The Store Is Open Until 7/10/17

Kelly Sports Store
4 Jackets for all seasons, a matching rain pant and classic 100% pre-shrunk cotton tees just like olden times! Not those new-fangled smelly technical tees! If a code is needed, it is PSUTFAL

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Number Three With A Bullet... Er, A Javelin

The last time we visited, Michael Shuey and I related the success of his injury-induced 5th dream season.   He had done just about everything he set his mind to.  But somehow, he has added even more to it at the USATF National Championships!

Michael added 5 more feet to his School Record and placed third in the Javelin Championships with his toss of 255' 8".  (He had another toss of more than 253'!)  Congrats Michael.

Rachel Fatherly also placed 14th in the Shot Put with a heave of 53' 6 1/2".  Meanwhile, Joe Kovacs, Darrell Hill and ex-assistant coach Ryan Whiting will be competing in the Shot Put this afternoon, while Isaiah Harris makes his way in the second National Championship Final in the 800M.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

800U On To The Finals!

I only picked this pic because it clearly shows the PSU Is 800U Wrist Band on his wrist. This was last year before he lost it in his voluminous travels. I have another one for him!

Isaiah Harris qualified for the Finals in the USATF 800M last night with a 1:45.77. He will join Joe Kovacs and Darrell Hill, who are in the Shot Put, competing for a spot on the World Championships team on Sunday.

1Erik Sowinski
1:45.48 Q
Pl: 1
Pl: 1

2Abraham Alvarado
1:46.62 Q
Pl: 3
Pl: 1

3Clayton Murphy
1:45.70 Q
Pl: 3
Pl: 2

4Drew Windle
1:46.69 Q
Pl: 8
Pl: 2

5Isaiah Harris
Penn St.
1:45.77 Q
Pl: 7
Pl: 3

6Donavan Brazier
1:46.88 Q
Pl: 1
Pl: 3

7Drew Piazza
Virginia Tech
1:45.83 Q
Pl: 6
Pl: 4

8Charles Jock
1:46.92 Q
Pl: 5
Pl: 4

And Evonne Britton moved on to the Semi-Finals of the 100M Hurdles.

Friday, June 23, 2017

USATF Championships 2017

Isaiah Harris, Dom Perretta and Casimir Loxsom represented Penn State in the 800M opening round yesterday in steamy California.  Isaiah won his rather slow heat by closing with a relish to move on to tomorrow's semi-finals.  although Dom and Casimir failed to advance, Cas certainly put a smile on my face by donning his Alumni Singlet at the Championship level!  Cas has also announced a return to State College next year for training.  

Also, Morgan Shigo placed 11th in the Hammer Throw, capping off a stellar season.  Tori Gerlach also finished her tremendous season and PSU career with a 15th place finish in the Steeplechase.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Bears! Be Careful Out There

It's that time of year again.  Bears are all in the news.  And most of it is bad.

Two maulings with death in Alaska last week.  One was a teenage trail runner who was chased, mauled and killed.  And these were both black bears, not the more aggressive brown variety. (And here.)

And here was another race in Colorado, where a black bear decided to bandit for possible prize money!  In the old days, this would have forfeited her amateur status.

And everyone remembers MY BEAR STORY from 1980 in Happy Valley!  I also took a run in Bear Meadows, parking the car along the trail.  The windows were cracked just a bit and there were sandwiches inside for when we were done our run.  When we returned there were 3 full grown bears on top of the car.  I handled it by adding 5 more miles to the run.  When we were done again, the bears were gone.

And don't forget to get your orders in at the Group Merchandise Store.  There are 4 different jackets for every season, a classic t-shirt that won't smell bad after one wear, and a rain suit for those early season track meets you are officiating or coaching. Use code PSUTFAL to enter the store.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A Guest Post From One Group Officer About Another

Our Chief Laundry and Morale Officer forwarded this from a wayward intern about our Director of Youth Development.  Both are Yinzers, but maybe the rest of us can follow along...

“One of the new interns, currently working on top-secret, autonomous Cross Country van project deep in the bowels of CMU’s Robotics, Propulsion and Isaly’s Klondike Lab, found this hidden jewel in the recesses of the internet.  Finally a story about something good happening in Cleveland!”

