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...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Records Continue To Be Set

Our efforts at domination of the Track and Field Alumni Universe are on pace.  Growth of the melting pot that is PSU Track and Field Alumni Golf show no sign of letting up.  Efforts will be redoubled in bringing it to the 75% of Track alums who don't know about us.  We have grown to the 1,003 most popular website in Central PA!  Spread the word if you are able.  Any contributions of stories, anecdotes, photos, videos or spare change are welcomed.

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The Sweetest Group on Earth?

Summer is ending. but that didn't dissuade some PSU Track Alumni Golfers from one more outing and Outreach.  This time, Hersheypark was selected because of the desire to stand in long lines and become sunburned in the process.  Barb Black, Susan Baskwill, Kelly O'Brien and assorted "youngins" braved the cell-phone carrying hordes of "youts" angling for a chance at becoming nauseated.  I just hung around looking for things to eat and only rode one ride, the Kissing Tower, a non-threatening gentle rise of 300 or so feet with 3 slow turns overlooking the Hershey countryside.  Got nauseous anyway.  Amusement Parks and I don't quite get along.  The next Outreach is in State College on September 19 at 7:00 PM at the Golden Wok.   Everyone is invited, just let me know.  This is the night prior to the Kevin Dare Benefit Golf Outing.  Eight of us will represent the group in style, with me acting as a Coach for those last minute tips that could bring victory!  (Like  "Swing as hard as you can, everyone knows the ball goes further when you hit it harder!")

Addendum:  There are 4 Wrist Bands depicted in the Photo and therefore everyone is entered in the Wrist Bands Around the World Contest with the Grand Prize of $100 to the group store.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Ten Questions: Darryl Jones

1.    What song immediately brings back memories of Penn State? –Superfreak by Rick James
2.   Who was the biggest team clown during your track years?  Ron Gulaskey, and it’s not even CLOSE.
3.   What was your best PSU Track or XC performance?  Winning D-Day as a senior with the help of Rob Boulware’s encouragement.
4.   What is your best Coach Groves memory?   Team meeting with a hatchet hidden behind his back, basically saying that a #4 national ranking was making us “cocky”, and he challenged us to place our “manhood” on a desk, which he proceeded to wail on with the business end of the hatchet.  I loved that little room!
5.   What was your favorite haunt/watering hole in State College back in the day?    We NEVER went out-we were varsity athletes!  Mr. C’s on Thursdays, or CafĂ© 210 West.      
6.   What was your least favorite workout?   Stadium steps, as in ALL of them, in the fall.  It’s a workout Coach Groves used to make people quit before he cut them in the fall.
7.    Do you get back to State College at all? ( My question to eliminate)
8.   What is your most embarrassing moment while attending Penn State? This happened to a few of us—the good old DUKE jock strap broke during a meet while triple jumping.  Just imagine the discomfort and the SAND.
9.   What exercising do you currently do?  2-3x a week-martial arts.
10.  What was the best home football game you attended?  Any freshman of sophomore game was stupendous; that was when the team was REALLY good.  I was also in the Blue Band at the time.

The Rules for the next bloke (Rob Boulware!) are:  1.  Answer the questions.  2.  Pick a question to eliminate.  3.  Write a new question (pending blog officer approval).  4.  Pick the next victim.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

My Worst Ever Injury

Somehow I ended up with Fencing as my Phys. Ed. requirement during my sophomore year.  It was probably because I had already taken Fitness and Games with Coach Groves twice, against all PSU Rules.  As long as I tapped on Coach's window before 9:00 AM on a morning run, I didn't need to show for class.  Except for Floor Hockey, my one true calling in life!

Fencing led invariably to the worst injury of my life.  I still have sequelae to this day. That's me on the left, tearing my groin with abandon.  This injury is now known as a high ankle sprain, and putting ice on it has  problems all of its own. I earned the "A" in the class on the very last day, mustering all my efforts to stretch, parry, reverse parry and thrust my epee into my semi-final opponent's chest to the roar of the crowd.  Well, I won anyway, advancing to the finals where I could no longer stretch far enough for to even touch the opponent.

What was your worst injury?  Or did anyone else have Phys. Ed. catastrophes to rival mine?

Somehow Physics Always Ends Up As Metaphysics

Somehow, a radioactive element's decay on Earth is directly linked to solar flares.  In explaining this phenomenon across 93 million miles, they lose me.  But then again, I'm easily lost on even a 10 mile journey.  It is certainly an interesting thing, however.  Check out the link and learn something, just for the halibut.

The photo is the most detailed ever of a Sunspot using the visible spectrum from an Earth-based telescope.

And the search for the long postulated Anti-Universe has gotten a big boost lately, as a detector is now on the International Space Station (which also has treadmill named after a Comedy Central Star!).  The Anti-Universe is apparently the one where Coach Groves would have given you a hug after a good race and a pat on the butt and positive feedback when your race didn't go as well as you had hoped.  Yeah, that Universe.  I'm afraid they will never find that one.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Pennsylvania and Ohio Distance Champions in the 70's Chose Penn State

Larry Mangan recently pointed out how nearly all the Pennsylvania distance champions in our day gravitated to Penn State. We are doing our best to make that happen all over again.  Title IX makes that difficult on the mens side.  The list is rather impressive.  Let's see if I can get some of them:

1.  Dave Felice, mile 1976
2.  Ray Krombel, 2-mile 1976
3.  Larry Mangan, mile  1977
4.   Marc Dunmire, mile 1977
5.  George Severine, 880 1977
6.  David Baskwill, 2-mile 1977
7.  Gary Black, mile 1978

I'm forgetting others!  Write a comment below to update the list.

