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...

Friday, April 30, 2010

Sketchy Details of Track Alumni Reunion Get-Togethers

Even those not golfing enjoy our weekend festivities because of the Friday Night Reunion and the awards Dinner following the thrashing of the Elks Club greenery.  In fact, people enjoy it so much, we have outgrown our old location and have moved over to the Damon's Meeting Room this year for both evenings!

In keeping with our goal of giving back to the Track Program and the Scholarships, it is necessary to charge a nominal fee of $10 for the Friday night meeting.  Costs for everything have risen each year and we have tried to make everything as affordable as possible.  Cost for the Saturday Awards dinner at Damon's is $20, but will be only $10 for those not having the ribs/chicken dinner.

We will also have several raffles on both evenings.  A 50/50 raffle will be held each night, so its possible to win all your money back in one fell swoop.  Also, don't forget the raffle for the Nike Driver (valued at $300!) for $10 a chance.  Also, I'll be holding a donation/raffle on Friday night to raise money for the blog/web site and for future enhancements to the Group.  Many prizes have been accumulated including State College Snack Packs, PSU Track and Cross-Country hats, Velveteen Playboys DVD and polos (High-jump record-holder Paul Souza's band), PSU greats posters, Rapid Transit gift certificates, and more!  I also will be giving away The Golden Golf Ball to somebody who sent us a wrist-band photo from around the world or someone who follows the blog loyally.

Special ceremonies for members of the Hall of Honor and others will be made, culminating in the Happy Birthday Celebration for Coach Groves on Saturday night.  Be sure to bring your very own Coach Groves story with you!

We were unable to afford the Velveteen Playboys for entertainment this year but our meager monies can afford an accordionist playing such hits as "Lady of Spain" for our delight!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

30 Years For a Different Relay Record!

Larry Mangan checked in with a remembrance of another relay that resulted in a PSU record that has lasted longer than the 4 X 800!  I knew this, but it kept slipping my mind every time I came up with another post idea.  Thanks for the reminder, Larry.  That's Larry mixing it up with Eammon Coghlan, Ray Flynn and John Walker "on the boards" at Madison Square Garden.

 While it wasn't a winning time, or as grand as the 1985 4x800, the PSU DMR record set at Penn at the 1980 event still sits atop the leader board. I handed off to Paul Lankford who passed the stick to Mike Cook who turned it over to Alan Scharsu. Although we won at Dogwood two weeks prior, the 13:42 5K Alan ran the night before the DMR took just enough from his legs that those villians from Villanova and Georgetown (Maree and Gregorek) pulled away from him at the end. Here's to the 9:30.1!!

Alan Scharsu was a game runner at any distance, so you would think they could get his name right on the Record Board at the Ashenfeter Indoor Complex!  I'm still searching for the photo of how they mangled that one, and I'll post it here when I do!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Munya Maraire Has the Best Excuse

Munya Maraire braved the harsh conditions of the Elks Club in 2008 despite having never golfed before.  He held his on on the course because of the great equalizer, Best-Ball (Captain's Choice).  He won't be able to make it this year, and has the best excuse of all.  He won't be on this continent, as he is back in Africa helping talented youth athletes repeat his journey to Penn State! 

Munya's journey to Penn State is quite interesting and was a little more difficult than most of ours.  I salute him in his endeavors in South Africa and his native Zimbabwe, as I know his job is not easy.  Currently in Zimbabwe a $100 Trillion Zimbabwean  note is worth the equivalent of less than $7 American!

Emunael Mpanduki, a PSU freshman is adjusting well to the rigors of Central Pennsylvania and his first ever glimpse of snow!  We all wish him well.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Official Physicist Checks In: Will He Golf Again?

In addition to being "on The Cup", Brian Boyer leads an interesting life.  No one has more photos entered in our wrist band photo contest from various places around the world.  He would be the favorite to win The Golden Golf Ball if he shows up at the reunion!  He is also key to enticing more participation from the graduates in the 90's, the least represented decade in our humble group.  Let's hope he shows up for a chance at repeating last year's victory and snaring a berth in the Hall of Honor.

