Monday, October 24, 2016

"Smelling The Chickens"

It is interesting to note the differences in our experiences as distance runners through the decades, despite the overall similarity of our experiences at Penn State going back to the 50s.

When Michael Gross alluded to "Smelling the chickens" on a recent run, I was intrigued.

Turns out he meant that when finishing a run with an increased pace to the locker rooms at the Greenberg Indoor Sports Complex, you went by the PSU Agriculture Department's chicken coops. But despite running workouts at the "Ice Palace" as we knew it, our era didn't have locker rooms there.  The Greenberg Complex was an open air ice skating rink with just a roof when I arrived at PSU.  Walls were put up (but no heat installed!) when the first indoor ice arena was built on the other side of the building.  The building was then turned into the Lasch Football Building when the Ashenfelter Complex was built. It has been changed dramatically since due to obvious reasons.

The Ice Palace, 1981.
The Ice Palace, 1960s.

During the height of the 70s boom in PSU distance running (NCAA XC 10th-1977, 3rd and 4th 1978-1980) we had several locker room and indoor tracks.  These facilities didn't matter in the recruiting, at all.  We took it as a badge of honor that we were able to handle whatever came our way.  I wonder if today's recruits could handle any of it?

  • Rec Hall Locker Rooms - Until 1979, next to the Wrestling locker room.  Never relax in the showers lest the toilets be flushed!   3rd degree burns were possible.
  • Rec Hall Track - Used for actual workouts and time trials until 1978.  Biggest risks included broken elbows on the hand rails on the corners and throat soreness from every single workout there, no matter how short or easy.  Only two 400M runners could run at a time there for time trials.  These were always a spectators dream, like watching action at the Roman Coliseum, blood and everything. People often flew "over the rails"!
  • Ice Palace - 1979-1980s.  I suppose it was really the Greenberg Complex but we never called it that.  Possibly if they had heated it higher than 9 degrees (an actual meet we had was run in 9 degree temperatures!) we could have bothered to call it something different.  We used to dress at Rec Hall for all the workouts here.  This avoided frostbite, I'm sure.
  • Beaver Stadium - The locker rooms for track were here until 1980s.  This was the visitors locker room for football, which were bare cinder-block construction with no heat or amenities of any sort.  I was always ashamed that PSU treated their visitors AND track team in such shabby fashion.  There was only enough hot water here for 1 1/2 person to shower.  It was then cold water for the other 112 people.  Nothing like a good cold shower after a long hard run in the cold, to be followed by the long trek to the then-closed dining hall!
  • State College Area Westerly Parkway Junior High Track - used for workouts and meets (even with Renaldo Nehemiah!) 1977-1978 due to construction at Beaver Stadium.  Distance runners still used Rec Hall locker rooms during this era.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Huge Nittany Lion Victory!

No, I don't mean anything on the gridiron.  I'm talking about Ron Moore's victory at the Firewater 100K Ultra  race in Greenback, TN.  We may need to start a GoFundMe to get a spare Alumni Jersey for Ron, as he could not find his before heading out to the race.

Looking good at 50K!
As a podiatrist, I won't comment on this softball photo submission.

The demented look of a 100K victor! Tennessee whisky optional.
And if that wasn't crazy enough for the rest of us, Partner the Better ran a 5 hour tune-up for her upcoming Dopey Challenge ON THE TREADMILL yesterday.  Which do you feel is the more "crazy", 62 miles on Mountain Trails or 5 Hours on a Treadmill?

Saturday, October 22, 2016

PSU Track Alumni Store Reviews Are Coming In

  "Very nice. Took awhile. Worth the wait."
-Ted Lyon.

The merchandise is arriving all over.  And the reviews are unanimously great!  Here's Ted Lyon's son modeling the Rain Jacket...  Looking good!  Addendum:  Remember, the items are shipped one month after the Store closes.  And they arrive via USPS.  Don't panic if you haven't received yours yet!

I wore my Rain Jacket yesterday in the coincidental rain.  Had 3 comments from admirers at Mod Pizza!  Those in Centre County needed one too, with the up to 7 inches of rain they received yesterday.  I slept in my t-shirt and can report a better than usual somnolence.  The blanket is headed for use in the RV.