The Days of Our Lives

PITTSBURGH, PA - Sometimes I wish I could go back on a rollercoaster ride, when life's just a game. One of Queen's lesser-known songs, "These Are The Days of Our Lives" is the perfect tune by which to remember those times we have left behind us. Everyone of us, at various points in our lives, takes those fateful trips down memory lane. Some of us look back with a smile, and some look back with a sigh of regret. Yet look back we all do, and it is about this that I write today. While hopping about the internet the other day, I happened upon the official Shady Side Academy Cross Country Page, and the memories came flooding back. Reading the tales of the accomplishments of the past year's cross country team, as well as some of the history of the team at Shady Side, I was reminded of how old I had gotten, and how long it had been sonce I ran along those rolling hills of Fox Chapel. How many years it had been since I had taken the long bus ride to Mercersburg, PA, with a dozen or so of us rocking along with Freddy Mercury and Queen in the back. When the last time was that I gathered with my teammates for a pre-race trip to the sacred Pizza Hut. Needless to say, I was quite thrilled to have found this tiny corner of the cyber-world, for it has inspired me to recall the lasting legacy of a man I feel was the greatest runner ever to don a Shady Side uniform - Arthur Scott Gilkes.
It is not the easiest thing to enter high school, a highly regarded cross country runner, the year after a state championship. Having graduated a majority of the major players from the 1988 State Championship team, Shady Side Academy was in a rebuilding year, which still left the team quite competitive by league standards. Artie Gilkes was immediately thrust into a leadership role on the team, surging into a top five position from the onset. The graduation of still more seniors that year thrust the spotlight on Gilkes and his sophomore teammates in the 1990 season. After a strong showing in the state meet that year, where Gilkes finished fourth, the team, which placed three sophomores in the top four slots on the team, appeared destined for something great.
Gilkes' junior year featured more of the same, as Gilkes was rapidly becoming a household name in cross country circles in Western Pennsylvania. As he raced to numerous titles in local invitationals, the team nonetheless found itself in the all-too-familiar role of bridesmaid in the league and state meets. The core of the team, now comprised of three juniors - Gilkes, co-captain Bruce Jacobs, and myself - and a freshman - Andy May - could not get over the huge hurdles in its path, and Gilkes was forced to settle once again for individual achievement. He was victorious in the league championship meet, and he placed second at the state invitational. Would his senior year hold more of the same heartache? Or would his team finally rally around their defiant leader?
Magic Johnson is considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time, not only for the skills he possessed on the court, but for his ability to make those around him better. Artie Gilkes discovered in himself that same desire and that same will. He would not let his team lose, doing everything in his power to propel his team to victory. He only lost one race during his senior year, a state-wide invitational in early September of 1992, but it was his dedication to the team that made him a lasting legend at Shady Side.
Never having known the joys of a team victory at the Interstate Prep School League championships, Gilkes was faced with the unenviable task of weighing certain personal glory against potential team gain. Victory was almost assuredly his, if he so desired it. Yet if he went out and demolished the competition, the team might again find itself in second place. The chief competition, Western Reserve Academy, had two top runners - Hastings and Masiella - who would most likely find themselves in second and third place if Gilkes ran away early. I had never beaten these two runners in three years of head-to-head competition, and as the team's second-best runner, my ability to stay with these two was crucial. Working two-against-one however, the W.R.A. runners had a significant edge, and passing me at the end was a likely outcome. Assistant Coach Tom Graham explained to Gilkes that he would have to risk defeat if he wanted the team to have a chance to win: he would have to hold back, running in a pack of four, only to sprint at the end and take me with him down the victory chute. The decision was not even a decision at all.
Encouraged by my teammate's presence against the two W.R.A. giants, I was able to stay in the lead pack for almost two and a half miles. The four of us had rapidly distanced ourselves from the rest of the field, and it was becoming apparent that Hastings and Masielle were gaining confidence at having kept up with Gilkes. With a half mile to go, Coach Graham signaled for Gilkes to make his move, and motioning for me to come with him, Gilkes took off across the barren Ohio fields. I am not sure to this day why I went with him at the moment, or how I had the strength to do so, but I did, and he pulled me right along with him to the finish. Gilkes had run the race perfectly, and he and Coach Graham had known precisely when to make the final kick. That willingness to sacrifice on the part of Artie Gilkes earned us the league championship.
Artie Gilkes went on to win the state championship as well that year, even though the team finished a close third in the most competitive field in the tournament's history. He went on to star with Penn State University, running track and cross country in the Big Ten. People look back on high school with a variety of memories, from the prom to past girlfriends to pre-college anxiety. I look back on high school and see one race, run late in October, in chilly conditions, just outside of Cleveland, OH. I remember crossing the finish line, profoundly aware that the league title was ours, knowing that the man fifty yards in front of me was responsible. I raced my entire career with Artie Gilkes, always one step behind, and I never met a better runner, or a better leader. Even while just jogging around my Virginia neighborhood, I can still see his face, nodding to me that it was time to go. Run, then, Artie. Run to your place in history. I will be right behind you.
Submitted 7/30/98.

