Thursday, July 20, 2017

Back To School

As all hands are on deck at Blog Central preparing for the final push to fully fund Coach Groves Scholarship, thoughts wander to the upcoming school year and new Cross Country and Track seasons.

When I ventured into Walmart over the weekend, I encountered the back to school displays and my thoughts sauntered to my Freshman year in Happy Valley.  Thinking back, I am happy that I entered directly into a Universe that I was comportable in, and somehow they accepted me with open arms. Thank you to all my friends at Penn State Track Alumni (Golf)!

This is a group pic of the Alpha Delta Phi Brothers of Dartmouth University sometime before Sophomore initiation in 1959, the real Animal House.  Included from left to right in the back row, Stork (a Phi Beta Kappa played by Doug Kenney in the movie), D-Day (Bruce McGill), Boon (Peter Riegert), Bluto (John Belushi), Hardbar (Chris Miller), Otter (Tim Matheson).  In front, Hoover (James Widdoes).  Notice how much each of them looks like the characters in the movie!  Except for Otter, I guess.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Lots Of Activity For Coach Groves During Arts Festival Weekend

Our intrepid Golf Course Monitor has let me know that Coach Groves had many visitors this weekend for the Arts Festival.  There will be pictures to come !

And he also became a blog contributor by finding a Donation Thermometer to use as a sidebar widget to show how close we are to fully funding the scholarship in Coach's name.  He points out that with roughly 1,200 living Track Alumni (Golfers) out there, each of us could give just $50 more
and our mission would be accomplished!

So I am mulling over a way of getting another "Club" together with a membership fee of $50, all of which goes to the fund.  (Everyone already knows that platinum membership of our group is totally without fee.)  I need ideas on how to structure the "Club" and what to name it?  Please chime in with recommendations and opinions!

Update: I have determined that the Club will be named "Harry's Boys and Girls".  A new set of Wristbands will be forthcoming for those joining the group.

Friday, July 14, 2017

We Are Getting Close To Funding Coach Groves' Scholarship! You Can Help

Steve Brown takes a walk with Coach Groves.
Steve Brown stopped by to visit Coach and took a walk with him and Greg.  Those wondering about the Princeton shirt should know that Coach's dad was a prof at Princeton when he grew up in Trenton, NJ. (Trenton Makes, The World Takes!)  (Steve is still on the lists of top 10 performances in the 5000M and 10000M at PSU:   4th 5000M 13:50.54 and 10th 10000M 29:36.39)

Coach Groves is never very far from our thoughts here at the Blog With It All. All of you know my reverence for him and that this whole blog thing is primarily a way of honoring him for what he has meant to me.

It is a pleasure to see that Coach Gondak has inherited the same spirit that Coach Groves possessed for his 38 years at the helm.  The recent successes of the entire program and the excitement over those to come have all of us eager for more.

The good news is that you can help without even being able to visit Happy Valley or attend one of our Alumni Reunions and Coach Groves Golf Tourneys. (Although, really, put it on your bucket list!)

We are very near fully funding the Scholarship in Coach Groves' name.  We need to reach $300,000 to have a position scholarship named for Coach!  Most of you know what a big deal that is. 

 Coach Groves Scholarship

Coach Gondak has suggested that I put a widget on the blog updating this info.  That will be done, but you need to visit the full website, not the mobile phone site, to see all the links and info on the sidebars!!!  Do this every so often just to make sure you don't miss anything!
And here is how to donate to Penn State Track/XC or any of the named scholarship funds, with 100% of the funds going to where you want them to end up:

Donate Directly to PSU Track/XC 


Go to this website:

Scroll down and click on the Track and Field link (or the cross country link) and then click on the “Make a gift” link

After clicking on the “Make a Gift” link it takes you to the page below.  When you get to the gift amount part you can see it already indicates “Track/Cross Country”, so any amount you put in here will go directly to our program – 100% of it.  If you prefer to donate to a specific scholarship like the Harry Groves Scholarship or the Greg Fredericks Scholarship you type that in the “specific athletic endowment or fund” box and it will be applied to that endowment.

If you prefer to write a check, send it to:
Kirk Diehl
Varsity S
147 Bryce Jordan Center
University Park, PA 16802

Please put Men or Women Track OUD in the Memo line to donate directly to the program, or put the name of the scholarship you would like to donate to in the memo line.


Thursday, July 13, 2017

5 Track Alumni (Golfers), 11 PSU Degrees And 29 Years

In rooting through my childhood home, I came across a wedding album I didn't know existed.  I thought it was lost to posterity just like my medal from the 1977 PIAA Track Championships.  But alas, there it was with pics of the wedding party including my brother, 2 sisters, my wife and her two brothers and the Best Man, who is my blog muse!  We were married 29 years ago at Eisenhower Chapel and had the first ever wedding reception at the newly built Atherton Hotel.  Man, how time flies.

Steve Black, sisters Sue and Beth, Barb, me, Rob Whiteside, brother John and Gary Black.

Our official wedding photo.