Keep us updated with your opinions of the merch!

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Store Just Delivered! More Fill Before XC Championship Season!

I just received my order from Kelly's Sports and the most recent opening of the Penn State Track and Field Alumni Store.  Everything is as ordered and Nittany Lion nice.  I have purchased one of everything to let everyone know that the quality is great.

I'm thankful for the Rain Jacket as precip is in the forecast for some of the upcoming races.

Let me know when you get yours and send pics to let everyone else know how happy you are with the products and the Intern-inspired logo!

The next sale may not commence until the May Reunion, which will be held during the Big Ten Outdoor Track Championship.  Stay tuned to the blog with it all.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

A Physics Public Service Announcement: A Lull In The XC Action

Why you shouldn't put forks in the microwave.  Thanks to the anonymous Alumni (Golfer) who sent this my way.  Keeping the rest of us morons alive is certainly commendable!

I'm pretty sure it was the Hot Pocket at fault!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A Year Older, No Wiser, But Ever Hopeful

Another year has come and gone in my life's journey.  Can't say the last year was really that good, but I am thankful that it wasn't worse.

But today started with a very good sign.  I found a penny when I got out of the car at work.  And it was face up!  Everyone, including Homer Simpson knows what that means...

Homer went and messed it up by thinking it meant he could skip church without any repercussions. I am going to try to not make that mistake.

Thank you to all who have helped me keep the Blog With It All alive during the past year. I really appreciate it.

We Are Always "This Close" To An Award

As we patiently wait for the category Track and Field/Physics to be added to the Annual Blogging Awards, we almost won some awards from PSU as Alumni Fellows!

Mary Beth Ward is the sister of former  manager Lou Ann Ward!  Thanks to our Official Physicist for the heads-up!

Mary Beth Ward 1982 (Springfield, Virginia) currently serves as an environmental appeals judge on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Environmental Appeals Board. She brings to the board almost three decades of litigation and management experience at the U.S. Justice and Commerce departments in matters arising under federal pollution control and natural resource laws. Previously, Ward served as deputy general counsel for the Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). She led a staff providing legal advice across an array of NOAA programs to manage the nation’s commercial and recreational fisheries and protect at-risk marine species and their habitat, and was recognized twice with the Department of Commerce Gold Medal, the department’s highest award.

And this guy has a name familiar to all of us, but I don't think there is a relationship.  (All you Interns, Please advise me if otherwise!)

 Joseph Kovacs III 1996g (Columbia, Md.) is vice president and chief engineer at Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies (SGT), an engineering, science, and information technology government services contractor. Kovacs manages and collaborates with engineers and scientists on developing an earth-observing spacecraft to help predict weather and monitor global climate change; deep space missions to investigate scientific theories about the universe; and scientific missions to study the moon, Mars, Mercury, Venus, Pluto, and the sun. Prior to joining SGT, Kovacs was a program director at Northrop Grumman Corporation and a systems engineer at Lockheed Martin Corporation. Kovacs supported development of the Polar Operational Environment Satellites, which provide daily earth observations used in weather forecasting and research.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Weekend XC Action

Pics from our good friend Bob Trump, who just happens to like my drone footage! These are from the Penn State Open.  Next up for the team is the Big Ten Championships in 2 weeks.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

No Football, No Problem

Took the absence of a football game in State College to visit Daughter the Elder AND Coach Groves. My day's workout is most likely the walk Greg Fredericks and I took with him. It was fun hearing Coach tell me about all the wrong moves I was making along our way. Took me back to 1977 in my mind. And I will admit I was sweating a little too!

Included are pics of Coach, the Rusty Boot on prominent display,  and the sign that Gunny Roll hit in his accident before the first XC meet of the season.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Riding With The King

Back in the golden age of cycling, none was more royal than Bernard Hinault, five-time winner of the Tour de France and never finishing less than second in any Tour he rode!

Bernard is on a Tour of America for charity, finishing tomorrow in Orlando.  Our own world traveling cyclist Tom Shiffer got to ride with him on the second leg of the Tour in Boston. From Tom...