Brian is pictured with  Jay Wechler, the only man to be at both Trinity and Mike, the first tests of the A-Bomb and the H-Bomb.  Los Alamos is a unique place, and Brian relates an evening with a choice of speakers that would boggle the mind of a physics fan like myself, as well as topics everyone would find interesting  Here in York, I'm happy for a turkey meal at the local Fire Hall!.  He also sent in a few more wrist band photos which will be added to the slide show soon.

Here's an article from NPR (take that you Fox News Haters!) about Brian's work in "Radioactiveland".

And Another about the 29th Anniversary of "Near Catastrophe: Part Deux"

The answer to the last poll was "carrot shavings"( info supplied by Steve Black who worked during the food service strike of the summer of 1980).

Monday, April 26, 2010

Penn Relays 2010: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

Unofficial journalist Steve Shisler updates Saturday's action at Penn (with some extra useless comments from someone who only watched it on the computer!)

If you still need an un official report from Penn I'll give a brief review:
Saturday at Penn was the biggest mob scene ever with 54,000 fans in attendance.  Beth and I were there early to watch Alex run for State High in the 4x400.  He did a great job and brought the stick home for a nice 3rd place finish. It's almost as nerve racking to watch your kid as a parent versus running there, but not quite.
Usian Bolt was clearly the attraction of the day and had the fans going wild just doing a few striders on the infield more than an hour before the actual race.  When race time finally arrived the buzz was at a fever pitch.  A chant (I'm not sure if it was "U-S-A" or "Ja-mai-ca") broke out right at the star of the USA vs World 4x1. The starter had to bring the guys up and then scold the crowd to be quiet so the runners could hear the gun.

Jamaica delivered and won the race in 37.90 with Bolt being clocked in 8.79 for his anchor split.  What struck me as odd was the fact that Bolt then proceeded to take a solo victory lap.  I pretty sure there were 3 team mates who brought the stick around the track to him, but perhaps Bolt ran the 37.90 by himself.  The fastest human of all time appears to have never seen a camera he doesn't like. (The Ugly)

The Penn State women easily won the ECAC heat of the 4x200 which I believe awards watches for the victory.  3 of the 4 ladies came back late in the day and finished 4th in the Championship of America 4x400. (Fawn Dorr and the gang = The Good)

The Oregon Ducks without Andrew Wheating easily took the 4xMile title. 

The 4x800 has been hyped for many weeks as the race to watch on Saturday and it certainly delivered although not with the result we were cheering for.  PSU got out very strong on the first 2 legs with Freshman Cas Loxsom running an excellent 2nd leg in a 1:46.58 split.  Ryan Foster anchoring got the baton just off the lead in 3rd place behind Virginia and Oregon. The anchor leg turned out to be a repeat finish of the Indoor NCAA 800 final as Andrews of Virginia out sprinted Wheating of Oregon with Foster in a strong 3rd place finish for PSU. (Virginia and Oregon passing PSU in the last 100 meters = The Bad)
The 1985 4x800 record lives on through the Silver Anniversary.  It's kind of like a fine wine, it gets better and better with age. (Remember to turn the bottle 1/4 turn every few months and keep the temperature cool!)
The Un-Official Correspondent

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Early Action at the Carnival

Our unofficial correspondent Steve Shisler sends us an update from Friday's action at the world's greatest Relay Carnival:
Here is an update from my unofficial duties from Penn.
It was a beautiful sunny day at Franklin Field.  State High's boys 4x100 team of Dan Taylor, Jeremy Gilpin, Alex Shisler and Alex Kenney ran 44.58 for a fourth place finish in their Large School heat despite some less than ideal handoff's.
The Penn State women's 4x200 of Shavon Greaves, Caitlin DeFusco, Fawn Dorr, Aleesha Barber won their trial heat and qualified for the ECAC final Saturday missing the Championship of America final by 1/100th of a second. (Fawn Dorr ran amazing legs of both the 4 X 200 and the 4 X 400!)
Penn State had a strong showing in the Men's Distance Medley with a team of Samuel Borchers (2:56.96), Lionel Williams (46.74), Sam Havko (1:52.02), Vince McNally (4:07.76).  Borchers ran a very competitive leadoff 1200 leg to handoff in 2nd.  Williams flew through his 400 leg keeping PSU in second behind the Oregon Ducks.  Oregon broke away from the field on the 3rd leg and by the time Olympian Andrew Wheating got the stick for the Ducks on the anchor, no one had a chance. (Sam Borchers and Lionel Williams both ran great legs in the DMR)

