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...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Horace Checks In (and he's a hockey fan!)

Horace the Golden Putter took a road trip to Clarkson University where he toured the school's hockey facilities with current holder Bob Gabel. Clarkson is located in Potsdam NY, so Bob's son Evan is no stranger to Global Warming's natural result, snow and ice. Bob scores major points in the Wrist band contest by noting my love of hockey. The Golden Golf Ball has many contenders already, but there is still time to get your entries in!

Cross-Country Season Ends

"They competed with heart, tenacity, and a lot of moxie, and with a group of so many underclassman, they certainly have an exciting future ahead of them."

-Coach Beth Alford-Sullivan

I have gone the extra distance to bring you the background on this great quote. I previously asked in a poll about your favorite regional sodas, and absolutely no one picked Moxie, a brand from Maine originally sold as a nerve food. I purchased a bottle and sampled it this AM in order to bring you this post. Moxie is an absolutely foul tasting syrup with a bitterness that I would liken to the current state of Tiger Wood's marriage. It does have a high caffeine content, so it has that going for it. So much for the nerve food claim! It takes a spirited, tenacious and high-energy person to finish a bottle. I'm proud to say the bottle is now empty!

What's great about the 14th place Women's Cross-Country team is that nearly everyone is back next year. Only All-American Bridget Franek (attaining her ninth All-American performance!) will be lost for next season. I'm looking forward to next year.

Indoor Track season looms, and I'm looking forward to some great 800M/1500M performances from the men. Remember, the Women's Indoor Big Ten Championships are at PSU this year. Put it on your calendar. I hope to see everyone there.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Physics Lesson: "The Atom" for Dog Lovers and Dummies

And, the recent poll results cheered my skeptical soul. A majority of readers knew that Coach Groves only missed one Penn Relays in the last 65 years because the Army said he couldn't go. His second year, Coach started an Army Track Team in order to be allowed to go as a Coach (and a competitor?).

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Quorom of Idiots!

For the first time since the 2009 Harry Groves Golf Tournament a quorom of idiot officers (CFO Gary Black, Founder Clark Haley and Herder of Cats David Baskwill) was held in Plymouth Meeting at the P. F. Changs. Dinner again centered around Kung Pao Chicken. (I am nothing if not consistent!) The meeting promises some exciting minor tweaks to the 2010 Tourney and Reunion! It will also represent a celebration of Coach Groves 80th birthday.

In 2010, the Friday night reunion evening will be held at Damon's, next to the Hampton Inn. The Awards Dinner will also be at Damon's. A dinner of Ribs and Chicken will be available for a nominal $15 following the golf event. We will still call the event "The Shisler Shindig" in honor of the generous hospitality they have afforded us all these years. The possibility of a few cash events at the tourney, like mulligans, was broached. No final decisions were made. The sacredness of the names on the Harry Groves Memorial Cup cannot be threatened or diluted.

The 2 Philadelphia Outreaches cemented tight bonds among many of us old-timers, as well as generated enthusiasm among recent converts. My former roommate Doug Kent added intellectual heft to the group and provided us with much needed legal advice. PSU mile record holder Larry Mangan updated us on his efforts to negotiate a future Bahamanian Outreach and auxiliary golf tourney with PSU great Mike Sands. Michelle and Brandon Haley provided a family atmosphere to the whole event. Brandon was absolutely the happiest kid I have ever witnessed at a 3 hour dinner at a restaurant. Clark and Michelle are obviously doing something right. Janice Mundy again watched her husband inhale The Great Wall of Chocolate for dessert. Paul Mundy's next meal may be Thanksgiving Dinner! Barb Black again acted as the hostess, allowing me the opportunity to bring PSU Track Alumni Golf to the Masses. I actually attained a 50% success rate in photos this time. It turns out its the camera, not me!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hollywood Bound?

Steve Black is seen being attacked by zombies in the trailer for the remake of the "worst movie ever made". Plan 9 continues script revisions and is preparing to be filmed in Virginia.

Steve has also appeared in the John Adams miniseries and has an upcoming role in an episode of "The Bureau".

Be sure to catch Steve Blacks riveting performance on the Investigation Discovery Channels new groundbreaking series "The Bureau" ; "Trail of Terror" episode airing on Wed Dec 9th at 9 pm, and again on Sat Decd 12th at 6 pm.
Black delivers a powerful performance as Jens Sund, father and husband of two of the 1999 Yosemite Park murder victims. You'll laugh... you'll cry!!! Two Thumbs Up!!!

Good News!

