20th Annual Penn State Track and Field/XC Reunion

And SAVE THE DATE! The Executive Committee meeting of the Officers of the Group convened and chose the dates for the 2022 Reunion and Coach Groves Golf Tournament. This will be the 20th anniversary of the formulation of this whole shebang, and you better SAVE THE DATE!! So set aside May 13th and 14th, 2022. (Each year will alternate between May and August) We will be going all out for this event and you won't want to miss it. Adult beverages, camaraderie with old and new friends, mediocre golf, AND LIVE MUSIC FROM PROFESSIONALS! Stay tuned...

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Mark Heckel Still At The Top Of His Game

 Mark Heckel has been voted as the recipient of the Horace Crow Award as the Outstanding Field Event Official for 2021 from the USATF National Officials Committee.

As a teammate and dorm mate of "Beef", as we knew him, for 2 years at North Halls at PSU, I can say that he is among those I visualize first when I say that PSU Track Alums are the most interesting, intelligent and accomplished people I have ever known.  With Mark, I will add driven.

Congratulations Mark, although I still don't know if you can golf!


 

Monday, November 29, 2021

RIP CJ Hunter

Former PSU shot putter and school indoor record holder C J Hunter has passed away in North Carolina. He was the 1999 World Champion and finished 7th in the Olympics in 1996.

Coach Groves asked us to invite him to our Reunion several times, but we were unable to contact him. 
 

 

Friday, November 12, 2021

Updates From All Over And A "Save The Date"

First up:

Our Chief Laundry and Morale Officer facilitated reception of the news of another Ohio Big School XC title for Coach Tom Rapp's team.

That's 3 titles for teammate and classmate Tom, 2008. 2014, 2021!

And I can deduce that each and every "kid" who Tom coaches is much better off for his tutelage. From the initial meeting and run we had together, it was obvious he had great things ahead of him. Despite having a personality not completely in line with Coach Groves, the no-nonsense old school methods molded Tom and the rest of us into people able to handle most every situation ahead of us.  

This year's high school team probably garnered extra rewards of wisdom from Tom, as he describes them as a unit of good, solid runners, no superstars.  The top two finished 19th and 20th. But they had by far the best 4th and 5th men. They had a 1-5 spread of 28 seconds, with the 6th man 2 seconds behind that.

All in all,  it was a great lesson for the kids on how to win as a team. Society will see dividends in the years ahead!

 https://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/high-school/high-school-sports/2021/11/11/ohsaa-cross-country-healthy-mason-boys-team-wins-state-2021/6382136001/

Second:

Colin Abert toed the line at the Road US Championship 5k in NYC the day before the NYC Marathon. He came in 22nd overall with a time of 14:18.


And SAVE THE DATE! 

The Executive Committee meeting of the Officers of the Group convened and chose the dates for the 2022 Reunion and Coach Groves Golf Tournament.  This will be the 20th anniversary of the formulation of this whole shebang, and you better SAVE THE DATE!!

So set aside May 13th and 14th, 2022. (Each year will alternate between May and August)

We will be going all out for this event and you won't want to miss it.  Adult beverages, camaraderie with old and new friends, mediocre golf, AND LIVE MUSIC FROM PROFESSIONALS!  Stay tuned... 



Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Penn State Open Precedes The B1G Championships On The Golf Course

 Evan Dorenkamp took the Mens victory as the Men placed second and the Women placed fourth with Freshmen Sophia Toti and Madeline Ullom leading them in 16th and 17th place.



Penn State Open Results



Thursday, September 30, 2021

More Beauty On The Trail

Rob "Large" Whiteside and his daughter Phoebe "White Rabbit" continue their travel through Vermont on the Long Trail.  Check out all their pics of their reprise of their Appalachian Through-hike in at Whiteside AT Hike 2016







 

Saturday, September 25, 2021

A Hole-In-One For One Of Our Own

 From Officer and all-around great guy Harry Smith comes news of another superior sporting activity from one of our own.  Pole vaulter Ron Campbell attained a hole-in-one.  Please get in touch with him and urge him to join us at the May 2022 20th Annual Coach Groves Tourney!