It's off for another day at the races and there seems to be a lot of buzz in the air about the men's 4x800 and Penn State's chances to bring home another title in that event. (Official group representative Harry Smith relates Coach has received thousands of birthday greeting and is psyched for the upcoming golf outing.)
The Un-Official Correspondent
Thankfully I'll be able to watch the 4 X 800 on Flo Track.  I may even run on the treadmill during the event for a little extra push, possibly even breaking 9:00 for a mile!  (I wish I was kidding.)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Coach!

In a world increasingly governed by the politically correct, I'm happy I received the tutelage of someone allergic to the concept. " Telling it like it is" is a lost art, except in one corner of all of our experiences.  Coach Groves always told it like he saw it and never sugar-coated it in any way.

After running my best collegiate race and placing the highest I ever placed for the Nittany Lions, Coach Groves called me out in flowery language, likening me to a part of the female anatomy.  And he was of course correct, I should have won the race, not placed third.  It took me a number of years to realize it, but he was absolutely right all along.  (He did later compliment most of my race!)

So I figure for 80 years now the world has been blessed with a realist of the highest quality, a vanishing breed likely to be soon gone except for him and a few of us he coached.  I salute him on this monumental day.  I hope he cries again for the Championship of America 4 X 800 on his birthday (4/24/30).  Thanks, Coach.

Twenty-Five Years in the Making

It's been 25 years since PSU set the Penn Relays Record in the 4 X 800, and you've put up with me bringing it up many times.  But just one more time for old time's sake!

I know the 1985 quartet have their bets down on the finishing time of the race this year and I just want to get mine in before the deadline.  I'm going to predict a close finish with PSU edging out Oregon in 7:14.5, making the record one of the longest held records in Penn Relay Carnival history.  Steve Shisler can correct me on that one.

Here's a repost of Randy Moore's memories of the race that made Coach cry.  Good luck 2010 gang and PSU is 800 U!  Make the Coaches cry again.

And here's an excuse to hear Queen again, angering the powers-that-be in the music industry,  my "video" of the race.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Penn Relays Distance Night

I wish I could be there, but alas I'll be at a Junior High Track Meet!  Luckily, the wonders of the internets will possibly allow us to view the races on FloTrack.

Here's a vintage Program (from Steve Shisler's archives) cover to whet your appetite!

And an advertisement on the back cover which would draw fines in this age!  Say it ain't so, Joe!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Generation 1.0 at The Penn Relays

Steve Shisler sends us this great pic of his dad Earl Shisler at the 1948 Penn Relays in the 4 X 400.  Friday will mark Generation 3.0 at the Penn Relays for the Shisler family when Steve and Beth's son Alex runs in the 4 X 400!

Also here's a pic of Leonard Black, father of Barbara, Steve and Gary,  winning a race at Franklin Field in 1951 (before they invented colors, as my daughters say!).  Third Generation Martha Baskwill just started Junior High Track, so there is still time to work toward Penn!

And finally, here's a program entry from  1948 showing a certain entrant from Trenton Central High in the 4 X 800!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Memories of the Penn Relays Marathon (RIP!)

I previously related some of my experiences of the marathon (mostly of following other teammates to the finish line despite my PR in 1979!).  I also talked a little bit about the 1982 finish where Bill Kvashay was directed through the campus at the entrance to the Stadium, thwarting his 2:17 or 2:18 time and a Olympic marathon trial berth.  Certainly the longest 300 meters of his career!  That same race saw Barb Black enter the stadium with the whitest complexion I have ever witnessed.  Take a white sheet of paper and bleach it and you still wouldn't quite capture the whiteness.  Her PR placed high in the field despite the agonizing last miles, and she soon regained her normal color!  It is a testament to her fortitude that she continues marathons to this day.