Monday, June 19, 2017

PSU Is Javelin U

NCAA All-American Michael Shuey will be competing for a place on the World Championship team this weekend.  But this former PSU Javelin thrower has competed at many of our Coach Groves Golf Tournaments.  Take a guess in the comment section or on our Facebook site!

And don't forget to visit our store to pick up a jacket, rain suit or t-shirt!!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Danae Rivers, Freshman Of The Year

Danae Rivers was just named the Freshman of the Year yesterday by the Big Ten. She can add a big trophy to her 5 (or is it more?) School Records!

And don't forget to visit the Penn State Track Alumni Store to pick up some t-shirts or Jackets!   Use Code PSUTFAL to go to the store site.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Store Is Open!

The Kelly Sports Group Store is now open.  That means you have one month to place your order.  Simply create an Account and order away! Orders will be finalized in 28 days (7/10/2107) and only then will you be charged.  The items will then be embroidered in the next month and shipping will occur on around 8/8/2017

Calling all readers to spread the word again, via phone, Twitter, Facebook, email or (gasp!) by mouth! Those spreading the word by Sharing on Facebook will be entered in a drawing for a classic t-shirt! (Funds for this will come from the Intern Stipend Fund.)

All items are in Mens Sizing!!!  (adjust accordingly) 
For those using the landing page, the password listed on the flyer* will get you to the right page. Double check that the password is being entered correctly: PSUTFAL

Several items that I selected were unavailable, so this year's store will mostly be a Jacketpalooza! There are 4 separate jackets available, all with our great group logo embroidered on the left breast.
  • A lightweight jacket from Nike that was our most popular item the last two times.

  • A rain jacket from Under Armour that has been requested by many who missed it the first time.  I have this and it is a spectacular item.  I have used it extensively already, even at the recent Big Ten Championships when the sky threatened to let loose!
  • A Hybrid jacket with Nike Sphere technology that will bridge the gap between lightweight and heavy parka.

  • A Nike Parka for the worst weather Happy Valley throws at us.

Also, there are 2 other items available:

  • Rain pants from Under Armour to complete the rain set, especially for track officials and track coaches for those early season rainy meets. Logo on the left hip.
  • Classic 100% cotton t-shirts that are pre-shrunk.  These come in either white or grey with the small logo embroidered on the left breast.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Ten Questions: Michael Shuey All-American!

Thanks to Michael Shuey for playing along with my 10 questions!

1. From what I can gather observing from afar, this year seems like a dream come true for you. Is that an accurate appraisal?
Anytime I can compete for Penn State is a dream come true for me. Being an athlete at this college was my dream since age 8. But to go through the surgeries and still be able to reach my goals is just icing on top of the cake.
 2. What was your injury and what did it take to come back as well as you did?
 I have had set backs since my 10th grade year in high school when I dislocated my elbow in a football game. Then the following year I got a blood clot in my throwing arm. The junior year at penn state in tore my UCL in my throwing arm which lead to surgery and was out for a whole year of not throwing javelin. Recovery from that is more mental then physical, I had to trust the surgery and not baby it. Which was just ignoring the little bit of pain.
 3. Was it as much fun as it looked winning the Big Ten title?
Winning the team title was a completely different feeling than any individual success. The vibs from the coaches and athletes made the experience amazing. We are such a close group of guys that achieving something together was something that I will never forget.
 4. Who taught you to throw a javelin?
In 7th grade I asked Coach Charney who was also a teacher I had, that I wanted to try javelin. He said that it's very technical and not something I could just pick up and do. But the last practice of the year he let me throw it in practice. The first couple throws I'll never forget he said "You could go to the Olympics" so after that he helped along with an assistance coach named Mike Sherry and Richard Schriber. But my high school coach Kurt Breakey was someone that really helped me become successful in it.
 5. Who are your idols in the Sport? 
Jan Zelzeny the world record holder is one of the throwers that I watched a lot growing up along with Tero Pitkämäki and Andreas Thorkildsen.
6. What is the proper angle when throwing a javelin?
The angle you want to throw the javelin is around 35 degrees. I'm working on doing that part of the throw well.
(There was a video game we used to play while in Podiatry School called "Track and Field"  It was a decathlon-like game with 10 events.  In the game 35 degrees was the ideal javelin angle while 45 degrees worked best for the shot put.  Takes me back 33 years!)
7. Have you ever heard Coach Groves’ story about how Willie Mays taught him to throw a javelin?
No, I never heard that story, please share hahah 
(It's a true story.  Willie Mays was in Coach Groves' unit in the Army at Fort Eustis Virginia, where Coach had a team. You need to go visit him and ask the question.  You may hear the story twice!)
8. It looks like there is more in the tank. What’s next for you?
Yes, more to come I hope. We leave for the USA championships in hopes to place high enough to make a USA team. 
(Good luck. Maybe I need to come up with 10 more questions!)
9. If you couldn’t throw the javelin, what other event would you do?
 If I couldn't do the javelin and had to pick another event. It would be high jump! I was recruited for the decathlon my freshmen year and loved to high jump.
10. Will you join us for a future Reunion and Coach Groves Golf Tourney?
I will for sure do the reunion and golf tournament.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

How Did The Women Do At The NCAA Championships?

