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...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I Lied (Sorta) But for a Good Cause

I'm often wrong, but I couldn't resist the opportunity to use this video as a way of saying goodbye to a fine year for all PSU Track Alumni Golfers (and non-golfers alike!).  Being that it involves color and refracted light, it's a physics post, even though I said there wouldn't be any more this year.  Just about anything can be considered a physics post anyway.

Just as our planet has a sky of blue and often sunsets of red, Mars has a sky of red and sunsets of blue As captured by the Mars rover, color corrected, a sunset on the Red Planet:

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Last Physics Post of the Year

Physicists in Warsaw have expounded on earlier work by Penn State Scientists in 2006 and 2007 to help define the Universe PRIOR to The Big Bang.

It turns out The Big Bang might have just been a Big Bounce, and that a shrinking Universe with similar physical properties to our own existed prior to the creation of ours.

I can't pretend to understand much of this stuff, but I find it fascinating none-the-less.  That is, until the inevitable headache happens. Then I need a nap.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

More Living in the Past (As If I Needed More!)

Ah, the 70's.  Platform shoes, leisure suits, gas "shortages" and 3 television channels to choose from!  But then again, some of the greatest track and XC races even to this day.  I was hoping to bring everyone a photo of Alan Scharsu's original Nike Disco Shoes (slicker than crap through a goose, literally), but we'll have to settle for these 2 gems instead.

First up is Charlie Maguire's 1973 final lap in the NCAA 6-mile from Baton Rouge.  Charlie was one of the toughest runners I ever saw, the others being Alberto Juantorena and Seb Coe

Next is a great article forwarded to me from Phil Passen (before setting out on a snowy NYC 12-miler!!) and group friend  Henry Klugh, (who I could beat in the Mile only by tripping him with a lap to go!).

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

It has been a great year for Penn State Track and Field Alumni Golf.  Our goal of attracting more of the 1,500 living PSU tracksters to our fold has gained steam.  The Harry Groves Memorial Golf Tourney has grown each of the last three years, and even non-golfers have realized  how great our reunion is!  We are well on our way to making our group the largest and most active group of its kind in the world.  I thank each and every one of you.  The photo is courtesy of Walt Chadwick and runmoremiles.com, a great friend of the group.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Scattered Silliness

Thank goodness for the education that all of our tax payments give our children.  When they ask for more in the upcoming years, I hope I can designate some to go toward English and Proofreading studies.  (That, or 15 lessons in Sex Ed. apparently!).  Just what did Steve Prefontaine learn in Oregon schools?

And our next poll will decide which is better, Neil Young's (with Bruce Springsteen!) version of "Whip Your Hair Back and Forth" or the original from Will Smith's 11 year-old daughter Willow.  Get your votes in on the left sidebar.  Thanks to Barb Black for alerting me to this "blast from the past".

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Toeing the Line with Shorter, Prefontaine and Lindgren at Hayward Field (This Time for Real!)

Assistant to the Laureate Larry Mangan surfed the Intertubes to bring us this great race from the past pitting our Course Marshall Greg Fredericks against the best in the last National AAU Championship in the 3-Mile in 1971 at hallowed Hayward Field. 

The race came one week after Greg came in second to Steve Prefontaine in the NCAA 3-Mile.  He was nursing a sore foot and leg which turned out to be a stress fracture Steve again wowed his hometown crowd by winning the race.  There were many other notables in the race.  Greg remembers second place finisher Steve Stageberg as a great runner for Georgetown who also came from Oregon.  Dave Merrick of Penn was also a good runner early, but never advanced to the big-time.  Frank Shorter came in third and Gerry Lindgren fourth.  Greg remembers Gerry as a "goofy guy" who the next year caused the sensation at Hayward Field with his Stop Pre t-shirt. "Goofy" is as kind a word for the amazing runner as I've ever heard.  Greg is always the gentleman!

Here's video of the whole race, with an interview with Prefontaine at the end.  Thanks Larry, without you I'd have nothing but Physics posts!  (One is coming soon).

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bowling For Christmas

I'm not kidding either!  This will mark the seventh year in a row that the Black/Baskwill families partake in a bowling competition on Christmas Day.  This Christmas tradition was started by Barb and allows everyone to relax on the special day without having to clean up the house or cook dinner for multitudes.  We just show up at the bowling alley at the chosen time and have at it.

It turns out there is always a bowling alley open on the day because the bars stay open for the football games.  Each year we have been joined by more and more families.  Everyone in our group brings one present of the same price range and high score gets the choice of the pile.  The kids have their own lanes and their own prize stash, so the competition among the adults gets rather keen.  Every other year an outside ringer shows up to shake up the regulars.  I have yet to take home the grand prize, but I'm usually in the hunt anyway.

Anyone out there have a more peculiar Holiday tradition?  Maybe something involving a moldy fruitcake or something??

Monday, December 20, 2010

PSU Coaches Never Rest, (Well, almost never!)

