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...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Horace Ashenfelter Video!

The 1952 Helsinki Olympic 3000 meter Steeplechase Finals shows PSU's Horace Ashenfelter with plenty left in his 8:45.8 gold-medal performance, the unofficial WR at the time. Mr. Ashenfelter currently lives in New Jersey and gets a much deserved hat tip from all PSU Track Alumni golfers. He is also an avid golfer.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Back In the Saddle

Gary made a successful return to the links on Saturday, garnering first place honors at Little Creek Golf Course in Nashville PA. He maintained better than bogey golf, despite being less than 6 weeks healed after bilateral hip replacement. He also took his first jog, approximately 30 feet of anaerobic hell, apparently. I gave him a run for his money though, only one stroke back with 2 to play. Four missed short par putts thwarted my efforts to defeat him for the first time ever. Forever a "D" golfer... (Only 3:30 long, even Zeb has time to watch it!)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Scandinavians Succumb:

A fresh web site hit from Malmo, Sweden (I'm not making this up!) , according to the official PSU Track Alumni physicist Stephen Hawking. Either that or it heralds a coming ice age, bucking the popular global warming predictions. I figure an ice age is more likely, but I hold out hope our little collection of reprobates will be enhanced by an addition of such monumental importance. Web site hits were also obtained from Singapore, Russia and Portugal, indicating world-wide acceptance of our mission statement (although we don't have one yet).

The Alumni Outreach Program rolled on with a return visit to Zeb Stewart's suburban Philadelphia home. We are happy to report he is now in the "most probably" category. His generous donation to our General Fund and Future Scholarship Fund was rewarded with decals and magnets which now grace his refrigerator. That places our official count at "somewhere north of 25 golfers". Those of you on the fence are forewarned.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Yes, I Know its 10 Months Away!

Another comrade emerged from the recesses of central PA. Now somehow known as "Pancho", Jeff Sanden has indicated he will golf with us next year, provided he is not deported overseas (or something along those lines). It is good to have a man like Jeff, who appreciates the exciting brand of central PA distance running in the late 70's, with us. With all my pictures either faded or gone, its good to be reminded of at least one past conquest. That puts our "definites" and "probablys" to over 20 now. Let's keep it up and we'll be able to offer a $10,000 prize for a hole-in one!

Also related to next year's event, the Shisler's have announced the traditional Post-Championship Celebration will indeed be held north of the Arctic Circle in downtown Stormstown. I told them to expect throngs of hungry and thirsty, frustrated golfers, but it didn't seem to faze them. Troopers to the end! Check out the picture of last year's bar-b-que penguin feast, mmm penguin! (although penguins and polar bears are supposed to be on opposite sides of the globe!).

Addendum: Mark Covert ran today for his 40th straight year of running over a mile a day. Never missed a day (actually never less than 3 miles!) 150,000 total miles.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

"Harry's (not Jerry's) Kids" - "WHO AM I"

Something new for you all to enjoy and try to piece together:

- I have a B.S. in Finance...
- I, like many other athletes, nearly opted out of being a part of the
team until Coach Groves, threw me up against a tree and insisted
I was making the mistake of my life if I were to do so...
- I, like many other track athletes at Penn State, attended the university
in one of the many years Brian Boyer attended...
- I was / am (aren't you always) a member of the United States Air Force...
- I bleed deep blue blood as my father did before me...
- Some of my best years were spent in Center Halls...
- I had an awful fear of heights and often times panicked when I was forced
to cross bridges...
- I held the indoor mile record in the old indoor complex...
- I was a runner-up in the PIAA mile in PA...
- I was a member of the 4 X 1500 team that set the American Collegiate Record...
- I have a wife named Maureen, a son named Daniel, and a brand new daughter
named Anna Grace...
- I hail originally from State College...
- I now live in Buffalo...
- I wonder what ever happened to the likes of Dave Coney and Greg Reiner...
- I carried the nickname of "OPEY".....

Pretty easy? Maybe not for some of the younger guys or grandpa's......

I AM ROBERT H. HUDSON - Class of 1986

Monday, July 21, 2008

Penn Relays Athletes Come Out of the Woodwork!

Another blast from the past has made his presence known. Unfortunately, its another runner who beat me in the 1979 Penn Relays Marathon. Previously, Tim Backenstose and Dave Spears signed up for next year's Harry Groves Memorial Tourney. Don Ziter has golfed with us on several occasions, as has his wife, Lynne (at least she didn't beat me in the marathon!). Now, Brad Althouse has said hello from beautiful Utah. He may not be able to join us next year for golf, but he is interested. His reminisces of our memorable mountain runs are recounted on the message board.

