Friday, March 24, 2017

Share Some Beers (Or Not) With Fellow Alums

I am sending off my check today to Harry Smith for the upcoming Penn State Track and Field Alumni Reunion and Coach Groves Golf Tourney.  And you should too!

Help spread the word to those who haven't been exposed to the blog with it all by sharing this post via the various internetty  vehicles.

Here is the post that explains it all:

Even I have some beer at the Reunion!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Outdoor Track Season Begins

Sun Angel Stadium
Tempe, Ariz.
Friday, March 244:00 p.m ET
LIVE Results | Meet Schedule
Saturday, March 255:30 p.m. ET
LIVE Results | Meet Schedule

The Nittany Lions are on their way to Tempe for the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge.  Remember last year when the Lions started the year out strong?  And in some ways, the Mens team and the Womens team are both improved from last year!

LAST YEAR'S PAC-12/BIG TEN CHALLENGEPenn State track & field wrapped up their outdoor debut at the 2016 Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge hosted by Arizona State with the Big Ten conference grabbing the win on both sides while Penn State finished second and third amongst the men's and women's Big Ten competition, respectively.The Nittany Lions used a beautiful day in the desert to turn in several strong performances and PR's en route to finishing the meet with 32 top-eight marks and 12 top-three finishes over the weekend including a then-NCAA leading men's 4x100-meter relay that stands as the No. 3 mark in program history at 39.92 seconds.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Another Kung Pao Post Prior To The Beginning of Outdoor Season!

The world's greatest dish isn't just a tasty entree, it also has a fine backstory.  Or two....

The first version of the story tells of the Sichuan governor wander the region dressed up like a farmer to understand better the real needs of his people. After an intense day’s walk, Ding Bao decided to stop to have a dinner in a small and simple inn. Watching the modesty of the place where he was, the expectation of the Governor were very small. But, once the dish arrived on the table, and he tried on the first bite, he changes his mind immediately: the skepticism turned into astonishment! Ding Bao was so pleased of that spiced and creamy chicken sauté to hire the cook of the inn as his personal chef.

 The second tale narrates of a young Ding Bao drowning in a river of the Sichuan region, and of a man diving into the water, and saving the future governor. Years later, Ding Bao went to seeking out the man he owed his life. Thankful for this visit, the man invited the Governor to dine with his family, preparing what it would become the Kung Pao chicken. Also in this version of the story, Ding Bao was so impressed by the dish to hire the man immediately as his personal chef!

KUNG PAO CHICKEN RECIPE & HISTORY - all you need to know!

Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Chinese
Serves: 4
  • 2 Lb (900 g) chicken thighs or breast
  • 1/3 cup (50 g) dried peanuts (western version: roasted peanuts)
  • 12 spring onions
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp ginger root, grated
  • 6 tbsp peanuts oil
  • 1 cup (235 g) chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp dark rice vinegar (western version: white vinegar)
  • 6 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 6 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp Shaoxing Chinese cooking wine (western version: Sherry)
  • 10 whole dried Chinese chili peppers
  • 1 tbsp Sichuan pepper (western version: black pepper)
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
    First, combine 4 tbsp of dark soy sauce, and 4 tbsp of light soy sauce, and 4 tbsp of Chinese cooking wine (Shaoxing Hua Diao), then whisk. Now, add 1 tbsp of sifted cornstarch and whisk until consistent without any lumps. Finally, cut the chicken into dices and pour them into the sauce. Wrap the bowl and store in the fridge 30 minutes.
    If you opt for roasted peanuts, just skip this step. Otherwise, pour the peanuts oil into a wok and place over medium/high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoky, fry the peanuts until golden brown, stirring frequently. Once ready, raise the peanuts from the oil and dry over paper towels. Save the peanuts oil for the next step.
    Peel the cloves of garlic and crush them lightly maintaining their shape. After that, combine 2 tbsp of dark soy sauce, and 2 tbsp of light soy sauce, and 2 tbsp of grated ginger root, and 1 tsp of brown sugar. Now re-heat the oil in the wok and saute the garlic until pale golden. After that, add the Sichuan pepper and Chinese chili peppers. Stir-fry a couple of minutes more, then add the soy and ginger mixture. Cook about 5 mins more.
    Divide the white part of spring onions from the green part. After that, cut the white parts in half. Reduce a few of green stems into rounds, just to obtain 2 tbsp of greens.
  5. Now, pour the chicken, and marinate, and white parts of the spring onions into the Kung Pao sauce. Stir-fry the chicken 8 mins over high heat, adding the chicken broth a few tbsp at a time. The result have to be creamy, not watery. Finally, baste with dark vinegar and add the fried peanuts. Stir-fry 2 minutes more, then garnish with green onion rounds and serve hot.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Broken Brackets

Tyler McCandless has broken out into the lead in Ken Cooper's Bracket Challenge for bragging rights among Penn State Track Alums.  But his staying power is in question as he has Louisville to win it all.  And that isn't going to happen!  So chances are Tyler will be hitting the Marathon Wall come the final round.  And he isn't alone...