The "Doomsday Machine" was finally turned on again after suffering multiple glitches, some caused by bread crumbs dropped by birds. The CERN Supercollider actually successfully sent a proton beam around its 12 mile circumference without destroying the Earth or attracting time travelers to disable it again. The fact that anyone is reading this means we somehow avoided what some said was an "inevitable destruction of everything".

And from Runners World (yeah, I know!), we find a real-life Physicist who runs marathons. He has a sub 2:50 personal best and has been running for nearly 40 years. Wolfgang Ketterle is a professor at MIT in Boston who grew up in Germany. I hope he doesn't find out about my pseudo-German gibberish on this blog!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


The Big Ten Champion Lady Lions earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships with their 4th place regional finish. Bridget Franek and Nicole Lord lead the Lions into Terre Haute, Indiana for the Monday, November 23 race.

Vince McNally has the entire PSU universe on his shoulders. Only he attained an at-large bid to the finals.

And in time for Thanksgiving Dinner, I bring you this tasty video:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Photographer Wanted!

Judy Lynn Weaver just sent us this gem of a photo! Last year's Official Event Photographer, Judy Lynn has reluctantly given up the post to concentrate on other aspects of our Reunion Weekend. My hope is that she won't challenge Clark Haley for the coveted position of Keeper of the Beer! She has indicated her desire to attend next year's event already and has thrown in a handsome contribution to our overall fund, entitling her to several versions of our wrist bands. She can thus enter our Wrist Bands Around the World Contest for the Golden Golf Ball.

The photo shows Keeper of the Golden Putter, Greg Fredericks handing Horace over to the first ever winner, Bob Gabel for his 16 foot putt on the treacherous 18th green. That's Coach Groves to the left, watching the rest of the inept golfers flailing at the lush greenery.

Anyone wishing to become next year's Official Photographer can contact me via the Interwebby Thingie.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Best Mascot Ever?

Some have said he was the best sporting mascot ever. Now it has been revealed that Berlino was a 33 year-old British actor (and a rather quick-footed one at that!).

My vote still goes to the Philly Phanatic. His ground-breaking work enhanced the efforts of The San Diego Chicken, taking mascots to ever increasing new heights.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

America's First Physicist (Physical Scientist)

My latest trip to Philadelphia took me to some of my favorite locations, all associated with America's first Physicist, Benjamin Franklin. Benjamin flew his famous kite with his 22 year-old son one half block south of Market St. on 10th St. The only remnant is a small plaque on the side of a church. This act solidified Franklin's bone fides as a scientist and led to his renown in Europe, which enhanced his later diplomacy efforts.

He is buried with his wife at 4th and Arch Sts. in Philadelphia. Stop by some time and throw a penny on his marker. There is no better a place to take a photo of our wrist band!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Oberschule Grassenhillerspielerchampionshippenzeestadten Update *

  1. In South Carolina, the Single A State Championship was won by a basketball player wearing a pair of Air Jordans! Chad Hampton won a close race at the tape to take the title.
  2. In the PIAA, Larry Mangan's duo of teenagers helped St. Basil's Academy to a 5th place finish and Lower Moreland to a 14th place.
  3. In Ohio, Zach Wills again won the State Title to pace Tom Rapp's team to a 4th place. Update: Zach won the regional championship and is headed to the Nike Nationals!
* High School Cross-Country State Championships loosely adapted from the Blog Laureate

And the results of the previous poll seems to show that PSU Track Athletes were equally afraid of just about everything, with a slight edge to The Airport Loop. This finding coorelates with my own experience of running the Loop and watching comrades felled by frostbite in the icy winds. Being unable to speak to my parents in line at the Creamery (it was a football weekend) near the finish because of the icicles hanging from my face is a horrid memory. Dave Felice's experience and one of the Wolfe twins memories has to be worse!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Last Suburban Philly Outreach!

The last Suburban Philly Outreach is occurring on Saturday, November 21 at 4:30PM. The site has been shifted to the Plymouth Meeting P. F. Changs in order to entice a few more attendees.

Lucky attendees will receive wrist bands (Oh, goodie!) and the opportunity to watch the Great Wall of Chocolate being dismantled. Camaraderie and fellowship are available right off the turnpike, within easy driving of the entire metropolitan area. RSVP on the left sidebar if you are interested in attending.

Baltimore Inner Harbor is next, and firm dates have yet to be established.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

They Call Him "The Streak" (while being finger-printed) Yanomamos Weep

What was once innocent fun has become serious business, at least in the good ole USA. These Aussie footballers enjoy a post-game run without any repercussions, but kids in Minnesota may have to think twice about "running free".

