Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Will This Be Cas Loxsom's Best Year Yet?

“I’m as close as you can be to a 600-metre specialist.”
-Cas Loxsom

An indoor world record* and the world's leading time in the 800M are a pretty good way to start the season, to say the least.

But Cas Loxsom is looking for more.  So get out the popcorn and enjoy the show!

*The IAAF does not recognize the 600M as a record distance. Things may change.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

He Learned From 2 Of The Best

Bob Hamer has been recognized as Indoor Track Coach of the Year by the MAAC.  It isn't really a surprise when you know he was coached in his athletic life by two of the best in the business, Coach Bill Preston and Coach Harry Groves.

Coach Bill Preston was coach of the perennial powerhouse of Council Rock back in the heyday of the PIAA times.  He coached several Penn State Track Alumni (Golfers) including Bob Hamer, Matt Hutzelmann and Mark Haegele. He is currently the coach of the PSUAC XC champion Mont Alto team.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Happy Presidents Day

Of course, I have to work. Really did pick the wrong Major....

But anyway, originally this Monday Holiday was meant to celebrate the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington until some weenie extended it to encompass all of the Presidents as weenies are often wont to do.

But not at our weenie-less Blog!  We will celebrate the athletic accomplishments of George and Abe and ditch all the rest without any hesitation.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

A Glorious Day In State College

So I fled the real world yesterday for the wonders of Happy Valley.  I left behind all the negativity of bills, taxes and home maintenance requirements.  And I was rewarded like I never expected to be!

It was a glorious day in Happy Valley, with sunshine and temperatures reaching to 68 degrees! In the middle of February!  And did I mention that I'm talking about State College?

Here are some of the highlights of my day:

  • Having Daughter the Younger drive the whole way to State College.  Got to see Daughter the Elder and our dog Pooky!

  • Got to the track just in time to watch the final laps of the solo DMR effort of the Women to qualify for the NCAA.  Danae Rivers brought them home in 11:01 (and change) which is now the school record and the #2 time in the NCAA this year!  That makes 5 for 5 meets with a school record for Danae!
  •  Saw Isaiah Harris leisurely run the first few laps in the Mile and then turn on the jets for a PR 4:05 (and change). 
  • Had the opportunity to say hello to Coach Gondak and Owen Dawson.

  • Had the pleasure to speak with the Skerpons and watch their daughter Elyse run a fine 600M to qualify for the Big Ten meet. The Skerpons haven't changed a bit in the years since their 1983 wedding.  I have.  I dare you to find me in the pic!
  • Got word from the internets that PSU Track Alumni (Golfers) fared quite well in 800M shenanigans across the globe! 

 From jolly ole' England, as relayed from Ken Brinker!
Men’s 800: Cas Loxsom Gets a Big Win and a World Leader
One week ago, Loxsom looked out of place running the 1000m at the Millrose Games. But he closed quickly in that race to move up for second over the final 200, and he shined today in an event he’s far more comfortable in, the 800.
Loxsom got out well and stuck right on rabbit Bram Som, who took him through 400 in 50.28. By the time Som dropped out at 500, Loxsom had opened up a big gap on the field and at the bell (1:17.50), he had a lead of approximately 15 meters.
The rest of the field, led by 2015 world bronze medallist Amel Tuka, was closing hard as Loxsom was starting to tie up. But he dug deep and managed to hold on, and was rewarded for his aggressive running with a world leader of 1:46.13. Tuka wound up second in 1:46.59, a Bosnian national record, while American Erik Sowinski finished fourth in 1:46.85.

While in Arkansas, there was a minor earthquake as Billy  Cvecko slipped on his Alumni Singlet!


1 (4)

That's the leading time in the world this year and Cas's PR! And it isn't a bad effort by Billy, who is the hardest working man in track and field!

Lunch was Kung Pao Chicken, which was smuggled into the Ashenfelter Complex because the entire security world was focused on the Bryce Jordan Center and the Dance Marathon!

Dinner ended up being 3 lobster tails and bananas foster cheesecake.  Technically the lactose intolerance episode didn't occur until after midnight, so yesterday was still all golden!

Not a bad day in February in State College, am I right?

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Kung Pao And PSU Track United At Last!

I just arrived at the track to see the Women's DMR team run the 2nd best time in the nation,  SOLO!

And I sneaked an order of Kung Pao Chicken into the Ashenfelter track.

More  to come...

Isaiah Harris 4:05 for the mile.

A Spur Of The Moment Trip And 800U Alumni Action!

I am making a run to State College and may try to see some of today's meet.  It just seemed time to flee the real world for just a day!