Others from our cadre of regulars among Track Alumni Golfers near the top of the heap are, Jim Clelland (15th), Brian Boyer (16th), Zeb Stewart (18th), Darryl Jones (19th), Michael Gross (20th) and Mark Hawkins (21st).  Brian and Michael have Villanova to win it all (hee hee), Zeb has Duke (ha ha), Mark has Gonzaga, Jim has Arizona, and Darryl has Kansas.  So there will be new names on this list in the next rounds.

In the hunt for the tasty dog bone, Spott Moskowitz (68th) has moved up substantially over Bo Quinn (116th) in the Jack Russell Terrier ChallengeKierrun O'Brien (99th) is slightly ahead of Thomas Bernard Roth (106th).

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Brackets Going To The Dogs

The March Madness is ongoing.  Following the first round of action, several Track Alumni Golfers are near the top of the list.

  • Mark Haywood       28/32
  • Zeb Stewart             28/32
  • Mark Hawkins        27/32
  • Tyler McCandless   27/32
And there are several other dogs joining the first ever Jack Russell Terrier Challange.  Remember, these guys filled out their brackets without thumbs!  Cut them a break!

  • Thomas Bernard Roth    (St. Bernard)   26/32
  • Kierrun O'Brien    (mixed?)                     25/32
  • Spott Moskowitz  (Jack Russell)             23/32
  • Bo Quinn   (Jack Russell)                        21/32

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Still More Honors!

The middle distance corps has garnered even more individual honors in the final Big Ten Indoor Awards!

Big Ten Womens Freshman of the Year - Danae Rivers!

Big Ten Mens Track Athlete of the Year - Isaiah Harris!

And don't forget to make your arrangements for the Reunion and Golf Tourney!!!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Big Ten Outdoor Championship Tickets For Sale

Now that you signed up for the Reunion and Golf Tournament, you will need something to do on Friday before the Reception and Sunday for the Finals of the Meet.  So get your All-Session tickets for the whole Meet.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A Second Snow Day Means You Have Time To Respond Now For The Reunion And Golf Tourney During The Big Ten OutDoor Championships!

I'm back at work this AM, but not many people are trickling in for their foot problems.  I suppose many of you are milking the "Storm of the Millennium" for another day off work.  That means you have time to enter Ken Cooper's Bracket Challenge and also get your funds in to Event Coordinator and Keeper of the Cup Harry Smith for the Reunion and Golf Tourney Weekend.  Remember, this is to honor Coach Groves and there are a finite number of chances to share these with him.  We would all love to see you there.

And in a way to make those non-golfers and horrible golfers out there decide to join us on the links, here is my finest moment on the course from early in the tournament history.  I only had a handicap once in my golfing career and it was north of 30 (34, I think?).  So chances are, some of you that have never held a golf club before are actually a better golfer than I.  And if all you can do is putt, you can still be a valuable member of your foursome.  Take a chance, why don't you?

Here is Coach Groves putting first and showing me the line.  Paul Mundy and Nick K. cheer me on for the unexpected birdie!

And who can forget Coach Groves' speech that same year at his Retirement celebration at the Ashenfelter Complex?

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

God Gave Us A Snow Day So We Can Fill Out Our Brackets

Yes, it is that time again.  Time to enter Ken Cooper's Bracket Challenge!  And this year's battle will also be the setting for the first ever Jack Russel Terrier Match-Up.  My very own Spott Moskowitz will be up against Director of Fun's Bo Quinn If there are any other Jack Russells out there, you are invited too.
Mercedes, Bo and Teddy Quinn.
Spott Moskowitz in his natural habitat.

Welcome to the 23rd Annual Penn State XC/T&F March Madness Pool. 

Already the Cheeseheads are complaining about getting a lower seed than the U of Minnesota Gophers.  Suck it up and just play.

Congrats to Northwestern, who scored a ticket to the dance for the first time ever.  Can they make a run?

Everyone is in the Pool.  It is free and pride only.  Last year we had 149 people.  Feel free to include kids and pass along to other friends of Penn State. 

Picks due by tip off of first Thursday game.

Monday, March 13, 2017

This Gem Brings Me Both Joy And Shame

Our superb William and Mary Connection and current coach of Gettysburg High School, Brian Mount somehow dug up a gem of an article from the Centre Daily Times from the days before color was invented, 1978.