Winter graduation ceremonies on Saturday and an absence of Underclassmen still didn't allow much rest for the Penn State Coaching Staff.  All except Coach Gondak gave instruction and tutelage to an eager bunch of 10-18 year-olds.  Coach Gondak was apparently sent on a reconnaissance mission to sunnier climes in order to evaluate conditions for my wife's upcoming Goofy Race.  I think that's it!

My oldest braved the drills and interval workout overseen by Coach Sullivan and Jess Riden, while my youngest learned starting techniques and hurdle basics from Coach Johnson and also did 6 X 100 M with nary a complaint!  Both slept well, may I add.  The PSU Staff is the hardest working staff in the nation!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Off To Camp!

I'm off to State College to take my daughters to the Penn State Track and Field Day Camp.  They will get the chance to train on an indoor track and receive instructions, tips, and techniques from the excellent PSU Staff. (Much better instruction than Bill Murray's advice to the geek runner in Meatballs, although it did work in the end.)  My youngest will even attempt to learn to hurdle, after playing around with them at last year's Alumni Run.  I would have loved this opportunity when I was 10-18 years old, but then again Coach Groves might have scared me off back then!  (Just kidding Coach!)

And here's a camp experience nothing like PSU Track Camp... "It Just Doesn't Matter"

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

They Don't Call Me an Idiot For Nothing

I really didn't think that the track pictured in the latest photo of Greg Fredericks was THE track at Hayward Field, but I couldn't resist throwing it out there for the inevitable corrections I would get. It was also a great excuse to put up an Animal House Trailer.  Larry Mangan correctly pointed the fact out quickly, but we are having a little trouble figuring out the exact track in question.  Leader of the Alumni Run Greg Fredericks himself points out that it may be a photo from Bakersfield CA in 1970.  The track was a clay track and this seems to fit his recollection.  The younger crowd will probably be wowed by the fact that humans could actually run on such a thing, but I can go one better.  The 1978 1979 (I was really, really close!) PIAA Class B State Track Championship was won by a team of only two from a school that only had a grass track. (Hint: There is a PSU connection.) Does anyone know the PSU connection and the school involved? (Yes Virginia, It was Kennard-Dale and Todd Shenk!) I have also run on a Macadam track in Ephrata PA (fast) and a gymnasium floor in Gettysburg (painful).  Anyone run on anything weirder?

* The anonymous commenter gave us this pic.  Try 12 X 400 at 70 sec. on that bugger, why don't you!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Trapped Like a (Frozen) Rat Looming

The annual trip to the World of Disney is coming up again, just in time to note the 19 degree temperatures in MIAMI!  Barb will again lace them up for the Goofy Race (a half-marathon on Saturday and the marathon on Sunday.)  This year's wrinkle doesn't quite top last years broken rib, but a kidney stone again complicates things.  I, of course will continue to do my usual elliptical work-out with 3 miles on the treadmill, and possibly a jog or 2 around Disney property.  Note that my indoor orange crop will again out-do the ice-ravaged Florida version for the second straight year.

Old School Nike Goodness and Keeper of the Golden Putter at Hayward Field?

Our Official Photo Supplier and Track Historian, Walt Chadwick, has sent me these two old Nike Prototype photos from the days of yore.  First up is their initial Astroturf Shoe.  Second is the prototype for the LDV, discussed previously, taking width to gargantuan proportions.  Walt relates that he ran in a lot of prototypes, but not these.  I'll bet his lower extremities are grateful for that!

And he also sent me this old-school photo of Keeper of the Golden Putter, Greg Fredericks at Hayward Field, I believe (?).  Great form as always.

Stop by Walt's website for some good vintage (and other) Track/XC photos.  A great gift idea this time of year.  He will have some early 80's PSU/Penn Relays beauties for this year's Reunion if the stars align properly!  Can't wait. 

And here's another shot of Hayward Field we all know and love.  That's it in the background as Otter tees off and beans Niedermeyer (Dead Man) on the helmet.  Look fast or you'll miss it!

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Musical Interlude Prior to the Holidays and Indoor Track

Donald Trump's Hair Blowing In The Wind from BuzzFeed on Vimeo.

And Happy Chanukah Everyone! I'm a little late on that one.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Hanson Brothers Reunite in Russia! Hockey is Back!

A mere six seconds into the game, they throw down!  Never mess with anyone from the Federal or the Iron League.  Even the Russian Crowd enjoyed it.

Not as good as the time they brawled before the game, even before referees made it onto the ice.  Warning: the f-bomb appears in this scene.  But can you blame the guy?

As an added note:  The referee in this scene couldn't skate and was wearing shoes!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Third Photo Caption Contest Ends

"So THAT'S what Mark Heckel and Alan Scharsu are up to these days!"

 The largest number of votes for any of our contests seem to confirm that none of my own comments make the grade.So whatever clever miscreant is responsible for this  affront to two great tracksters of yesteryear, please let me know!  You have won a free dinner at the Tenth Annual Harry Groves Golf Tournament Awards Ceremony.