But other Penn State Track and Field Alumni (Golfers) are in 800M action across the globe...

Casimir Loxsom is in jolly 'ole England for his first 800M of the year:


 And Undersecretary of Fun Billy Cvecko has brought the spikes out of storage and is lacing them up in Arkansas!  Good luck Billy.  I read recently on the internet (I think on Isaiah Harris's Twitter feed)  that one could replicate the feeling of an 800M simply by lighting yourself on fire and then rolling in broken glass to put out the fire!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Mike Sands Sings For Coach Groves!

Mike Sands brought the house down with his version of a reggae classic at Coach Groves' retirement ceremony in 2006.

Coach Groves has always been proud to call Mike his son.


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A New Activity At The Reunion?

Founder and Keeper of the Beer Clark Haley chimed in with more news about the upcoming Reunion and Golf Tourney via Facebook this AM.

Will post the specifics this weekend - As it stands now, the Golf is scheduled for Saturday at noon (begging for morning options, but doubt that will happen with the numbers we have), Friday and Saturday night functions will be held in the banquet rooms of the Ramada the only hotel where we have blocks of rooms this year, so you may want to make a move to reserve one under the "Harry Groves Golf Outing" or "Penn State Track and Field Alumni" 

There will be two Texas Hold-em tables set up for Friday night, so bring your poker face - more to come..

Which only brings to the fore the grand tradition of cheating at our Golf Tourney!

                                     "You must do something about the cheating!"
                                                    -Coach Harry Groves
                                after golfing two holes with each foursome in 2009.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Update On The Reunion And Golf Outing

Never fear.  You won't miss any of the Finals action of the Big Ten Outdoor Championships if you happen to golf with us at the Coach Harry Groves Golf Tournament on Saturday, May 13th! The schedule has been altered to make sure golfers will not miss the Finals on Sunday!

Fees will be the same as last year, with the whole package coming in at $175 for all of the activities.  There will be Reunion packages for the separate events like previous years also.  There is no excuse for not joining us in supporting the team at the Big Tens while honoring Coach Groves and all the rest of the Penn State Track history.  There will be some big names returning for the first time, so add your name to the list!

Don't dilly dally on finding accommodations, as they will be sparse because of the Championships.

That's Digital Archive Goddess Kay Warfel's son Tom ringing the bell for the last lap of the 3000M at the recent Penn State National with Tessa Barrett and Tori Gerlach vying for the lead.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Wow! What A Weekend For The Middle Distances

From coast to coast, current and former Nittany Lions dominated the middle distance races this weekend.

From the Husky Classic in Seattle:
  • Danae Rivers continues her record setting Freshman season with another School Record in the Mile, with the #1 time in the nation so far! 
 Rivers, Danae     Penn State     4:32.55
From the Spire Institute and home of the Big Ten Indoor Championships:
  •  Isaiah Harris led Dominic Perretta to a first and second place finish in the 800M.
Isaiah Harris            1:48.03
Dominic Perretta     1:48.17

From the Armory in NYC and the Millrose Games:

  • Casimir Loxsom couldn't catch Brannon Kidder in the 1000M. 
Brannon Kidder 2:19.92 (58.44, 1:53.16) Casimir Loxsom 2:21.06 (58.61, 1:53.36)

Brannon Kidder's fine Pro Debut!
And I forgot the super effort of Tori Gerlach (who will be back for Outdoor Season!) in the Millrose 3000M. She finished third with a 16 second PR of 8:53.48.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Fast Times In The Ninth Circuit

There's plenty of things happening in the Ninth Circuit lately.  But there isn't any dispute concerning the winner of the Womens 5000M at the Husky Classic Invitational yesterday!

Tessa Barrett led the way with a phenomenal PR of 15:51.32 and Jillian Hunsberger ran her best ever with a 16:08.61! Tessa's time puts her in the top echelon of college athletes for the year and #3 ever for PSU.

Tessa Barrett, Coach Reck and Jillian Hunsberger

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Undersecretary Of Fun Checks In

Billy Cvecko is essentially always moving.  He says he sleeps, but I don't believe him. His latest foray has taken him to the Northwest corner of the US and the lair of the Brooks Beasts.

Billy is being held up by new 600M Indoor World Record Holder Casimir Loxsom, left, and Brooks Beast rookie Brannon Kidder, second from right.  This is certainly a very fine 4x800M team, with an alternate. 

And watch Billy's newest video for Run Junkie as he visits fellow alum Conrad Lippert!   Why doesn't Billy ever visit me?  A podiatry spot would be interesting, wouldn't it?
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