Thursday, May 19, 2022

A Major Award

 Like a leg lamp, the Numbnutz Triathlon Trophy leaves one a little underwhelmed.  The head was repaired with Gorilla Glue 3 years ago, and somehow the golf club has been lost.  But it is still the third most coveted prize at our Reunion Weekend.

Todd Leggett took home the prize by winning the overall title, presented by Clark Haley.


And, oh by the way, Clark was finally awarded the Rusty Boot, the highest honor that can be bestowed on a Penn State Track Alumni Golfer.  In a juvenile display of Ivy League proportions someone purloined the bronzed javelin boot from my car while we dined on coffee and donuts at the Triathlon site.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Whine And Dine

 First up, the announcement by Clark Haley of the one-time rules change for the 20th Annual Coach Harry Groves Golf Tourney brought howls of protest from the "real" golfers among us.  The cacophony from the rabble rose to such levels at our reception, that I was worried there would be intervention by the authorities.


Announced as a 2 club maximum for each golfer in the foursome, it was soon amended to 3 clubs per golfer.  Still, chaos reigned.  Clark held firm at the 3 club maximum and not the "3 clubs and a putter" demand from the influential group of Fuller Brothers!

The anonymously sponsored open bar added to the general good cheer throughout the night.  The night concluded with a putting contest win by Mike McCahill.

The dawning of a new day led eventually to the start of the Coach Groves Golf Tourney.  While this was happening, an intrepid group continued the traditional climb of Mt. Nittany (started by Spouse the Better) followed by a trip to the Creamery.

Rain held off until well into the outing, and the torrential rains only lasted for one hole, followed by summer-like heat and humidity.  We always see a myriad of conditions on the Mountain View Country Club, although conditions were excellent overall.  The brief shower came over Skimont (or whatever it is called now), as if Bear Meadows knew that PSU distance runners were there and just wanted to say hello.

The 3-club maximum for each golfer led to strange shots throughout the day.  Try putting with a 5-iron! My "bag" consisted of a 5-iron, a pitching wedge and a putter; my 3 best clubs.  None of which I can still hit on a consistent basis.  I did, however, have a number of shots that counted and saved par a few times for our foursome.  The new rules added a fun element, and brought a new strategy and synergy to each foursome.  This format brought everyone closer together, which has always been one of Clark's stated goals.  

The longest drive was recorded by philanthropist Ken Brinker.  The longest putt of more than 22 feet was recorded by co-director Harry Smith (garnering the Smith family another year with the purloined Golden Putter).  Tim Brown placed his shot closest to the pin on the ninth hole.  The furthest traveled alum was Brian Boyer, who brought his family from Vienna Austria!

Overall, scores turned out better than anyone had predicted and there was a tie between 2 foursomes at one-under par for the victory.  The rules for ties were eventually thrown out and it was decided using a complex formula involving Elon Musk's new Twitter algorithm and the volume of whining from each group.

The foursome of Paul Mundy, Harry Smith, Gary Black and  Tom Shiffer were given the nod and will have their names engraved on the cherished "Cup".

The Awards Dinner was held at The Hyatt Place Hotel, and entailed a very good spread of grilled chicken, flank steak, baked potato bar and all kinds of other things.  The chocolate cake was especially enjoyed by Tourney Winner Paul Mundy. We had an inspirational speech from former XC and Track and
Field captain Che Arosemena, now attending the Army War College in Carlisle.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Alumni Run And Numbnutz Triathlon

Field event star Todd Leggett dominated the triathlon this morning. This consisted of the Corn Hole Shot Put, the wiggly Javelin and the Steeplechase challenge.

And brave souls (or soles) took a jogging tour of campus to see the closed-off Lion Shrine.

Next up is the golf tourney, with an INCREDIBLE TWIST. Each golfer can only carry 3 clubs.

Friday, May 13, 2022

Best Quote Of The Track Reunion Reception 2022

"I had to stretch just to make it to this party."  - Doug Kent

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Penn State Is 800U - Penn Relays 2022 Edition


Penn State showed up in fine shape for the return of the Penn Relays 4 x 800M Championships of America.  The Women showed everyone what they can do at the big meets by winning the race in splendid fashion.  Ohio State put up a good fight, but the deep Lady Lions prevailed in 8:24.49.  I am trying to verify the actual order of athletes, but Rachel Gearing, Allison Johnson, Victoria Tachinski and Victoria Vanrielle  Victoria Vanriele (2:08.37), Rachel Gearing (2:04.27), Madaline Ullom (2:06.92), and Victoria Tachinski (2:04.95)were listed.  This was PSU's second wheel of the meet! (with the Sprint Medley Relay on Friday, another fine performance for 800U)  Madeline Ullom is an Ohio hs star coached by teammate Tom Rapp!

Splits in reverse order were: 2:08.37 / 2:04.27 / 2:06.92 / 2:04.95

The Men followed that up with a second place finish to the overwhelming favorite Ole Miss. They were rumored to be eyeing the Penn Relays Record of 7:11.17 of the 1985 Penn State squad, but came up short.  Two members of that 85 squad were in the stands enjoying the Carnival; Steve Shisler and  Vance Watson.  PSU ran to a fine 7:17.86 time, a time that has won quite a few Championships in the past.  Listed as running were Olivier Desmeules, Darius Smallwood, Evan Dorenkamp, and Domenic Perretta. Yukichi Ishii, Olivier Desmeules, Darius Smallwood and Domenic Perretta

Splits in reverse order were:   1:48.85 / 1:49.98 / 1:48.67 / 1:50.37

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Throw Back Thursday

Friend of the Group (and Coach Groves) Larry Fall sent us this morsel of goodness on the day that Penn Relays finally returns!   No, it isn't from the Relays, but it is pretty tasty anyway.

In the olden days before widespread awareness of the evils of alcohol were apparent (or was it just ignored?) there was a race in State College a little over a mile long which involved up to 7 stops at bars to down a cup of beer.  It was actually a charity event from our Greek friends.  Crowds were enormous and even the police were on the side of the revelers, providing security and safety to the throngs.

There were notable entries from our group involved.  I will never know how Don Ziter pulled off a top level finish while still on the team?  He will be at the Reunion to explain.

But no one was better at the event than Pete Bortolotti.  Greg Frederick's Athletic Attic Store was his sponsor.  He recorded a 5:13 on the 1.1 mile course without spilling a drop. For charity!

Looking at the brochure poster, I think that Bill Clinton made an appearance in the event.  No times could be found.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

A 50-Year Record

 Hugh Hamill
was in Philly recently for a celebration of his Father Judge high school team's record 4 x 800, which still stands! It's a shame he couldn't hang around for our golf tourney.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Monday, April 18, 2022

Boston Marathon Weekend Warms Us Up For Penn Relays

 Doreen (Startare) McCoubrie will again be trudging from Hopkinton to Boston on Patriot's Day.  I am sure there are others...

Warming up for Doreen were Tim McGowan and Tori Gerlach who both placed 15th in the Boston Marathon 5K.  

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Penn State's Earliest Women's Athletics Champions

 From our Golden Putter Attendant, these photos represent the earliest female cross-country and track athletes.

Women harriers at the Pennsylvania State College covered the 2 1/2 mile course in 31:40 with Miss Ida Turner of Port Matilda, Centre County, leading the field to the tape. 1919

Over a part of the cross-country course the Penn State women slowed down to a brisk walking gait. They traveled over country roads, corn fields and grass land in their efforts to win the race. 1918



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