When talking about the 1979 Penn Relays, it must be remembered that PSU won every college individual distance race that year! Tim won the marathon, Alan Scharsu won the 5,000 meters, Bruce Baden won the 3,000 meter SC, and John Ziegler won the 10,000 meters. PSU also accounted for about 1/2 of the first 30 finishers in the marathon. We also won the overall competition at The Cold Molsons, with many other athletes chipping in for the victory.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

He Can't Possibly Pull That Off!

Rob Whiteside brings us this juicy video of the 1972 Munich Olympic 800 meter finals. Watch it three or four times and you will still swear Dave Wottle can't win that race. A tip of the cap to a man with a pair of pickle jars (as Coach would say). 53 second first lap and then a sub-51!

Another one I find to be even more astounding is Billy Mills finish at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic 10,000 meter finals. Ron Clarke and Mohammed Gammoudi probably still don't see him coming yet!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Worst Workout Evah!

In an effort to promote the new Message Board, I am asking the question "What was the worst workout Coach Groves ever made you do?" We'll separate into 3 groups for this, the sprinters/hurdlers, the field men, and the distance men. Worst can mean most disliked, hardest to do or terrible outcome (or whatever else you want it to mean).

Just go to the Lunatics in Bedlam, Ranting and Raving Message Board and post your horror story for all to peruse. We'll judge later who the winner is in each category and they will win a valuable prize (or at least a prize anyway!)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Italians Join the Fun:

Today's excursion takes us to the Continent for a sumptuous pasta meal as opposed to our usual greasy pizza at the pre-tournament repast. A web site hit from Lazio, Italy extends our reach to Europe, finally. Lazio is on the western coast near Rome, a beautiful place this time of year (I hear!).

Australia and South America are yet to come, and Antarctica is a long shot, although I know someone who has run a marathon there to complete some awful quest. Five, 5 1/4 mile loops, only a little of it on a road, the rest on ice and snow is no way to go through life. A marathon on every continent is a goal even I don't understand.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Magnets and Decals!

The PSU Track Alumni Golf Universe expands again! Business card-sized refrigerator magnets, repositionable window decals and bumper sticker-sized magnets are now available. Amaze your friends and confound your enemies with our insane, incongruous title. They feature the stylized likenesses of our own Paul Mundy and our recent decathlete Ryan Olkowski in beautiful black and blue (and white).

You can get your set of 2 refrigerator magnets, one decal, and one bumper sticker magnet for a minimum donation of 5 dollars to the general fund or Scholarship Fund. Remember, Pay Pal is secure and easy. Any method of payment can be used, (credit card, debit card, direct checking account or Pay Pal account). You can also get a set if you sign up for the event on the web site form. Either the donation or the sign-up will give me your address for shipping.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Hips are Important in Golf!

In reviewing video of Gary golfing about 5 or 6 years ago, I noticed a startling difference. Trying out "The Hammer" (a prototype of Paul Mundy's "Beast"), Gary actually was able to follow through on his shots. Let's hope the ceramic/titanium versions will allow a return of a reasonable swing radius and an accentuated club head speed! The first of his shots was actually 353 yards, the second (5 or 6 years later) was estimated by expert Clark Haley at 150 yards. (Clark did win a distance finder at last year's event!) Lets us know the importance of hyaline cartilage! Video is only 3 minutes long, Zeb!

Added: Labels are now added to the posts. This allows you to look up names, places, and things mentioned on the site. ( A kind of table of contents. )

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Penn Relays Watch Winner Joins Group!

The 70's barrier has been broken (just barely!) by 1979 Penn Relays Marathon Champion Tim Backenstose. He joins our humble cadre of former scholar-athletes with extreme enthusiasm. He promises to help entice others as well. His golf game is as good as mine, I am sure, so Balkey better watch out. He is awarded the coveted 50% off prize promised to the first from his decade to formally announce his candidacy for this coveted honor.

The half-price special still applies to the 90's guys (and I guess the 60's guys as well since Coach started in '68). Remember, we are also having a drawing for Gas Cards from the group of us that convinces a new member to join us. Maybe all meals will be covered while you are in State College and your transportation to and from also! I will wait to formally email the 90's guys until we figure out the exact dates, so please vote.