I warned you all that Mark Haywood would be hard to beat.  It turns out he has won a second Photo Caption Contest. And snide asides aren't even his strong suit!  Try to say that 3 times fast.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Thank You, Thank You Very Much

A nearly year-end thank you to all of my "tens of readers".  In my effort to promote the Annual Harry Groves Golf Tournament and Track Alumni Reunion, I have found a voice for all the insane drivel stored in my brain.  And there's plenty more....

First up, Edison Pena's favorite vocalist, Elvis Presley,  saved a life at the Vegas Marathon last week.  Or an anesthesiologist dressed as Elvis resuscitated a stricken runner at a fast-food joint anyway.  I plan on being remarried to my wife at a Vegas ceremony with Elvis as the Preacher AND the reception entertainment. Maybe the limo driver too....

Next, how soon would an American politician be kicked out if he pulled this stunt?  "If you can't win, just pick up your ball and go home" seems to be his intellectual gift to human mediocrity!  It's as if "foreigners in underpants" is a bad thing or something.

And finally, herte's a photo to bring back those warm, fuzzy feelings from elementary school.  I can still remember my classmates sprinting to the cafeteria to be first in line.  Me, not so much.  But I was a fan of the North Halls Cheesesteaks back in the day.  And of course the world's finest dessert, strawberries and bananas.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Tyler McCandless Qualifies for Oly Trials in Debut!

In his Marathon debut, Tyler McCandless qualified for the Olympic Trials with a superb 2:17:22 at the California International Marathon.  I just stole his photo collage from his website so I had better put a link to his website HERE.  I've been waiting for his qualifying effort ever since he missed the mark (by 1 second!) at his earlier 1/2 marathon.  Congrats Tyler.  Intelligence, desire and hard work still count for more than anything else. You make us all proud.

And Tyler's link to our site from his site is very much appreciated!  It's also the coolest one so far, incorporating our walking lion .gif  

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Phil "The Gladiator" Passen Checks In

Phil Passen sends us this great addition to our collection of Blue Wrist Bands Around the World.  Quite a good one, I may add.

I have renamed him "The Gladiator" now that I know he's taking weekly 10 mile runs in Van Cortlandt Park!

PSU is 800 U: 2011 Preview

I'm looking forward to a great 2011 Middle Distance campaign from the Nittany Lions, especially after the great Cross Country seasons for Kyle Owen* Dawson and Ryan Foster.  I'm thinking that portends some great indoor 1000 M activity and an outdoor 1500 or two!  Here's Coach Gondak discussing the upcoming seasons.  No mention of golf though, which I know is always at the back of his mind!

*Steve "The Ombudsman" Shisler points out the error of my ways in confusing the Dawson brothers (again!).  His reprimand is taken with the grace and dignity I always reserve in these error-filled posts.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The World's Greatest Apartment

Before there was "Track Houses and Cribs" and YouTube and even digital watches, PSU Track had "The Apartment" above the Lions Pride in State College.  John Ziegler was ensconced there while I was in school and held sway over some of the best parties ever held.  Some of my fine memories at the place are:
  1. Meeting my future wife there at one of Ziggy's parties!  
  2. Meeting the girl's gymnastic team at one of Ziggy's parties! How he coaxed them into coming was a secret he never divulged.
  3. Spilling a beer on a skinny runner recruit named Hill at one of Ziggy's parties, sending him off to obscurity at Oregon.  Ended up becoming filthy rich selling running tights, go figure.

I have recently become aware of a myriad of other PSU Track Alumni (Golfers) who also called "The Apartment" home for a year or more.   I didn't even know my Best Man, Rob Whiteside, called it home for 2 years.after I left State College!  The Shisler's both lived there, as well as Randy Moore and future PSU Track Alumni Golfer Dave Benman.  The talented and good looking (I'm just saying) Jeff Adkins, and Assistant to the Laureate and Chief Morale and Laundry Officer Larry Mangan also hung out there, which had been erased from my memory until now. The parties may have had something to do with that.  Please alert me to any additional roommates I'm missing in the Comments below.  And did anyone have "The Apartment" before Ziggy?  And how long did it last after those mentioned?  And more importantly, How could Brian Boyer have missed living there in his 16 years at PSU?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It Really Isn't Our Fault, and Minimalism Squared

A 90 sq. ft. home may be just what the doctor ordered in these difficult economic times, or any time for that matter.  No wasted space and a severe reduction in "stuff" is probably something all of us need.  Take a tour of these unique homes:

And maybe you thought you were the only person going around in circles, but it turns out we all do it naturally.  Nobody knows why.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Ten Questions: Howard Triebold

1. What song immediately brings back memories of Penn State?
2. Who was the biggest team clown during your track years?
3. What was your best PSU Track or XC performance?
4. What is your best Coach Groves memory?
5. What was your favorite haunt/watering hole in State College back in the day.
6. What was your least favorite workout?
7. What was the best place you lived while at Penn State?
8. Who from the team do you wish you could get in contact with?
9. What exercising do you currently do?
10. What was your best non-running or track related story from a track or XC meet?