Here's some more memories of the 1982 Penn Relays Marathon from Hall of Honor inductee Harry Smith:

I have no (good) memories of Penn Relays. I ran the marathon there in 1982!

But seriously, my memory of training and running with the Wolfe bothers (Al and Jeff) who guided Bill Malchano, Geoff Root, Jim Sellers and me all through to personal bests that year was a good memory!  Brad Althouse ran also but he decided to take off at mile 2 and we reeled him in between halfway and mile 15 as he had the proverbial bear on his back already from going too hard too early
We took the "leisurely" 6 minute pace through 5 (31:00) and 10 (61:30) as well as the halfway (1:19:20) as we started to pick it up a bit after 10 and even more so after the halfway marker.  I recall that my second 10 mile segment was 54:50 (which I only calculated well after the race) knowing I came through 20 miles at 1:56:20.

But the real memory was believing I had missed the entrance to Franklin Field. As I approached the stadium and the finish, after not remembering seeing any other runners since mile marker 21 when I passed one walking it in, I did not realize  the tricks my mind was playing on me (at this point in a marathon) having only "run" one previously and not counting the Nittany Valley Track Club December marathons "just for fun"!  As I started counting the corners as I ran around f Franklin Field knowing that at any moment I would go through a tunnel entrance to the stadium and onto the track to finish to a wildly cheering crowd of family and friends (or about 200 spectators). However, as one approaches Franklin Field from a 5 way intersection, I had not noticed that you go by the open stadium entrance first and make an entire loop around the outside of the stadium prior to entering for the final 300M on the track to the finish line. So I started counting the corners of the stadium. 1 and 2 on that first street and then a long straightaway. So my mind told me pick it up and make it around that corner up ahead you will turn right into the stadium. Well I made that 3rd turn or corner and no one was there directing me into the stadium. So I jogged on down to the 4th corner and that stadium door was closed. Do I turn back or go froward? The last time I heard a place I was in 21st or was it 22nd some 8 miles ago. I knew there were 25 medals to be awarded and my mind told me that no one had passed me in those last miles so not wanting to lose my chance at medaling at Penn, I went forward but this was the long South side of Franklin Field. Now I was tired and my mind told me I was not being allowed into the stadium. But I continued on and rounded what I felt was the 5th turn and finally the opening to the stadium was there with a race marshall directing me to run through the tunnel and finish my 3/4 lap backwards to the finish. 2 hours 37 minutes and 27 seconds was my finish time good for 13th place - so there must have been some runners who dropped out or I passed and lost count (probably both likely happened). The Penn Relays Marathon was "memorable" or at least the last lap outside of Franklin Field is one that I will never forget as I have never run a marathon since!

Harry Smith

Monday, April 19, 2010


"If you can't get excited about running at Penn, then you're just "F'N" dead"...
Coach Groves

It's Penn Relays Week!!

We'll start off the week with a bang!  Steve Shisler sends us this short story about his memories of Penn.  I'll repost Randy Moore's memories of Penn later in the week.  And I'll post any others sent my way this week, no matter how short.  The greatest track meet in the world has touched all of us somehow.  This will be Coach Groves' 65th out of 66 straight Penn Relays.  He only missed one the first year in the Army.  When they wouldn't let him come that first year he started his coaching career by forming an Army team for the next year.  Saturday will be Coach's 80th birthday and he'll be celebrating it right where he belongs, along the bricks at Franklin Field.