The big answer is tied for 29th place.

Tori Gerlach used her extra eligibility to All-American effect by placing third in the 300M SC! And Danielle Gibson used her first effort in the Triple Jump to place sixth for the second All-American for PSU!  Both Tori and Danielle PRed in their Championship performances.  Coach Groves would be proud.  Only Tori PRed, (Thanks Mimi McGarry McCloskey!) Coach Groves is still proud.  Blog interns will be denied soup at lunch for the next week. 

600M Record Holder Cas Loxsom with Tori Gerlach.

The Team Rundown:
  • 800M - Danae Rivers     19th   2:07.17
  • 3000M SC - Tori Gerlach      3rd   9:46.76
  • 5000M - Tessa Barrett     20th   16:18.86
  • 10000M - Jillian Hunsberger     10th   33:29.40
  • Pole Vault - Hannah Mulhern      NH
  • Triple Jump - Dannielle Gibson    6th   43' 10"
  • Shot Put - Obeng Marfo   19th   53' 3/4"

Saturday, June 10, 2017

How Did The Men Do At The NCAA Championships?

 "It was a fun race."
-Isaiah Harris, runner-up in the 800M.

(And let's not forget this previous tweet from Isaiah!)
"Light yourself on fire and then roll in broken glass to put out the fire!" -from Isaiah Harris's Twitter Feed, explaining how to replicate the feeling after an 800M race.

The big answer is, tied for 20th in the team standings.  For the third straight year in the top 20!  Congrats to the coaches and all the athletes (and not just the ones who scored!).  Coach Gondak related his happiness and the hunger for more!

Coach Gondak and Isaiah Harris.
Isaiah Harris closed out the NCAA Championships with a very smart race, finishing second to the heavy favorite, UTEP's Emmanuel Korir.*  Isaiah stayed back early and ran relatively even splits (52.32 and 53.09).  That kept him out of trouble when the 2 UTEP runners tangled and Michael Saruni went down with 200M to go.  Many thought Korir could have been disqualified for the trip, but judges eventually ruled it out.

Isaiah Harris represents the 7th All-American performance in the 800M since 2009 and ties both Brannon Kidder and Casimir Loxsom with the highest finish in the event at the Championship level.

All the participants in the NCAA Championships: 
  • Javelin - Michael Shuey   3rd   250' 9"
  • Javelin - Ryan Kerr       9th     232' 0"
  • Javelin - Michael Biddle   18th   219' 8"
  • Long Jump -  Malik Moffett       18th   24' 1/4"
  • Shot Put - Jon Yohman    11th      62'   1/2"
  • 4 x 100M - Karson Kowalchuk, Dan Chisena, Xavier Smith, Malik Moffett  13th  39.15
  • 4 x 400M - Dan Chisena, Xavier Smith, Tyreek Mathis, Isaiah Harris  9th   3:04.17
  • 800M - Isaiah Harris   2nd    1:45.40
  • 800M - Domenic Perretta   21st   1:49.14
  • 200M - Malik Moffett   22nd   20.93
  • Discus - David Lucas    9th  190' 3"
  • Triple Jump - Bryce Williams  17th  51' 1 3/4" 
* Even better, Isaiah wore his "Alumni-like Singlet" in the Final.

Friday, June 9, 2017

A Little Rant: I Wish The Scoring System At NCAA Would Be Updated

It has always confused me as to why the scoring system for the NCAA Track Championships is as restricted as it is.  Only scoring the top 8 in the Nation shortchanges so many schools and individuals who are at the top of the Sport. It doesn't make sense.

The 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 system is fine for smaller invitationals, but doesn't do justice for anyone who truly loves the Sport.  A team with 1 dominant sprinter/long jumper and NO OTHER TEAM MEMBERS can place high or even win the Championship (think a one man team of Carl Lewis!). And that would be a team likely to be at the bottom of their conference Championships and unable to win any dual meets (Not that they exist anymore anyway!).

A 20-18-16-14-13-12-11(...)-1 system would make more sense! It would still weight the top 3 positions as more important, but would reward well-balanced teams equitably. It is supposedly a team sport, after all.

What do you think?

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