1. Hmmm, This will sound corny, but I'd have to say any of the PSU "Fight Songs."
2. Without a doubt, Paul Stemmer
3. Best perfomance - I'd guess the 1:50. I ran indoors at MSG in the 2 mile relay at National AAUs. Otherwise mediocre
4. Having him chew out Hugh Hamill and I for circling back to pick him up on a 10 mile run - then a couple days later, chewing us out because we didn't.
5. The Phyrst on Saturday night
6. "Bit*h Hill"
7. Since I was a "townee," SC can't count - so when Mike Shine, Steve Hackman & I lived in Harrisburg while student teaching (the fall after Mike took the Silver)
8. A guy that left before he graduated - Steve Groom
9. Exercising - let's see, I jump through hoops, swim upstream, run around in circles, and even run amok. With all that I don't have time for much else.
10. Best non-track story - it started out non-, but ended on the track. In Dec 1975 we went to the Atlanta Peach Bowl Marathon (which George Christopher won and Carl Bechdel was maybe 8th - I just ran the half) and then went to the Sugar Bowl - I think the first year of the Superdome . I got the "snot beat out of me" after the game by some, I assume Bama fans. Later that winter we ran against them on the boards of MSG and I smacked the Bama runner with the baton and almost ran him off the high boards (with the help of the other "board familiar runners" inthe race. Felt good at the time. . .

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving and a Perusal of the NCAA XC Archives

Happy Thanksgiving!  Here's Adam Sandler's Thanksgiving Song.  (Mild Content warning, but nothing as bad as what happens when your entire family gets together for one whole meal!)

And here's a compilation of PSU's Men's team standing and their first finisher for every NCAA XC Championship meet ever held!  Surprises abound.  Many PSU Track Alumni Golfers in the mix.  (I undoubtedly have made errors, so don't hesitate to make fun of me or correct me sternly, it will be just like home!)

1938: William J. Smith 5th
1940: William J. Smith 7th
1941: Norman Gordon 11th PSU: 2nd
1942: Norman Gordon 4th PSU: Co-Champions!
1946: Curtis Stone 2nd PSU: 3rd
1947: Horace Ashenfelter 2nd PSU: Champions!
1948: Donald Longanecker 24th PSU: 4th
1949: Donald Ashenfelter 13th PSU: 4th
1950: William Ashenfelter 8th PSU: Champions!
1951: William Ashenfelter 4th PSU: 4th
1952: Robert Hollen 7th PSU: Tie for 4th
1953: Robert Hollen 6th PSU: 4th
1954: Douglas Moorhead 20th PSU: 5th
1956: Fred Kerr 23rd PSU: 7th
1957: Fred Kerr 13th PSU: 9th
1959: Richard Engelbrink 7th PSU: 10th
1960: Gerald Norman 6th PSU: 4th
1961: Gerald Norman 26th PSU: 8th
1962: Howard Deardorff 8th PSU: 12th
1968: Michael Schurko 38th PSU: 14th
1969: Greg Fredericks 45th PSU: 10th
1970: Greg Fredericks 4th PSU: 13th
1971: Greg Fredericks 20th PSU: 8th
1972: Charles Maguire 38th PSU: 12th
1973: Charles Maguire 23rd PSU: 10th
1974: George Malley 39th PSU: 10th
1975: Paul Stemmer 5th PSU: 4th
1976: George Malley 20th PSU: 13th
1977: Roberet Snyder 34th PSU: 12th
1978: Robert Snyder 9th PSU: 4th
1979: Alan Scharsu 19th PSU: 3rd
1980: Alan Scharsu 7th PSU: 3rd
1981: Alan Scharsu 6th PSU: 14th
1982: Jeff Adkins 134th no team score
1984: Clark Haley 57th PSU: 21st
1985: Eric Carter 9th no team score
1986: Eric Carter 35th PSU: 17th
1987: Eric Carter 4th PSU: 12th
1988: Brian Laird 13th PSU: 15th
1989: Steve Brown 20th PSU: 13th
1991: Mark Wimmer 26th PSU: 10th
1992: Mark Wimmer 64th no team score
1993: Jake Bartholomy 29th PSU: 14th
1994: Tom McGlynn 48th PSU: 8th
1996: Austin Drager 114th no team score
2006: Dan Mazzocco 31st no team score
2008: Kyle Dawson 81st PSU: 25th
2009: Vince McNally 134th no team score
2010: Kyle Dawson 52nd PSU: 30th

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

PSU Men Second at NCAAs: Vince McNally Takes Overall Title!

In the "Stachies at Nashies" competition by FloTrack.org to bring awareness of Prostate Cancer.

If you ever want a laugh, ask Rob Whiteside about my "full beard" when he first met me.  An entire summer of not shaving led to an incomplete Fu Manchu I probably still couldn't complete.Another thing I'm not very good at...

Here's FloTrack's award to the Penn State Team as well as Vince McNally's T-Shirt award for the overall best mustache at NCAAs.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"The Beast" is Usurped as the Official Golf Club of PSU Track Alumni Golf!