After the first three football game half-times were "marred" by streakers at St. Francis High School, the authorities were in wait for another at the fourth. He was apprehended, causing hundreds to spill out of the stands to defend him. Another was arrested for resisting the police. The 17-year old streaker will now risk becoming a registered sex offender if convicted.

As an old fuddy-duddy, I'll have to admit even I can get a chuckle out of a streaker. Just what would make someone not able to shrug such a thing off? A suitable punishment for such an offense would be a few hours of community service if I had my way. In the 70's there would have been no one left to arrest the streakers, as the Police Academies were in on it. Progress is a real pain in the butt sometimes.

And now food fights are subject to criminal prosecution. What can be next?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Another Week, Another PSU T-Shirt Controversy!

Last week, 6 people were upset that the "Official" White-Out T-shirt had what some could conclude was a religious symbol on the front. And everyone knows that the Constitution explicitly condemns the union of religion and football or something, (I think its part of the Privacy Clause we so often hear about!)* PSU stood its ground on that one, ensuring that 109,994 fans will be happy on Saturday and that 6 will be sulking at home pondering lawsuits.

Now, another shirt enters the fray. This one makes fun of Ohio State quarterback Terrel Pryor after last year's loss to PSU. Political correctness has prevailed and it has been withdrawn by the company making them.

Making fun of individuals may be over the line, but I long for the days of old when we all wore the "Sh*tt on Pitt" t-shirts and purchased the "Ship Happens" T-shirts at Shippensburg at the PIAA state high school meet.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


"If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking"

George S. Patton Jr.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Finally, Penn State Track at the World Series!!

Todd Leggett comes through for us at the World Series! Here is his very new Glow-In-The-Dark Wrist Band (that's gluuvenwristenbanden in German, I think). This officially enters him in the wrist bands around the world contest. First prize is the golden golf ball which was on display at the recent Alumni Outreach Dinner. You have one more chance to see it in Suburban Philly on Nov. 21.

Keep those photos coming.

Halloween Thwarted: Big-Ten Honors:

Apologies to those who expected me at the Alum Halloween pre-Big Ten party this past weekend. I was unable to attend, which meant my great costume was not in the mix for "Best in Show". I know literally 3 or so people were patiently waiting for me!

The photo to the right is an artist's conception of what part of the costume might have looked like. The rest is a proprietary secret, closely guarded for the past 30 years.

Congrats to overall Big Ten XC individual winner Bridget Franek, and second-team all-Big Ten freshman Nicole Lord. And congrats to Vince McNally, also second-team all-Big Ten.

And as a service to promote a younger crowd, in addition to our usual over-the-hill gang, here's a video of Christopher Walken performing Lady Ga Ga's big hit "Poker Face".

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Two Wins and a Loss

The Suburban Philly Outreach was a huge success and generated the largest turn out so far. Demands for more such events have come in from Baltimore/Washington and Pittsburgh and a return trip to NYC is also on some people's minds. Kung Pao Chicken, Shrimp and Scallops were sampled and deemed delicious by the 11 lucky attendees. The shrimp was particularly good on this trip to P. F. Chang's in Glen Mills. The highlight of the evening was the dismantling of the Great Wall by Paul Mundy with a little assist from his wife, Janice. The Great Wall of Chocolate Desert was extraordinary, but I failed to get a photo of it before it was oblitereated by Paul. The empty plate will have to do. Alums traveled from as far away as Charlottesville VA (Gary Black) and western Ohio (Mark Hawkins). We may have enticed Mark into golfing with us in May. Others traveled about as little as 5 miles (Zeb Stewart) . Larry Mangan came directly from watching his two kids run the District 1 XC meet and moving into a new home, all in the same day! Larry also may have finally succumbed to the golf outing call! Bob Gabel and his wife Kim took a rare trip from Harleysville (just joking Bob!) and brought Horace the Golden Putter for a big night on the town. Todd Leggett also snacked on Kung Pao for the very first time and almost enticed Ed Roskiewitz to come from Princeton. Rob Whiteside was a no-show, but I won't hold it against him. And Barb Black acted as hostess for the evening, graciously allowing me to arrange for the whole thing even though it was 1 1/2 hours from home! All in all, a big win for Penn State Track and Field Alumni Golf!

Another big win occurred on Sunday, as the Women's team won the Big Ten Cross-Country Championships, with Bridget Franek adding to her incredible legacy with the individual win! It was a big loss in the Halloween costume contest though, as I was unable to attend the Big Ten XC meet and Alumni Get-together. Let's hope the Blue/White golf courses survived the meet fairly unscathed.

All photos taken by me are horribly blurry! Todd took the only good one of Zeb and I.
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