, Germany - Gymnasium Johanneum/Virginia Tech
Events: Hammer Throw, Weight Throw
Personal Records: 203-2 (Hammer Throw), 61-1 (Weight Throw)
In her time as a Hokie, Vester was an ACC champion in the hammer throw. Other career highlights include a 13th place finish at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championships in the hammer throw.
Cheyenne Winkle - Hookstown, Pennsylvania. - South Side
Events: Javelin
Personal Records: 137-3 (Javelin)
Qualified to Pennsylvania Outdoor Track and Field Championships all four years of high school in the javelin throw. Career best finish of 5th place.

Of special note (again!) is Elyse Skerpon the daughter of Don Skerpon, former pole vaulter and hurdler for the Nittany Lions. That's a baseball player, a BlueBand piccolo player and now another hurdler for the Skerpons.  I'm getting tired just thinking about it!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Still Putting Strong

Joe Kovacs continued his summer of success (Remember the Prefontaine Classic and USATF's)  at the Sainsbury Glasgow Grand Prix in Glasgow, Scotland. He currently sits in second place in the Diamond Rankings with a few more competitions left to reclaim the title.

Full Results Here

Rank Athlete Nation Result
Diamond Points Diamond Ranking  









LAURO Germán Luján




PRÁŠIL Ladislav




A Family Affair

Not only is Mark Heckel the President of our USATF Mid-Atlantic Track and Field Club, but he is one of the pre-eminent Track and Field Officials in the nation.  And it looks like the acorns didn't fall far from the tree!  Sons Kade and Kreg are following Mark into the wonderful world that is Track and Field Officiating. Here, they all appear for the first time together at the Diamond League Meet in New York.  I've sung Mark's praises before, but I'll point out again that he combines every virtue a PSU Track Alumni (Golfer) could aspire to.

Mark Heckel, Kade Heckel and Kreg Heckel.

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