"You must do something about the cheating."
-Coach Groves,  2009 Tournament.

Paul Mundy's Beast has been the official golf club of our group for years.  I really hate to see it go, but after watching this video, I have no choice!  Maybe Paul can turn that "extra" driver he has into a workable club with beverage dispenser?  Or satellite radio?  Or Spycam?

2010 NCAA Results Including Alumni Coaches

The PSU Men finished in 30th place, with Kyle Dawson and Vince McNally placing 52nd and 77th overall.  I still put special emphasis on the contribution from the middle distance guys this year.  I'm sure the 10 K distance took its toll in this race.  I'm looking forward to great 800 M and 1500 M races this year from all of them.  Overall, a good year for the team, setting themselves up for even better things in the future.

The Lady Lions placed 26th as a team, with Brooklynne Ridder placing 82nd overall.  A solid year with a great young group, with great things coming in the upcoming years.

Steve Walsh's William and Mary crew placed 19th as a team in his first year as Coach.  Let's hope his golf game won't suffer following the move to Virginia.

Kate Curran's St. Lawrence Men's team placed third overall in the Div III Championships, with Steve Kiplagat's third place pacing them.  Her Women's squad placed 23rd also.  I'm surprised she ever had the time to fill out the Ten Questions I posed to her!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

NCAA Archive and 800 M Reunion of Reunions!

Alberto Juantorena, Sebastian Coe, Wilson Kipketer and David Rudisha met in Monaco recently.  The last 4 World Record Holders in the 800 M delighted in meeting each other and provided an excellent discussion.

And here's Track and Field News' new compilation of results from every NCAA XC Championships, spanning 1938 to 2009.  The 2010 version is tomorrow in Terre Haute with both PSU teams fully represented. Go State.  Penn State ranks 5th in number of appearances at the Big Dance, or whatever cliche is used for XC.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Just in Time for Thanksgiving!

Here's a picture of my brand new Bacon Wallet, which goes well with the bacon air-freshener in my car. This baby garners stares from everyone.

But neither of those are nearly as great as the new soda from the great people at Jones Soda Co.  Their two new flavors are Pizza and Bacon. 

Bacon, not just for breakfast anymore. Maybe we can get some for the tourney this year to go with the Heinekens.

And if Kobayashi had just tried the soda, he could still be competing.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Steve Walsh Named Southeast Region Coach of the Year

Congrats to PSU Track Alumni Golfer, (and Closest to the Pin Winner 2010!) Steve Walsh.  He led his new William and Mary team to a first place finish in the region, garnering Coach of the Year Honors in the process. 


Our intrepid Roaming Correspondent Rob Whiteside brings us this great item which should send shivers up the spine of most of us that pretend to golf several times a year.  With friends like these, who needs enemies?  (Reminds me of the classic joke from Finding Nemo:  Seahorse says to a starfish, "With friends fronds like this, who needs anemone?")

Kelly O'Brien and Judy Lynn Weaver need to take special note!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ten Questions: Kate Curran, Head Coach St. Lawrence University

1. What song immediately brings back memories of Penn State? Zombie Nation. Can’t say I have ever been a big techno fan but it was always good to hear this played at football games. I also worked summers for Gatorade out of Beaver Stadium for 6 years, and heard more than a few sound checks with this one.
2. Who was the biggest team clown during your track years? It always seemed like Shawn Cavanaugh could get everyone laughing pretty good.
3. What was your best PSU Track or XC performance? 10:49 Steeple, it’s not an impressive mark, but it did just barely get me into the NCAA Regional Championships. Jess Riden also informed me this spring that I’m just barely hanging on to a top ten mark with that one.
4. What is your best Coach Groves memory? I keep a book with important quotes - Coach Groves has his own section. I run into him at a few meets every year and always make some great additions to the book. My all time favorite memory comes down to seeing him retrieve a Koi fish out of the steeple pit with a bucket (shirtless) or the time he showed me his red boxer briefs, absolutely priceless.
5. What was your favorite haunt/watering hole in State College back in the day. I went to Sports Café on my 21st birthday, does that count?
6. What was your least favorite workout? Repeat K’s on the indoor track.
7. What was the best place you lived while at Penn State? 328 West Nittany Ave with Matt Lincoln, Adam Voll, Molly Landreth, Colleen Connell, and Jenny Stevens…In my 5th year Erinn Otterson, Dan Ernie and a few others from the team moved in as well.
8. Who from the team do you wish you could get in contact with? Facebook has changed things, I still am able to keep in pretty good contact with most of my teammates. (Facebook is also the only way (so far) we know each other.  She may have to rethink the merits of it!)
9. What exercising do you currently do? I am very fortunate to be able to run with the teams I coach at St. Lawrence University. I usually run anywhere between 25-40 miles per week.
10. What was the actual ratio of Morning workouts/runs reported vs. those actually done? 1/1

Minions Cover My Back

I was unable to make it to the NCAA Regional Cross-Country Meet at PSU this week.  But the long arm of Penn State Track and Field Alumni Golf is never far away from the action!  My minions are always ready to cover any of my absences as both Tim Backenstose and Steve Shisler gave me reports and photos from the event. Steve recently became the distance coach at State College High School, joining fellow Track Alumni Dave Felice (Cross Country Coach).  Tim is still recovering from the "Day on the Bay" with all the landlubbers, including me.  It all seems so long ago already.....

