Thursday, December 14, 2017

Our Rusty Boot Award Is Now A Springboard To National Recognition!

Last year's recipient of the Rusty Boot, the highest honor our group can bestow on anyone, has won another award at the USTFCCCA Convention!

Blog devotee Joe Clinton alerted me to this item. (Thanks, Joe.Gary Schwartz was honored with the Jimmy Carnes Distinguished Service Award at the convention.  This represents individuals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in their service to the Association and to the sports of cross country and track & field.

I can't think of a finer person to receive this award.

(Gary) Schwartz coached for 34 years, of which included 21 years as a head coach and one award-winning season (He was named 1983 NCAA Division I National Outdoor Coach of the Year). He guided the women’s programs at Penn State and Tennessee, as well as both the men’s and women’s programs at Kansas.
Later on in his career, Schwartz spent time as an athletic administrator at Arkansas and was the technical director of the 2009 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

Coach Gary Schwartz.
My favorite photo of Joe Clinton, right.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Winter Runs Are Better With Mittens

Jim "Frit" Cooper recently brought us some exclusive pics from the NCAA Regional XC Meet at Lehigh.  And he has added another post for us to reminisce about those cold State College days of yore!

He relates that former PSU Marathon Record Holder George Christopher had a big bag of his grandmother's knitted mittens in his locker to hand out to all those unprepared runners going out to "do 10" in the cold.  How many of you remember these?

For many years I ran in a pair knitted for me by Heather Carmichael as a Christmas present in 1978. And since she was from a place with more sheep than people, you know they were great.  They were even blue and white!  I'm still looking for them to take a pic.  But since I now run on the treadmill most of the time, I have misplaced them...

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Bringing Home The Hardware

Florida seemed to be the only place on the Eastern US without snow and freezing temperatures last weekend.  And Dave Zeiters used the opportunity to represent us in the Florida Senior Games.  He brought home 2 silvers and a bronze even though they didn't have his best event, the hurdles!

Monday, December 11, 2017

A Fuller Christmas For Everyone!

 Our William and Mary Connection and State College native, Brian Mount picked up this item from the Cumberland Valley Race Series last week. It's a great start to the Winter for the PSU Track Alumni Golfing Community.  Total domination at both distances!


      1st    32:55  Brian Fuller
      7th    36:34  Mary Fuller
     14th   42:05  Emily Fuller 

      1st    16:10  Mark Fuller 
      2nd   16:30  Kevin Fuller 
      9th    19:36  Katie Fuller

Friday, December 8, 2017

I Need To Get Into Shape To Run With Da' Toad!

Everyone already knows I am one of Billy Cvecko's greatest fans.  I have even made him our group's Undersecretary of Fun.  I'm a little miffed he hasn't scheduled me for one of his videos yet, but I am ever hopeful. Billy represents everything I am not.  Young, energetic, gregarious and always "glass half full" optimistic.  Thank goodness he's on our side!

Here's one of his latest videos, featuring him and Casimir Loxsom.  The videographer happens to be another well-known Nittany Lion!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Lions Get Better With Age (And Deserve Headlines)

I won't divulge her age, except to say she just entered the 60 and over age group this year.  Back in the day, she wasn't one of the Lady Lions that garnered headlines, but I am making up for that with this post.  She deserves more headlines than any of the politicians we hear from every stinking single day.

Janet Norem ran with my wife and was an acquaintance of mine back in the 70-somethings. She never knew that I admired her.  She always seemed to know what she wanted.  I still haven't figured that out yet.

Needless to say, she has done wonderful things for many, many people all around the world. I have fixed a few bunions in Central Pennsylvania...

I think she spends half her time in Northern California, and therefore was available to run the USATF Marathon Championships this year.  The same race that saw Tyler McCandless place 2nd overall.

Well, Janet placed 2nd overall in her age group too!  A splendid 3:21:16 in near perfect conditions.  And to think I almost scolded her for being there and not getting an exclusive pic of Tyler!

Congrats Janet.  I'm one of your biggest fans.

Flashback from a few years ago...
 "First up, Janet Norem, who may have the Alumni (Golfer) record for miles run on the Continent of Africa.  Somehow she ended up on the Left Coast from hometown Pittsburgh when she isn't overseas, and placed third in her age division at the USA San Diego Half-Marathon. At school, we probably spoke 3 or 4 words to each other, and she never realized how much I admired her.  Still do.  Someone who has done wonderful things for this world.  A Nittany Lion ambassador of the finest order."

Another Great Blast From The Past ("Before They Invented Color" As Daughter The Elder Always Put It!)