 


Saturday, September 18, 2021

Back In The Woods

Rob Whiteside and his daughter, Phoebe are back on the Trail!  This time it's the Vermont Long Trail. Previously, they through-hiked the Appalachian Trail.  Rob has asked me to hike with him some time, but I have steadfastly opined that I have already completed my own travels of the entire width of the Appalachian Trail numerous times. Enough is enough, I say.

 "Goodbye to all that. (Politics) I am turning into Jeremiah Johnson, a shunner."
-Rob Whiteside, walking the Appalachian Trail.






Sunday, September 12, 2021

Coach Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational Returns


 It may have been the longest duration between home cross country meets in PSU history, but The Coach Harry Groves Spiked-Shoe Invitational finally returned.  Only World War II could have had a similar dearth of events. 



*Photos from Greg Fredericks.

And from Dan Curran comes this great quote from Coach Groves...

 "If you win, I’ll love you, but if you don’t  [he hesitates for a few seconds to let the tension build] . . . I’ll still love you, so get in there and have a good time – it’s only a race."  




Sunday, September 5, 2021

Diamonds Are A Guys Best Friend

 Via our West Coast Promoter Mike Fanelli, via Founder and Keeper of the Beer Clark Haley comes this picture from the 1980 Run for the Diamonds in Berwick, PA.  I think both Greg Fredericks and Larry Mangan won diamonds that year.   Not bad for a couple of milers...





Saturday, September 4, 2021

The Dolan Duals Are Special

 As the opening tune-up for the XC season, it has been around for a number of years.  Jim Dolan was Greg Fredericks' Freshman season Coach when Coach Groves first came to Penn State from William and Mary in 1968.  He became the head coach of Division II Lock Haven the following year.  There has been a special relationship between the schools ever since.

 



 

WOMENS RESULTS: 

1
FR-1
5:43.6
14:14.0
1
2
SO-2
5:45.3
14:18.4
2
3
SO-2
5:46.4
14:21.1
3
4
FR-1
5:48.7
14:26.8
4
5
SO-2
5:50.4
14:30.9
5
6
SO-2
5:52.6
14:36.5
6
7
SO-2
5:52.8
14:36.9
7
8
SO-2
6:11.8
15:24.3
 
9
Hayes, Samantha
 
Unattached
6:12.1
15:25.0
 
10
SR-4
6:17.0
15:37.1
 8
MENS RESULTS:
 
 
 1
SR-4
4:49.9
18:01.0
1
2
SO-2
4:52.6
18:11.0
2
3
SR-4
4:53.3
18:13.7
3
4
SR-4
4:57.8
18:30.4
4
5
SO-2
4:58.0
18:31.0
5
6
Lyon, Henry J
 
Unattached
4:58.7
18:33.7
 
7
JR-3
5:00.6
18:40.8
6
8
DeSousa, Christopher
 
Unattached
5:01.8
18:45.2
 
9
FR-1
5:02.6
18:48.3
7
10
SR-4
5:02.8
18:48.8 

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Physics Phrom The Penn Stater

Dudley Do-Right lookalike  Doug Kent sends us this nice nugget honoring a teammate of both of us.

80, 85, 92!!! No one knows more Track alums than BB. 

Our very own Brian Boyer! 


A Little Rain Must Fall Into Everyone's Life. Might As Well Enjoy It

 With Ida bringing 3 to 6 inches of rain to Central PA tomorrow, I had to go to the archive again to point out how 18 inches of rain led to the best week of my life.  Agnes was great to me.

The Best Week of My Life


















1972 was a great year. Nixon was at his peak, the Vietnam War was about to be ended and Americans had been on the Moon 5 or 6 times. My sport was basketball, and I needed to get much better at it to compete with the likes of teammate Curt Clawson (who later became the greatest shooter Coach Keady of Purdue ever saw, including Michael Jordan!) I opted for the prestigious Pocono Mountain Basketball Camp run by Coaches Bill Foster and Harry Litwack. I headed off with spirits high and with ridiculous sneakers not really suitable for basketball.