Penn Relays – The Agony & Ecstasy 

                by Steve Shisler
To say the Penn Relays represent the pinnacle of my running career would be an understatement, but it certainly was a long and winding road.
Growing up as a Track athlete in the Philadelphia suburbs Penn represented a rite of spring.  I was fortunate to run on Pennridge Highs 4x400 in 1980 & ‘81 in the now defunct Bux-Mont League event.  By the time I ran as a Senior I had already committed to running for Penn State as a walk on.  I couldn’t have predicted at that time what the next 5 years at Franklin Field might hold.
As a Freshman 800 runner in ’82 I was happy to grab a spot anchoring the Sprint Medley (in the days when trials were held Friday and finals were held Saturday).  We qualified for the IC4A final on Saturday and if memory serves me right finished DFL.  PSU’s 4x800 was a group of all juniors and ran a school record 7:21 that year but was well off the 7:12 pace of no fewer than 3 teams bested by Villanova.
My sophomore year began a 2 year stretch of frustration.  Some local State High kid named Randy Moore came along as a transfer from Franklin & Marshall and had the nerve to bump me as the odd man out on a 4x800 that was destined for big things.  I was again relegated to anchoring the Sprint Medley for PSU in ‘83, and while it was nice to run a 1:49 split in the trials, I knew I’d be sitting in the stands as a spectator for the Championship of America 4x800 final on Saturday.   Watching PSU take home the Championship that day in 7:19 was bittersweet.  I was cheering the entire time for my running mates but wondered if my shot at the coveted PENNSYLVANIA Relays watch had evaporated in front of me that day.
Surely my junior year in ’84 could be the year.  While Arizona State was coming in with their 7:08 Collegiate Record team and Villanova had John Marshall anchoring their usual stable of horses, we were the defending Champs sporting Super frosh Vance Watson (1983 High School Athlete of the meet, anchoring the Record Setting DMR to victory as well as anchoring the winning 4x800), a pair of 1:47 men in Randy Moore and Kenny Wynn and myself. 
One small problem, I injured my foot 2 weeks before Penn.  Determined not be shut out at the chance for a title, I rode the bike for the next 2 weeks and told Coach Groves I was running at all costs.  John Norwig, our trainer at the time and now the Pittsburgh Steelers Super trainer, slipped me a couple of pills (sugar I’m sure) before we headed to the cow pen but things just never came together for us that day.  Villanova took the title, my season was ended from injury and we went home empty handed.  Coach started calling me the “hard luck kid”.  As twisted irony would have it, I was granted a redshirt season for that spring which gave me 2 more years to run at Penn (how many collegians do you know that ran for their school 5 years straight?).
We arrived at Penn in 1985 healthy and hungry. Wynn was replaced by another State High product, frosh Chris Mills.  We warmed with a 7:17 win at Dogwood and were invited to run at
Arizona State the week before Penn.  Coach took us aside and asked if we wanted to go to Arizona or stay close to home to gear up.  To a man we chose to stay home. While a trip to sunny Tempe was tempting, nothing can replace a Championship of America title and a watch where letters replace numbers.
History shows we made the right decision to stay home and one could say things clicked that last Saturday in April 1985. Track and Field News summarized the race this way:
“Almost as impressive as Arkansas was in the 4x1500 (14:50.2) was Penn State in the 4x800. Each Nittany Lion ran faster than anyone else on his leg, i.e., they started in front and kept increasing their lead. Soph Vance Watson (the outstanding prep athlete here 2 years ago) opened a 2y lead with a 1:49.2. Steve Shisler widened it to 7y with a 1:47.9. Chris Mills ran it to 10 with a 1:48.5 and Randy Moore blasted a 1:45.5 to finish in 7:11.17, the No. 10 time in history (and second fastest collegiate mark ever).”
After the race I found my family in the stands to show them the watch. Knowing I had one more year ahead of me I told my father (an avid track lover long before I came along and Penn Relays participant in 1947 & ‘48) that I’d win him a watch next year.
1986 brought a new challenge for me.  We had a bunch of hard working PA kids who maybe just maybe could give the 4x1500 a run for the money. Coach wanted me to tackle something I’d never done, double at Penn.  Who was I to tell him no.
State High’s Bob Hudson put us in the thick of things with a great 3:46 lead leg.  Edinboro’s favorite son Mark Overheim did yeoman’s work in 3:42 hanging with an insane 2nd leg by Arkansas’s Gary Taylor (can you say 3:36.2-fastest ever at Penn-to his 3:38.6 from 1985). Penn Hills Cross Country star Eric Carter dropped down and went all out for a fast 3:47 leg to hand me the baton in 3rd just behind Auburn.  I ran the 1500 race of my life in 3:42 and managed to squeak by Auburn’s team of Americans at the tape for a solid 2nd place finish in 14:58.71, and an American record.
I heard after the race that while I was trying to get by Auburn in the final 100 meters that Coach Groves managed to put together a string of expletives in new and unheard of ways that would have made a hooker blush. He told me that while he was never happy with 2nd place, he wasn’t complaining this time.
A few hours later it was time to defend our 4x800 title. While we lost the fastest 800 runner ever at Penn to graduation, we replaced him with workhorse 400 meter hurdler Ray Levitre.  Watson did his usual job of running a great 1:48 lead leg. I kept us in the thick of things with a 1:49 leg. Levitre proved he would be an 800 force for the future and ran 1:48 to give the baton in the lead to Mills who proceeded to stretch the lead with a blistering opening 400. Paying the price in the final 200, Mills held on strong in 1:48 to beat his High School nemesis Mark Fowler of LSU for the win in 7:16.02.
That day capped a career at Penn that just a couple of years earlier I could only dream of.  Best of all I found my father after the race to give him his watch.  At first he didn’t want to accept it but I insisted, after all I already had one.  He wore his watch every day for the next 2 decades until he passed away.  I proudly wear it to this day.
What time is it?   -   It’s Penn Relays time!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Memories of Veterans Stadium and More Physics