I have included a new slide show of their photos on the right, above mine from the Penn State National last month.  It's easy to see who has photography talent comparing the two.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Third Photo Caption Contest is Here By Popular Demand!

As we wait for the next Ten Questions, (and you know who you are!), this one should offend no one (or everyone equally anyway!).  Remember the rules:  Enter a caption in the comments section below.  Please refrain from out-right indecency, but think along the lines of the censors for "Two and a Half Men".  I reserve the right to banish anyone playing outside the rules!  Enter as many times as you wish.  The Prize will be the largest one yet.  A Free Dinner at Next Year's Awards Ceremony (Shisler's Shindig!).  Spread the word to your friends and enemies alike.  The top 5 choices will be entered in the final vote on the left side-bar in the next 2 weeks.  Pre-invasion Iraqi voting will be in force for this one.  (That means I expect more than 100% turn-out for the best caption!)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Both Men and Women's Teams Advance to NCAA's

A second place finish by Kyle Dawson and a third place by Vince McNally paced the Lions. The  Men's and Women's teams finished fourth and third respectively at the Regionals. Both teams move on to The Big Dance.

Here's an interview with Coach Sullivan following the race.

Track and Field Videos on Flotrack

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Winner and More Foolishness!

"Two hineys are better than one."

Anonymous has won the second photo caption contest.  I think I know who it is, but I do hope he/she confirms it with an email.  It's all so very hard to keep track of all this stuff!  We had a big turn-out of voters, or at least a few voters and some sock-puppets.  Regardless, Anonymous has won a gift certificate to The Creamery for a half gallon of deliciousness (or two cones).

Addendum:  It was Bill Malchano's entry, and I spelled his name correctly this time.  Congrats to a PSU Track And Field Alumni Golf Pioneer! 

The third photo caption contest is coming very soon, and will take us out of the Universe of PSU Track and Field Alumni, just for a change.  Everyone is eligible.  I'm hoping for another great prize in the same relative price range.  Anyone out there up for a donation?  

And now for some foolishness, which happens to be my best topic.  Certainly better than golfing or even running for sure.

  1.  The Hadron Collider has moved past the attempt to make the "God Particle" and is now concentrating on creating "A Little Bang".
  2. Actual, real scientists (well, Archeologists anyway!) have determined that Beer was one of the most determining factors in the creation of Civilization!  Some have told me that Fox News is the anti-beer, and will cause the collapse of civilization.  We'll see.  We'll see.
  3. And here's my hero, and the smartest man I have ever heard about, Richard Feynman, explaining why UFO's are "most-likely" a creation of irrational terrestrial beings.  Have I ever told you I once saw a UFO at the Pennsylvania/New York border?  It was even documented in the New York Times the next day.  No one ever explained the high altitude glowing ball many of us saw that afternoon.  I never argued I wasn't an irrational terrestrial being.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Interview With Steve Walsh, Head Coach William and Mary

"...if he says it’s the place to be, it’s the place to be"
-Steve Walsh on taking career advice from Coach Groves.

Here's a link to the William and Mary Track Alumni web site and an interview with Steve Walsh, former PSU stand-out and new Head Cross-Country and Track Coach.  Steve is an excellent golfer, at least until the rain starts, but that's another story.  Our foursome's inept score had nothing at all to do with Steve. Some holes were strictly him playing for the other three of us. You all know how much I contribute!

Interview with Coach Steve Walsh by Ken Halla, William and Mary Track Alum.

Amazing Physics and More McRib Goodness!

 While waiting for this week's NCAA Regional Meet at State College, we have a few diversions to keep us occupied.  First, we'll confound the Physicists among us with this seemingly impossible experiment.  Can a wind powered vehicle actually go straight downwind faster than the actual wind speed?  It turns out it can!

And what is former President Bill Clinton's take on the return of the McRib sandwich (six weeks only people, so don't dilly dally!) 

Monday, November 8, 2010

There is Hope For This World: And Running Helps

I realize I have spent a lot of time discussing Edison Pena already, but a little more won't hurt anything.  His weekend achievement astounds me, and I think it gives hope to a world that seems directionless at the moment.  A better 5:40 marathon probably has never been run.

Edison ran the New York City Marathon only weeks after being rescued from the Chilean Mine disaster and months since thinking his life was over.  He hurt his knee after starting out much too fast (who among our ranks can't commiserate?), yet never, ever contemplated not finishing.  His inclusion as a Hall of Honor member of our group is sealed.  I will be sending him a sampling of our wrist bands, including the original "Harry's Boys" version.  I have a feeling that Edison and Coach Groves would get along quite well.