The World's Best Track and Field Museum (aka Mike Fanelli's Garage in Northern California) has released another oldie but goodie related to our Group.

This black and white pic from the Olympic year 1976 shows Dick Buerkle and Bill Rodgers duking it out in the lead of the Penn Relays 10K.  That Thursday night must have been a doozy!

Lurking back in fourth place in the pic is the eventual winner of the race, our very own Greg Fredericks.  It is unfortunate that he suffered an injury leading up to the Trials that year, as he seemed to be on track for an Olympic berth.  (Fredericks 28:24.6, Buerkle 28:26.4, Rodgers 28:33.6)

Also in the mix that night are some notable names mentioned frequently on the blog, including Bill Donakowski (29:13 10K) from Michigan (RIP), group friend Pat Davey (28:29.2 10K) from Tennessee and our very own Charlie Maguire (29:22 10K) and Paul Stemmer (13:55.6 5K).

An Administrator here at the blog with it all points out that the Interns missed another PSU Alum!  And it was a big error this time!  The 45.0 split of Mike Sands to anchor the 4 x 400M for the New York Pioneers.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Another Award For A Penn State Track And Field Alum!

Fellow Holmes Hall 2nd floor resident in 1978-1979, Mark Heckel was recently awarded for his service as one of America's finest Track and Field Officials by USATF.  I cannot think of a more wonderful man to receive recognition of this sort.  Intelligent, friendly, accomplished and always smiling is how I remember him.  His Official duties have kept him away from many of our Reunions, but he is never far away from our thoughts.  Well done, Mark!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Nearly A New Alumni Record In The Marathon!

Tyler McCandless placed second at the California International Marathon yesterday.  This was the USATF Marathon Championship.  His 3 minute PR 2:12:28 was just 5 seconds short of the Penn State Track and Field Alumni Record! (James Carney and George Malley, 2:12:23)

Tyler's race was remarkably evenly paced, actually a negative split, as he moved up in the standings from 10th at mid-race to his eventual second-place finish.  Congrats Dr. McCandless!

Friday, December 1, 2017

A Cold World Record And My Favorite Comedian

I haven't had much to go on lately and my day job is still far too demanding.  So I have to bring some non-PSU Track stuff to the fore.

First, a world record mile was just set on the Antarctic Continent.  4:17 seems a little slow when I remember Alan Scharsu running a 4:09 in the Ice Palace in 9 degree weather!

And here's a pic of my favorite comedian of all competing in track and field, although from the pic I can only surmise it was the discus event???

Jim Gaffigan walked onto the Purdue football team for his Freshman campaign but then transferred to Georgetown for his remainder of college.  So we can say he was a fellow Big Ten athlete, at least for a bit!
“I have so many fond memories from Purdue,” Gaffigan said. “Most seem to involve walking. I walked onto the football team and walked away after I didn't like getting my head bashed in. I remember walking to some classes that were, for some reason, at 7 a.m., walking to Hardee's at 11:30 at night, finally buying a bike, and then walking after it fell apart after two days. Go Boilers.”

Monday, November 27, 2017

More On Our Vatican Envoy

I reported yesterday on Penn State Track Alumni (Golfer) Matt Chadwick's photo with Pope Francis, and it has caused quite a stir among readership.  So I set the Interns on a task to come up with more, even with their post-Thanksgiving  bloating and malaise.

And they came through for me!

First on the list is a mention of Greg Fredericks in the New York Times...
PHILADELPHIA, May 26—Greg Fredericks continues to surprise people, including Harry Groves, his coach at Penn State.
Before the start of the sixmile run in the I. C. 4‐A outdoor track and field championships today, Groves held brief strategy session with his distance runner.
“What do you have in mind” the Penn State coach asked.
“We're going to set a 27:55 pace,” Fredericks replied.
The West Lawn, Pa., senior was timed in 27 minutes 54.3 seconds, the fastest performance ever by an I. C. 4‐A collegian and another indication of how far Fredericks has emerged as the East's premier distance runner.
But further into the article comes this...
His victory coupled with courageous third‐place finish by Matt Chadwick, enabled Penn State to take the first-day lead in the two‐day, 20-event at Franklin Field with 13 points.
Matt is now the Parish Priest at Saint Anthony of Padua Church in Rye, East Sussex, England.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

We Really Are Everywhere!

With the holidays upcoming, it is great to know that we have a voice at the seat of the world's largest Christian denomination.  That is, the Roman Catholic Church and the Vatican.

Ken Brinker sends us this pic of Father Matt Chadwick with Pope Francis.  Ken and I both agree that the Pope may be smiling because Father Matt told him a Coach Groves story.  Maybe...

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