I spent a lot of time on the 700-level of Veterans Stadium over the years. I even have a friend whose dad named the stadium as part of a contest. I usually spent $2 for a ticket to a game at which I would see 5 and sometimes 6 Hall of Famers on the field at the same time!  Soda or beer cost more than the ticket to the game.

I saw some pretty horrendous things in the stands in those days.  The mob mentality has no better place to reside than Philadelphia (except maybe New York when the electricity goes out).  But nothing is as good as this.  The new Citizens Bank Stadium has apparently channeled The Vet quite well.

And here's another Physics story for those that feel deprived. Quasars disobeying the laws of physics with impunity!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Spring PSU Track and Field Newsletter Includes Us!

Penn State Track and Field is growing by leaps and bounds (a triple jump so to speak).  It takes a lot of work to keep up with it, but there are two sure-fire ways to make sure you don't miss any of it.  One is to keep  coming back to this humble blog.  We do our best to keep up, and you'll learn some physics and have some fun along the way.

The second way is to check out the Spring Track Newsletter put out by the Track Program itself.  There is so much info there it takes two web pages!  Check out the proposed track complex for the future of PSU!  Also note the note from Ken Brinker, sort of a hero to us here at the blog.  And take a gander at Coach Groves in a jacket and tie.  Rarely do we see him so out of place.

It was very nice that the Track Program included a plug for our event right on the first page.  We'll do our best to live up to the expectations that involves.  And remember, I'm just a tiny part of this whole thing.  The real applause goes to Clark Haley, Harry Smith and so many of the other people.  Come find out what we are all about in May.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Physics Updates For All of Us

I have neglected Physics for too long, so here are two good stories for the lovers of the purest science we have left.  Much purer than its applied cousin, Climatology, for instance.  Don't get me started!

First,  scientists have long wondered how lightning appears in sandstorms. (Warning, it is another Fox News link, although no Liberals were harmed in the reporting of this article!). Sand is an insulator, in case you didn't know.  Believe it or not, they now have just begun to unravel the mystery by applying the basic physics of Newton et. al.  Interesting stuff, but they still don't know where the original electric charge comes from.

Secondly, scientists have discovered a great way to make T-shirts that block all ultraviolet rays, most neutron rays and the occasional drive-by bullet!  I want mine to say "I'm with Stupid!" or better yet "My friend works at the Tevatron and all I got was this stupid t-shirt!"

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Golden Golf Ball

There is still time to get entries in for the Golden Golf Ball!  Entries are placed for photos of the wrist bands anywhere around the world.  (Also for making this site your home page on the web or becoming a "follower" of the blog on the right sidebar!).

This is a high quality professional-like photograph of the actual golf ball.  Well, its a low quality jpeg of it sitting on my desk with a piece of paper behind it.  Depends on what you call professional, I guess.