Blog Muse Rob Whiteside toasting us.  Wish I could remember what he said. Something about "What took you so long", I suppose.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

This Palindrome May Be Penn Relay's Best Record!

Yesterday was 7/11/17.  And that's 71117 both frontward and backward!  So I decided to steal Steve Shisler's Facebook post yesterday to highlight the significance of the event.

It is also the Penn Relay's 4 x 800M Collegiate Record by the Penn State quartet of Vance Watson, Steve Shisler, Randy Moore and Chris Mills7:11.17  The record is now 32 years old. Maybe the last time Coach Groves cried too!

Here are a few other remembrances of the relay victory in 1985:

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

It's Already Old News, But Still Remarkable

At the recent Alumni Reunion, Ken Cooper made his way from Minnesota and arranged the Alumni Mile for any takers.  In the event he logged a sub-5:00 mile for the 31st year in a row!

Excellent use of the Alumni Singlet.

But there is one guy for sure ahead of him.  Steve Spence, an acquaintance of mine from back in the olden days, now has a sub-5:00 mile in 42 straight years.  The 55 year old Spence recently negative split his race to easily attain the mark.  Steve coaches the Division II Shippensburg team.  Congrats Steve!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Nittany Lions In Action All Over

Brannon Kidder traveled to Jolly Ole for yesterday's Diamond League 1500M.  He placed 14th in 3:38.71, equivalent to a 3:55 Mile or so.  Hope he got some fish and chips after!

Karson Kowalchuk won both the 100M and 200M (10.55 , 20.04) at the Canadian Junior Championships and will represent America's Attic at the upcoming Pan-Am Junior Championships in Lima, Peru.

And Michael Shuey continues to amaze in the Javelin World.  He again set a PR in the event as he continues inching closer to the 83M "A" Standard to make the American squad at the World Championships.  His 79.91M toss (262' 2") was a near 7-foot PR!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Last Day Of Track Alumni Store Sale

You have just a little more than 24 hours to snag a wonderful t-shirt, splendiferous jacket and maybe even a rain pant to go with a rain jacket. Use the code PSUTFAL to enter the store. Although we don't make any monies for sales, the advertisement for the group is over-the-top.  Show your spirit with an item or two.

A grey tee, just like olden times!

A Hybrid mid-weight jacket for nearly all seasons.

A parka for the worst Happy Valley football season brings.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Keeper Of The Cup Shows All Of Us How Special We Are!

Keeper of the Cup Harry Smith sent along this study showing how many athletes make it to participation in college.  And it points out just how special all of us are, no matter how weak our PRs are!

The percentage of male high school tracksters making it to Division I college track and field is 1.7%, while footballers achieve Division I status at 2.4%.  Cross Country runners slightly surpass the track participation level at 1.9%, but still trail footballers!  Who knew how special all of us were?

Females have a higher participation rate than males in College Division I with 2.3% in Track and Field and 2.6% in Cross Country. 

Friday, July 7, 2017

The Newest Professional Nearly Topped The Rest Of The Nittany Lions!

The last Meet in the Tracktown Summer Series was last night in NYC.  Turns out that Tori Gerlach, the newest professional Nittamny Lion Alumnus, was second in the 5K Road Race!  Congrats Tori.

She was topped by Darrell Hill in the Shot Put, who placed first ahead of former Assistant Coach Ryan WhitingEvonne Britton placed fourth in the 100M Hurdles, while Cas Loxsom placed eighth in the 800M.

New York Empire12.97

1Darrell HILL
San Francisco Surge20.87m (68-5¾ )
Philadelphia Force20.73m (68-¼ )

8 Casimir LOXSOM New York Empire 1:47.34

Portland Pulse16:11.60

Thursday, July 6, 2017

A Site For Real 800M Fans! PSU is 800U

I came across this great web site celebrating the 800M in an obsessive and glorious fashion.  There is enough here to peruse for many hours, and it is updated nearly daily!

The listing of the fastest 800M runnuers of all-time has 2 Nittany Lions in the top 300.

  • 193 Isaiah Harris 
     (18-10-1996)  1.44.53Sacramento  25-06-2017
  • 289Casimir Loxsom
     (17-03-1991) 1.44.92Eugene  26-06-2015
The listing for top performances for this year has 4 Nittany Lions:

    7  Isaiah Harris
 1.44.53 25-06-2017 Sacramento
  78  Cas Loxsom
 1.46.13i 18-02-2017  Birmingham
 161  Domenic Perretta   1.47.29  21-04-2017   Charlottesville
 175   Brannon Kidder   1.47.36  8-06-2017   Vancouver

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

All-American: Like Father, Like Son

Great friend of the group and future Track Alumni Golfer Paul Souza still owns the Indoor High Jump Record at PSU.  And proving the importance of genetics in the scheme of things, his son Hayden just came in third at the USATF Youth National Championships!  His 4' 11" tied for the best jump, but he lost out on more misses.  Honestly, I never understood the high jump at all, but it is fun to watch.

Maybe Paul should buy him a jacket or some t-shirts from the Kelly Sports Store?  But he would have to use the code PSUTFAL!
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