My joy turned to ecstasy when I found out that David Thompson was going to be my Coach for the week. After his sophomore year at NC State, he wasn't yet a household word, but he was certainly one of the premier young players in college ball. His teammates Monty Towe and Phil Spence were with him. Tom Burleson had gone to another camp.

The first day was spent getting to know the camp layout and the set up for the coming week of intense drills, practices and games. Then, the rain began. Hurricane Agnes had hit Florida and meandered up the East Coast, delivering torrential rains which was only was made worse when it stalled over land. Worst hit happened to be where we were in the Poconos. All roads were washed out and we were marooned at our camp. Only the two indoor courts were usable by the hundreds of kids there, many counselors staying elsewhere weren't available, and we were on our own mostly. Lord of the Flies type stuff, may I add?

When the bridge over the little stream leading to the indoor courts washed out when it became a raging river, we improvised by swinging across the stream on a rope hanging from a tree. Those little kids that invariably fell in were retrieved downstream with the help of a dam we fashioned out of canoes left over from the camp's previous life. We never lost a single camper! Each day became worse with the rain and the inability of anyone to reach us from the outside. The menu deteriorated noticeably each day, with meals becoming a mish mash of whatever was available. The nightly movie reel (the World War II flick, Triple Cross) was repeated each night, and all of us learned the entire dialog by the end of the week. We were able to shout the words to the entire movie before the actor would, which somehow never got old. I remember the joy on David Thompson's face with this each night, pure innocent joy. I find it hard to believe that he later ended his basketball career in the throes of substance abuse.

Days were spent watching the college guys play pick-up basketball. Only one court at a time was available, as they tore down rim after rim with spectacular alley-oops and jams (Monty Towe and David Thompson invented the alley-oop!) none of us could believe. Those handy with tools would remake the backboards and rims on the one court as the players switched to the other.

Players were true amateurs in those days, and none of them was receiving any money outright, just room and board (eating the same crap the rest of us were!). We supplemented David by putting quarters on top of the backboards. Any quarter he jumped up and retrieved was his by default. And he pocketed a lot of change that week. I've been challenged on this many times, but I saw him do it hundreds of times. His vertical leap was unbelievable, even with just one step. He had a kid follow him just to hold all of his quarters. And I would have volunteered for the duty if someone else hadn't gotten there first!

It was a simply magical week, and I didn't mind eating Cream of Wheat for three straight meals by the end of the week. When the rain finally stopped and my parents picked me up, I was amazed to see all of Pennsylvania flooded. We didn't have a TV and no one bothered listening to the radio, we were there to watch basketball and there was none better than what was on the court live.

6 comments:

  1. You can know a guy 30 years and still learn something new about him. This was a nice story. RW

    ReplyDelete
  2. I also saw Wilfred Hetzel two years in a row at camp. The first year he was unbelievable, the second he was pitiful. He died right after that. I saw one of his last performances.
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1083519/index.htm

    ReplyDelete
  3. When I was in the 8th grade, I was the highest scorer on our team except for the 7th grader Curt Clawson. I scored 4 pts. a game and Curt scored 18! He was truly a great player. He moved to Utah in the 8th grade as he was a Mormon and always wanted to play for BYU. But they didn't recruit him so he went to Utah instead. When they didn't play him much (he didn't like defense!) he transferred to Purdue. He was the best outside shooter Keady ever saw. It was a shame this was before the 3-pt. shot. He was always a sixth man.

    At a reunion of players at his retirement he was asked who was the best shooter he ever saw. He said Curt and Michael Jordan (who was there as a friend of Keady) said "Who?" They then had a three point shooting contest which Curt won handily, many years after his playing days. (True story, I swear.) Curt also had a trampoline in his garage, which was a converted barn. Always a cool place to hang out.

    ReplyDelete
  4. That's a great story!! LTM

    ReplyDelete
  5. lots of great memories from Coach Litwack's camp. we were in awe of the college players and when i look back and think about how "normal" and humble they were I wonder where those times have gone.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Compare David Thompson to Latrell Sprewell or Allen Iverson! And that's spotting David a drug-abuse problem even.

    I remember Litwack chewing on a cigar all the time even when it wasn't lit. That picture is burned into my memory.

    ReplyDelete
 
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