The ball is a Titleist ball dipped in 24 K gold.  The plaque reads PSU Track Alumni.  Quite a nice conversation piece, I think.  I am unable to win it however.  Other Officers have been deemed eligible.  Keep the photos coming.

There is Never a Good Day...

People often complain about the timing of our event.  Various reasons have been articulated many times and the idiot officers have responded with a foolproof (yeah, right!) way to schedule the event each year.  The rules are slightly less hard to understand than the past methods of picking the foursomes, so let's have a go at writing them down here...

  • We must avoid Graduation weekend, as there would be no Hotel rooms available.
  • Memorial Day weekend is out, as many already have plans to be at "the shore" instead of the birthplace of the holiday, in Boalsburg!
  • Mother's Day weekend is out, because we have many "momma's boys".
Other considerations enter into the picture, but take a lesser prominence.  High School District and State Meets often trip us up, as well as College Meets in all Divisions.  Children's sports activities is now the No. 1 reason for missing our event .   Some Mays have 5 weekends, which makes our choices better.  Rarely, the stars align and we have a weekend free of our 3 "avoid" weekends AND an off weekend for the PSU team, which makes the choice easy.  This is the first year that all the stars aligned.  That, and the special occasion of Coach Groves' 60th anniversary of his 20th Birthday make this the ideal year to get off your butt and join us for some fun and frolic.  Either golf with us, or join in all the other activities that make the whole event worthwhile for everyone.  All monies generated go toward group activities, Friends of PSU Track or PSU Track Scholarships.

Monday, April 12, 2010

More Idiocy and Certificates!

After the months of hard labor (actually months of procrastination followed by minutes of looking at the 2010 Track media guide), my reward from Steve Shisler was to be quizzed about where the certificate was!  Well, thanks to my 1895 version of Microsoft Publisher, here is the Official Hall of Honor Certificate.  This version actually needs to be signed by three separate officers as indicated, two of which are in the Hall themselves.  Leave it to me to make up a group I don't qualify for!

And in keeping with my moronic self, I missed not one (Barry Robinson) but 2 (Randy Moore) on the original list.  But in my defense, 3 of the 4 idiot officers aren't sure if Randy golfed with us in 2006.  Clark remembers drinking a beer with him on the Blue Course, so according to Coach Groves' liberal use of the Queensbury Rules, that qualifies!  Welcome to the Hall of Honor Randy.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Apparently, Even Small Amounts of Alcohol Kills Brain Cells

Apparently, my two Yearly beers (one on the Friday night before the Golf Outing and another on Saturday after the first horrible 9 holes of thrashing!) is enough to demonstrably demonstrate the fact that alcohol, even in small amounts, certainly  kills brain cells!

I left Barry Robinson off the list of Hall of Honor recipients on the recent compilation.  His 400 M leg of the Distance Medley accompanied both Bob Hudson and Mark Overheim in establishing his credentials as preeminent PSU Track Alumni Golfers.

My apologies to both Barry and whoever comes next on my forgotten list. Remember, the criteria for inclusion on the list is simple:

  1. Win the tourney and get your name on The Cup twice.
  2. Be an All-American, National Record Holder and/or member of an Olympic Team and participate in at least one Coach Harry Groves Golf Tournament and Reunion.  (Participation need not require golfing with us, but bribery and enthusiastic activity at our Reunion Weekend Activities can certainly help!)
  3. Do both 1 and 2 above like Steve Balkey, the King of Penn State Track and Field Alumni Golfers.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Coaches Sign Up in Droves! Join Us

The Number of PSU and ex-PSU Coaches participating in the Ninth Annual Harry Groves Golf Tournament and Reunion has exploded!  Coaches from all eras from the 60's on, as well as Men's and Women's Coaches will be represented for the first time.  Assistant Greenskeeper Carl Spackler is busy readying the lush greenery of The Elks Club Course for its eventual thrashing on May 22.

