Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Great Performance # 8: Practice Makes Perfect

Larry Mangan provides us with the next Great Performance. Like some of the recent honorees, he is being recognized for something other than his many records and championships.

Larry was as versatile a runner as I have ever run with. I suppose we should categorize him as a middle distance specialist, but he wasn't shabby at the 10K distances we used to run in Cross Country. Like All-American shabby, I think. And he could sprint, too. And not just for the loop bus.

This recognition is for the 400 meters I saw him run in practice (take that AI) in 1979. I saw this from an inside lane, the whole way. (Larry made the stagger up on me early, so I never got close to him.) Coach made us distance guys run an all-out 400 in lanes one day at practice, before our usual gut-wrenching (take that sprinters, jumpers) 800 meter repeats. I ran my PR and tied with John Ziegler with a 54 second lap, (also Bill Rodger's PR). Larry ran a 47 second (48 seconds corrected by Larry)* 400 meters, which would have placed first or second (in the top 5)* in last week's open 400 at the Horace Ashenfelter Indoor Complex. I label someone who can get first or second in a large meet at 400 meters a sprinter, but I'll bet none of the others could run a 29 something 10K. Congrats to Larry on this great performance (and resume enhancer).

Also: Momentum is building for a future Golf extravaganza in the Bahamas. Mike Sands has gotten a superb response to his idea, and the machinery is in motion to make a complete package workable (Mike is a bigwig with BahamasAir). Deforesting paradise may become a PSU Track Alumni reality! Mike has been named Official Blog Travel Attache, (and I suppose BahamasAir is our Official Airline now!)

* corrections noted as per Larry

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