Also, it is noted that Clark Haley has finally joined the editorial staff here at the blog. His musings and organizational skills are sorely needed. Expect the prose here to soon improve!

Addendum: Dave Spears, an "A" golfer, also joined our ridiculous collection of pseudo-golfers today. Tim's bold and daring decision to take the leap might have had a lot to do with it. Dave will have to confirm, but if true, Tim is also eligible for the gas card drawing. The wonders of PSU Track and Field Alumni Golf never cease!

Addendum II: Congrats to former Harry Groves Memorial Tourney golfer Ryan Olkowski, who came in 11th in the decathlon at the Olympic Trials. We are still waiting for the rest of his foursome to show up!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Rules of PSU Track Alumni Golf!

Some skeptical alumni teammates have expressed an ignorance of what we are trying to do with our hopefully soon-to-be larger group. These otherwise stellar college graduates wonder what golf has to do with anything else in their lives. Why golf? Why in May 2009?

The truth is, golf has very little to do with this whole thing. We are trying to reconnect with fellow teammates and meet new friends who share a strong bond with PSU Track and especially with Coach Harry Groves. As I've said before, he is the only thing we all have in common. We should celebrate that at least once yearly, especially when he participates with us. He has expressed his pleasure with the event and even chipped and putted superbly this past year. We want him to continue this, year after year. Clark Haley should be commended for his founding efforts, although he should be shunned for his bad breath and overall sloppy appearance.

Even if you have never golfed before, hate golf, or are afraid of golf, I guarantee you will have a wonderful time at the event. We are keeping costs down, and hotel rooms are even at a great rate because we come back year after year and The Hampton Inn loves our group. A special emphasis is being made this year to promote bringing families with you, as this will eliminate one more obstacle to enlarging the group.

So to alleviate the fears of golf on some who have not come to the event, let me go over the rules of our little golf outing, The Harry Groves Memorial Golf Tournament:

1. Four-Man Best Ball Format- that means everybody hits one and the group always picks the best of the four shots. You are never put under any pressure. You can only happily surprise the good golfers when you hit a lucky one, and you will. It's always winter in State College, so fluff that lie as much as you want!

2. All groups are assigned one of the better golfers in the group, and there are many good golfers among us. (Ha, Ha) No one is hung out to dry. Family members are welcomed also (Doug Scharsu has his name on The Cup). Wives are encouraged to golf also (Beth Shisler is odds-on favorite to win The Longest Drive every year). My 36 Handicap sometimes places me in the "C" golfers slot!

3. If you don't want to hit long shots or can't, the other three guys will rotate an extra shot every stroke throughout the round. (IN DISPUTE! by Clark and Leggett) (The good golfers actually love you for this!) If you only want to putt, that's OK too (IN DISPUTE! by Clark and Leggett)(and everyone can putt, just watch my excellent videos!). If you only want to ride around in a golf cart, that's OK too. Greg Fredericks was our Course Marshall last year and I'll bet he will chip and putt next year, after seeing all of us in action. Munya Maraire golfed in 2007 without ever having held a club before. He actually contributed to my foursome and several of his putts were counted.

4. Disputes are handled by Coach Groves citing The Queensbury Rules, the original rules for boxing in England. This led to only the third eagle of the Tourney last year, but that's another story. Needless to say, nothing is taken too seriously (IN DISPUTE! by Clark and Leggett) and we have had a tremendous time 7 year's straight. (NO DISPUTE! from anyone)

5. Prizes are given out for many things, and almost everybody wins something. The Shisler's have generously hosted a Cook-Out every year at their home in Stormstown, somewhere north of Julian Pike, near the Arctic Circle. It's a blessing that The Bypass now is complete to help us get there. Global warming has decreased the snow cover in the area and Polar Bear attacks are now very rare.

6. Breakfast, lunch and dinner on Tournament Day and dinner on the Friday night prior to the Tourney are already covered. If you stay at The Hampton Inn, breakfast is covered on Sunday too. This last year I noticed later that I hadn't spent any cash while I was in State College for 2 1/2 days! Beer, soda and water of numerous varieties is available all weekend. Clark owns 34 separate coolers and his trunk is loaded at all times, as is he. Due to our advancing age, the original Pub Crawl is now only lightly attended, but nothing's stopping any of you from rekindling the flame.

Come next year, and bring a friend.
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