It was for two of his charities: Souffles D'Espoir and The Faine House.

He did a ride in NYC already, here in Worcester, MA today, and one upcoming in Orlando, Fl on the 15th.

Here are the charity details:

Souffles D'Espoir - raising funds dedicated to the fight against cancer by organizing various charitable activities around the sport of cycling. Hinault himself is the godfather of this organization and is very involved in their events. More info at

The Faine House - Jeff Faine, former NFL athlete, avid cyclist and one of the founders of Bikes and Life, started The Faine House with the help of Children's Home Society of Florida to provide transitional housing and support for young adults who age out of the foster care system. More info at

Thursday, October 13, 2016

More Old Time Goodness From Mike Fanelli, Track's Museum Curator Extraordinaire

Mike Fanelli's garage is the repository of Track and Field's greatest museum.  And he daily puts out a blast from the past.  Lately Penn State has figured high up in the number of displays.  I'm stealing these pics from him, but link up with him on Facebook if you want in on the rest of the displays!

Greg! and Jimmy Allahand.
This was a dual meet on PSU's White course in 1970.  Penn State was beaten by the Villanova squad 20-35.    (Greg Fredericks  24:56, Jim Allahand  25:30)

Keith Francis nips Pat Rexroat.
 1975 Championship of America Sprint Medley Relay finish.  It took a 1:47.3 split by Keith to best the Nittany Lions anchored by Pat Rexroat.

Mike Shine and Edwin Moses 1976 Olympic Finals.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Admit It, You've Been Thinking About The 2020 Election!

Really, most anyone paying attention in the past decade realized that the 2016 election was scripted years ago by a demented sadist of some sort, just to bring an equal measure of misery to all of us.

But the 2020 election may be a different story.  And thanks to one of our Digital Archive Goddeses, Kay Warfel, I was re-introduced to the author  of a new novel about the election 4 years from now. (I think we have met before, but my lessening number of brain cells intervenes.)

Most of us know Fred Singleton as a captain of one of Coach Groves' favorite teams, the first of his to win an ICAAAA (IC4A!) Championships in 1974.  I have often said that our ranks (PSU Track Alumni Golfers) produces some of the world's finest people, and Fred is another example of that.

And now Fred has written a novel about the 2020 election which involves something he noticed about the US Constitution in his capacity as a History teacher.  Check it out, ORDER A COPY, and rate it highly on Amazon.  That's an order from Coach Groves!
Addendum:  Fred wishes me to remind you that this is a fictional account of the 2020 election. With the reality today, we all need reminded of that!

The Quorum's Child: And the Constitution-Challenging Election of 2020


I was born Joseph Frederick Singleton, but at an early age my family called me either “Fred” or “Freddie”. From the late 1950s through the early 1970s I grew up in Mount Vernon, New York (it borders the Bronx), which at the time was a multi-cultural, great place to live. My parents Joseph and Lucille, a postal executive and insurance underwriter, respectively, provided a loving home for me and my older brother Ken.

Like so many young men of that era, I was drawn to playing baseball and basketball, but in the late fall of my sophomore year I tried out for the Mount Vernon High School indoor track team – a decision which forever changed my life. Inspired by the seniors on the team and by my two coaches Dave Rider and Bob Brooke, two men who are on my personal Mount Rushmore, I instantly loved the sport. By the end of my senior year I was a three-time state champion and national champion in two hurdle races.

Accepting a scholarship to Penn State University, I had four good years of running, culminating, in 1974, in being a co-captain of Coach Harry Groves’ ICAAAA championship team – the first for the Nittany Lions since 1959.

Returning home after graduation, I was hired by the White Plains School District as a history teacher, assigned to the high school’s alternative school, the White Plains Community School – a position and location I kept for thirty-six years. I loved being in the classroom and being around my colleagues. In my third year, I was hired as the assistant track coach, where I forged a strong coaching relationship and life-long friendship with Nick Panaro, who had also run for Dave Rider. Presently in my forty-first season of coaching in the district, I am so very thankful for the many thousands of people I have met either in our school district or from other schools– coaches, officials and of course, the athletes. I have been very fortunate.

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