And check out his rendition of an Elvis Presley classic at the end of this clip!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Election Results Even as Voting Continues

There is still a couple of days left in the vote for the best caption to the photo of Clark Haley holding two Heinekens aloft.  The Second Photo Caption Contest has a prize of a half gallon of Creamery ice cream (or 2 cones!) for the lucky writer.  The third installment in the series will be upcoming, and we'll be sure to avoid embarrassing references to adult beverages this time.  (In Clark Haley's defense, he was just stocking the cooler at a reunion evening, he wasn't double-fisting Heinekens!)

And the most important election result last week was the City Supervisor's prohibition of Happy Meals in San Francisco. First they came for the toys, then they came for your beer!  "When Happy Meals are outlawed, only Outlaws will have Happy Meals."

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Penn State Track and Field Alumni (Golfers) Excel at Procreation!

From the newly ordained Assistant to the Laureate (and Chief Laundry and Morale Officer) Larry Mangan, comes these great tidbits attesting to the great genetics of our members.

  • Chris Rapp helped his Tennessee Volunteer teammates to their fourth place SEC position with his 26th place at the Conference Championships.  Chris is the son of  Tom Rapp ('81) and Mary (Rawe) Rapp ('81), two of the finest people you could ever meet.  Both were All-Americans for PSU "in the good ole days", and Tom's name appears on the Harry Groves Memorial Cup!
  • Heather Ziegler, daughter of All-American John Ziegler helped her Meadville High School team to a first place finish of District 10 in PA.  Larry also told me a great story about his recruiting visit to PSU, when John took him out on his first ever morning run.  In typical John Ziegler fashion, the "5-miler" was 6 miles at 6 minute pace and very little talking from Larry for once!  Hard to believe Larry still decided to come to PSU after that!
  • And Michael Mangan helped his Lower Moreland team to its first place finish in District One (?) advancing to States this weekend.  Larry will be there, as well as Jeff Sanden and Mark Haywood.  I hope they can give me reports if I can't make it.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Your Vote is Important!

Our theme for the second Photo Caption Contest  is Suffrage, and who better to promote our vote than Susan B. Anthony I also picked this photo because she looks as if she needs a shave as much as Clark did in the photo!  (Just kidding.) 

Needless to say, everyone can vote, including women.  But only once this time.  Chicago voting has been turned off for this episode.  Vote on the Left Sidebar.  To see the photo again, go HERE.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Running With the Kenyans

I spent the weekend in Valley Forge honing my work skills, but mostly nursing the flu after my attempt of a run with the Kenyans in Valley Forge Park.  The Streak lives on, but only barely.  Respiratory distress is not a good way to end the weekend.  I was saved by the return of Gino's to King of Prussia.*  (see below)  (Everybody Goes to Gino's!)

The Blog missed me at least a little bit, which is why I'm always in search of guest bloggers, which has met with limited success. Anyone wishing to occasionally opine about something barely related to Running, PSU, Golf or Physics, just let me know.

While I was away, Penn State came in 4th in both Men's and Women's Cross-Country Championships in Madison, Wisconsin.  A good outcome for both teams, I dare say.  The future is quite bright for the whole program.  More on this later.

Here's a few tidbits unrelated to anything, but should provide a chuckle or two.

  1. An Australian man recently set the world record for belly button lint collection.  Apparently, thermal underwear makes the most.
  2. Science has proven that magic really works!  Sort of. Sometimes. Kinda.
  3. NASA solved the problem of paying the price for returning astronauts from MarsThey won't.
  4. The McRib is in a triumphant nation-wide revival for 6 weeks.  Join the cult.
  5. Gino's actually has returned.  Gino Marchetti was inducted to the Football of of Fame in the 70's.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

PSU Track Alumni (Golfers) Excel at Coaching

News from the wide world of Cross Country and Track has made its way to my keyboard.  Several alums are excelling all over the country.  And none of them has to coach Sue Heck of Orson, Iowa.

  1. Tom Rapp coaches Zach Wills of Mason, Ohio.  Tom can be seen in this video of Zach's exploits. (Thanks to his ex-roommate Larry Mangan for the link.)
  2. Tyler McCandless has just signed up as a high school coach in his adopted Colorado home.
  3. Kate Curran's St. Lawrence University teams are #1 and #2 in the Division III  Eastern rankings.
  4. There are many, many more great Coaches among our ranks.  Send me an update on any of them in the comments.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Nothing is scarier to distance runners than THIS SIGN.  Non-distance runners can approximate the horror by thinking of two of these, back to back, (and then missing dinner besides!).

Sunday, October 24, 2010

We Are Published!

Although not yet on the New York Times Best Seller List, The "Best" of Penn State Track and Field Alumni Golf, The Blog, 2008-2009 edition, has been published! 

This version, as well as the coming 2010 edition will be ready for perusal and autographs at the 2011 Coach Harry Groves Golf Tourney and Reunion.  Copies can be ordered from me, or you can just wait for review at our annual get-together.  It is beautifully bound, with glossy print.  Everything good you've come to expect from our humble blog, except the videos!