Join current and past Penn State Coaches at the tourney and help support the future of Penn State Track and Field.  We are on our way to becoming the largest and most active group of our kind in the world.  Get your entry in and join these notables braving the ridicule and laughter of the few real golfers among us:

  •   Coach John Gondak, (PSU is 800 U!)
  •   Coach Drew Hardyk, Jumps and Multi-events, (if only I could have carried the pole vault pole!)
  •   Coach  T. J. Crater,  Throws, (my 12 ft. PR in the shot may not impress him much!)
  •   Coach Fritz Spence, Jumps, Multi-events, (5' 2" wouldn't garner me many points in the decathlon!)
  •   Director of Operations Jess Riden, (she always is so busy, I doubt she has time for golf!)
  •   Coach Beth Alford-Sullivan, (not golfing but still earning a Hall of Honor berth!)
  •   Coach Chris Johnson, Associate Head Coach, (not golfing, but joining our group with enthusiasm!)
  •   Coach Harry Groves, (Chipping, putting, and bitching with the rest of us!)
  •   Coach Teri Jordan, (Another Hall of Honor berth, AND golfing with us!)
  •   Coach Bill Whittaker, (looking for a second inscription on The Cup and a Hall of Honor slot!)
  •   Coach Artie Gilkes, Director of Youth Development, (not golfing, the wimp!)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Thirteen Reasons to Hate the iPad and One Reason to Love It

Standing in line is something I abhor, despite my yearly treks to Disney World.  I will gladly keep using my old Palm Lifedrive and OQO computer for all my gadget needs, considering the iPad doesn't even have a phone yet.  For you Apple Haters out there, here is 13 reasons to laugh at the iPad!

But then, here's one great reason to love it!

PSU is 800 U: The Sequel

In the warm-up to "The Race", Penn State won the Florida Relays 4 X 800 M Relay in 7:18.72.  The quartet of Casimir Loxsom, Lionel Williams, Owen Dawson and Ryan Foster ran the No. 7 best time in PSU history in the first outing of the Outdoor Campaign.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Announcing the Hall of Honor: The Pinnacle of Group Success

The ultimate honor for anyone in our group is getting their name on the Memorial Cup, especially if it's more than once!  But to make an honorary group even more special, I decided to celebrate participation from those of us who achieved All-American status, an American (or National) Record, or have been on an Olympic Team AND participated at one of our Tournament and Reunion Events.  The results of months of meticulous research (actually months of procrastination and 10 minutes of actually looking things up!) shows Steve Balkey is the penultimate Penn State Track and Field Alumni Golfer.  Congratulations Steve for being a multiple All-American and winning the Tournament twice!  The Hall of Honor (in alphabetical order):
  1. Beth Alford-Sullivan,  2004 Olympic Coach
  2. Steve Balkey, All-American (AA) 1987, 1988  Tournament Champion (TC) 2008, 2003
  3. Gary Black, TC  2009, 2007
  4. Greg Fredericks, AA 1970, 1971, 1972  American Record (AR) 1972, Olympic Team 1980
  5. Robert Gifford, TC  2006, 2005, 2002
  6. Harry Groves, Olympic Coach 1992
  7. Clark Haley, TC  2008, 2007, 2004, 2002
  8. Bob Hudson, AA 1985  AR  1986
  9. Teri Jordan,  Paralympic Coach 2004, AR
  10. Brian Laird,  TC  2008*, 2002
  11. Mike McCahill,  TC  2008, 2004
  12. Paul McLaughlin, AA 1983
  13. Paul Mundy,  TC  2009, 2005
  14. Ryan Olkowski,  AA 2002
  15. Mark Overheim, AA 1985  AR 1986
  16. Tom Rapp,  AA 1978,  TC  2003
  17. Alan Scharsu,  AA  1979, 1980
  18. Beth (Stever) Shisler,  AA  1984,  TC  2007
  19. Steve Shisler,  AR  1985, 1986
  20. Harry Smith,  TC  2007, 2003
  21. Bob Snyder,  AA  1978, 1979
  22. Don Ziter,  TC  2006, 2005
  23. Barry Robinson, AA 1985*
  24. Randy Moore, AA 1985, AR 1985*
  25. Chris Mills, AR 1985*
*  initially forgotten by careless web site editors, who have been sacked.
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