This article includes me and gives me both joy and shame at the same time.  As most of you know, I am not afraid to point out my poor performances whenever I can, but this one probably can't even be called one of them!  This was during my "great groin pull" (now known in medical circles as a high ankle sprain, I believe?) of 1978 from a stupid choice of fencing as a Phys ed class.  (I did end up taking second place in the class tournament with a superb 3-phase parry and thrust to win my Semi-Final and earn an "A" in the class. Can't remember the world renowned fencing coach who ran the class, but he said it was a great showing that last day.  So I got that going for me anyway.)

  • The mentions of great friends Ted Lyon, Jim Clelland, Kevin Kelly O'Brien, Pete Bortolotti, Brian Boyer, Gary Black and Tim Backenstose. Both Glenn Chumley and Mark Stephenson were friends, but I did not know them as well as the others.
  • Only the second race that I can confirm beating Gary Black.
  • The mention of my daughter's namesake and great friend Martha White (Collins) and Nittany Lion great Kathy Mills (Parker).
  • Again losing out to Kelly, Jim, and even Ted.  I swear I beat them some of the time, but no one ever produces evidence of those times!   hee hee hee
  • Placing right behind Glenn Chumley, An HALF-MILER!!!  Glenn was famous for running a 1:53 half on Wednesday at practice and then 1:55 for the meet on Saturday. (hee hee hee)  That, AND making the front page of the Collegian by streaking during a snow storm.  Coach could never prove it was him because the photo was from behind, but we all knew just by his running style.  One time years later, I saw him ahead of me jogging in Fairmount Park.  I caught up with him and it was certainly him.  I recognized him by his distinctive running style even after a few years.  Someone out there will comment on just what this was.  I can't seem to place it in words right now.  Anyway, Glenn, I tip my hat to you for beating me in an XC race.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Finishing Up With 3 More All-Americans

Danae Rivers again solidified her Freshman season as one for the ages in the first track event of the final day of competition at the NCAA Indoor Championships.  Having already run a heated prelim in the Mile and a leading 1200M leg in the Distance Medley Relay the night before, one would think she would be sluggish at the start of the Mile Saturday.

But you would be wrong, as Danae led the Mile in the early stages, obviously going for broke in the event with several favorites seeded ahead of her.  She held on and even had a very fine final 150M to place 3rd in the event!  That tops by one place for the best finish in the event in PSU history by a friend and great Nittany Lion Patty Murnane in 1982.  Time flies, Patty, but I remember those days like they were yesterday.

1.Karisa NELSONJRSamford4:31.24

2Elinor PURRIERJRNew Hampshire4:31.88

3Danae RIVERSFRPenn State4:33.89

And another All-American finish was accomplished by Triple Jumper Danielle Gibson, who bettered her 12th seed in the event with an 8th place finish, scoring one point for the Lions.  That gave the Women's team a tie for 10th place nationally with Stanford (where emeritus Energizer Lion Jess Riden now abodes).

8.Dannielle GIBSONSRPenn State13.23m (43-5 )

Finally, Isaiah Harris raced against the current Freshman sensation Emmanuel Korir of UTEP. Previously, Isaiah had eclipsed the 600M Collegiate record from Korir at the Penn State National meet where Casimir Loxsom had set the World's Best indoor mark of all time.

This time out, Isaiah ran a fine race but didn't have enough to stay with Korir at the finish, letting 2 others nip him at the wire.  His fourth-place finish was the best at the Indoor Championships since Loxsom's runner-up finish in 2012.

1.Emmanuel KORIRFRUTEP1:47.48

2Drew PIAZZASRVirginia Tech1:47.62

3Joseph WHITEJRGeorgetown1:47.79

4Isaiah HARRISSOPenn State1:47.94  

Two other events saw close-but-no-cigar attempts at All-American status. Tessa Barrett doubled back from her 5th place finish in the 5000M to place 10th in the 3000M. And the Mens 4 x 400M Relay squad finished in 10th also. Notable among the stats was a 45.72 split by Xavier Smith, my current favorite meme of the blog.

10. Tessa BARRETTSOPenn State9:16.50 

Penn State3:07.43

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Five New Nittany Lion All-Americans!

Tessa Barrett made good in her return to NCAA Championship action at the Indoor National Championships.  The Sophomore ran with the lead pack and finished in a fine 5th place, garnering 4 points for the Womens team.

1..Karissa SCHWEIZERJRMissouri15:19.14

2Erin FINNJRMichigan15:27.36

3Anna ROHRERSONotre Dame15:29.83

4Allie BUCHALSKIJRFurman15:41.69

5Tessa BARRETTSOPenn State15:42.29

And to finish the night, the Womens DMR team bettered their 10th place seed by finishing in 6th place.  Three more points for the Women! (Danae Rivers, Tichina Rhodes, Rachel Banks, Julie Kocjancic)






Penn State11:04.89
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