The book is dedicated to Coach Groves and all of his athletes.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Juniors Show Strong Finishes at PSU National

Both second-place finisher Kyle Dawson and third-place finisher Vince McNally show a strong finish on the hilly last mile on the Blue/White Penn State Course.  Both Kyle and Vince are Juniors, which bodes well for the championship season and beyond.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Second Photo Caption Contest is Here!

Supply a suitable caption for this photo in the comment section below.  The top five will be picked by a totally disinterested member of my family and we'll vote for the best one in the near future.  The prize is another gift certificate to the Berkey Creamery with sufficient funds to obtain 2 cones or a whole half gallon of gooey goodness.  Mark Haywood is again eligible for the top prize despite the top 2 entries in the first contest, so put your thinking caps on. He'll be hard to beat.

"I'm More Human Now"

Despite my earlier pronouncement that I would wait for a vote among Officers, I am officially making Edison Pena of Chile an Hall of Honor recipient of Penn State Track and Field Alumni Golf.  After reading this account and interview with the BBC, his ordeal and his reaction to it deserve praise and adulation.  Not only did he worry the doctors monitoring all the miners due to his reliance on exercise regimen while trapped, he ran 8K daily while dragging a wooden cart in sweltering humid conditions!  Coach Groves would have put Edison on his team no matter what his fastest times were, possibly even making him team captain.  I hope Edison finds peace during his adjustment to "life" again.  Anyone seeing him at the New York Marathon, be sure to give him the group's best.  Photos show Edison during one of his workouts with a camera delivered through a small drill hole, and Edison running on the beach after his rescue.

Lock Haven has Rabid Cross-Country Fans

Coach Sullivan really admires the Lock Haven program, especially after the snowfall last year forced cancellation of the Penn State National.  Lock Haven stepped up and immediately volunteered to put up a meet that very afternoon, allowing more than half the scheduled teams to compete rather than go home.

I discovered just how rabid the Lock Haven people are when lining up to watch the finish of the Women's race, and this is what I saw!

Coach Sullivan is correct, Lock Haven is a special place for cross-country!  Congrats to Nick Hilton (from Exeter High School, also home of Keeper of the Cup Harry Smith!) whose 13th place finish propelled him to PSAC Athlete of the Week.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Harry Groves Golf Tournament and Reunion Set to Grow Exponentially in Its Tenth Year: And is Coach Groves the Black Knight?

High level meetings were held this weekend following the Penn State National Cross-Country Meet between top officials of Penn State Track and Field Alumni Golf and representatives of The Nittany Lion Club and The Varsity "S" Club.  Actually, I talked to both group idol Ken Brinker and Mike Milliron of the Varsity "S" Club at the reception at Damon's following the race.  High level meetings sounded so much better!

One of the great benefits of having thrown myself into "the herding of cats" by blogging about all things PSU Track and XC, is the great people I have met along the way.  No other group I have ever been associated with has more intelligent members, more interesting members and more passionate members.  Ken and Mike both fit that description.  In our wide-ranging discussions it became evident that the Athletic Department is thrilled with what our little group has accomplished with our meager resources.  From our founding by Clark Haley and continuing with great leadership under Harry Smith and others, our group has always given 100% of our proceeds back to the program, and they have noticed.  The resources of the Varsity "S" Club and Nittany Lion Club will be utilized to reach out to all 1500 members of the PSU Track Alumni (second only to Football in numbers) through email and newsletters.  Members of both groups and the Athletic Department are poised to golf with us this year.  They asked whether we could handle 30 foursomes this year!  We can always dream.  Participation this year will bring automatic inclusion in both groups, as we already designate all our proceeds toward the endowments for Track and Field/Cross-Country scholarships.  There may come a time when the track and xc programs are completely self-funded (like the new Hockey Program!).  If monetary donations are not in the cards for you (I can certainly understand!), enthusiasm and participation is all that is asked of you.  We are a group that accepts all members, and everyone is treated to the same level of loving ridicule as Olympians, All-Americans, or plain shlubs like me.

And in keeping with the mirthful theme of our group, I must present some interesting observations about the recent Penn State National XC Meet.  I had been unaware of the changes to the course made in the last few years, and was taken aback by the inclusion of a narrow bridge along the course. (I'm all for it, by the way!)  And when evidence of grievous bodily injury to 2 Alumni Team members due to a mishap near the half-mile mark, I assumed a guardian at the bridge was restricting passage. Now, photographic evidence has emerged showing  Coach Groves somewhere along the route near the bridge prior to the start.  Could it be that Coach Groves is actually The Black Knight of Monty Python fame, and "None Shall Pass" (at least without a fight)*? I'm more intrigued by the fact that the two have never been photographed together.
 Photos include the Alumni Team with Coach Sullivan, the infamous bridge and Coach Groves somewhere along the course...

*Coach Groves is certainly not The Black Knight and no disrespect was intended with the joking speculation.  Everyone knows that Coach is a White Knight in all matters.

Photos courtesy of Dennis Pollow and Teddy Quinn.
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