And lets not forget Ohio, the state that's "high in the middle and round on both ends" (from Tom Rapp himself).   The Ohio State Mile Champions at PSU in my day are:

1.  Tom Rapp 1977
2.  Alan Scharsu  1978 (in the photo)
3.  John Zishka  1979
4.  Clark Haley  1981

All of this was off the top-of-my-head, which is notably deficientPlease send me additions and corrections in the comment section!

Ah, the updates are rolling in, just as I had hoped. 
1.  Mike Cook, 1600 1979.
2.  Mark Overheim, 1600 1981
3. Jay Novak, 3200 1986
4. Dan Mazzocco, 3200  2002
5.  Dave Greene 800, 1979
6.  Doug Walter, 800 1986
7.  Mary Rawe, mile 1977 or 1978?
8.  Robert Snyder, mile 1974, 1975
9.  Kathy Byrnes, 880, 1977 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

European Circuit Winds Down For Penn Staters

Many PSU Track Alums spread out over the European Continent this year representing Dear Old State.  I caught up with Fawn Dorr as she made her way back to the States following an exciting taste of Pro running.  She relates she "won a few and lost a few". She sounds upbeat and invigorated for next year's travails.  She also agreed to be one of the featured photos on the 2011 PSU Track Alumi Golf Calendar which will be on sale in the group store (there's a 20% off t-shirt sale until 8/26/10!) some time after I have the time to put it together.  You won't want to miss the finest track and field photo ever!  And at least 11 others.

Fawn also brings word that Shana Cox won a big 400 race in Yugoslavia recently, despite running in the slow heat (51.8)!  Aleesha Barber has one more race to go at the end of September or early October.  Bridgit Franek finished her grueling Steeplechase season and is now safely ensconced in Oregon to begin a new training phase.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Coach Groves' Car Destroyed and Financial Ruin!

* Photo for illustration only!

Brian Boyer brings us more news of the time he and Jim Clelland managed to get lost in the mountains of Bear Meadows during a Sunday run for the second week in a row in 1979.  Coach Groves was forced to drive the rest of us back to Rec Hall in The Van and return to look for them in his own car.  The mountain roads did their worst to his car, and it was totaled in finding the intrepid wanderers.  Brian figures they did him a favor, as Coach was forced to buy a new car the next day.

As Brian puts it:

"Yes - Yes he did (wreck his car)...but it was an AMC Hornet.  (Dave) Felice,  (Jim) Clelland and I did him a favor.  He got that Datsun sports car male menopause machine.
We pimped his ride.
He owes us."
And in other news, Philadelphia has instituted a fee for bloggers to get a business license, threatening financial ruin for this little hobby of mine.  Philly is precariously close to the Blog Headquarters in Central PA!  I would hate to have to move to Montana to avoid the $300 fee because one philanthropic donator demanded that I take $4.25 out of his donation to have lunch at Wendy's!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Ten Questions: Brian Boyer - A Bonus Ten Questions!

1.  What was this best place you lived in S.C.? UG -220B Parkway Plaza  - Grad around the corner on Atherton - got to see lots of car crashes and stuff there.
2.   What was your favorite PSU class? In 4 years UG and 9 years grad - Technical Writing 418 - I can write today because of it and I do more of that then calculations.(My writing abilities must have been obtained from a 0.1 Level Course!)
3.   What was your best PSU Track or XC performance?  XC-26:25 5.2mi course - Track 15:01.3 5k win in slow heat at Syracuse holding off the blogmeister's storming kick - Road - 46:31 at Berwick - only place I ever ran faster time on a course than Dave Felice ever did.  I nevev mentioned till now because I know old Crazy Horse Dave could go and run faster than me till he hit about 50. (I had an off day!)
4.   What is your best Coach Groves memory?  The time in 77when he posted the Collegian photo of the wet T-shirt contest and thrower Gary Greaser was in the back row.  Coach said we had too many lookers on the team  "We don't need lookers we need grabbers."  This is the kind of thing that lets me pass all the diversity and harassment training quizzes on the first try.  What would Coach say?  Pick the opposite!  100%  right every time.
5.   What was your favorite haunt/watering hole in State College back in the day?  Train yard and Cafe  - outside
6.   What was your least favorite workout?  Bypass loop - the bypass itself as you ran uphill always alone was the worst
7.    Do you get back to State College at all?  Some - once a year to lecture at the Nuc E Dept and made the 2009 Golf (And he's on the Cup!)
8.   What is your most embarrassing moment while attending Penn State?  Too many and too frequent to mention but getting lost twice on team runs in a weekend with Clelland was bad - of course it was Clelland's fault with all the extremely loud distracting conversation about all his women and stuff..... (Coach Groves ruined his car looking for them the second time!)
9.   What exercising do you currently do?  Running, the yard work and snow shoveling, and weights and gym on my travels
10.  What was the best home football game you attended?  UG - NC State in 78 when Oklahoma lost that day and PSU ascended to #1.  Grad - 83 - win over Alabama

Friday, August 20, 2010

Ten Questions: Doug Ludin

The answers, with a brief commentary from the peanut gallery thrown in!
1.  What song immediately brings back memories of Penn State? Funky town
2.   What was your favorite PSU class? Statics
3.   What was your best PSU Track or XC performance?  6'-10" HJ
4.   What is your best Coach Groves memory?  Coach lecturing the team one day before an early spring practice (quote) "Now that the weather is warm the scent of ***** is in the air and the short-shorts are out", that we better not  fraternize with anyone of the girls team.  As a first year walk-on I was completely intimidated. (As a 50 Year old, I'm still intimidated.)
5.   What was your favorite haunt/watering hole in State College back in the day?  Lions Den  (Everybody seems to be saying that!)        
6.   What was your least favorite workout?  Squirrel Hill  (Another popular favorite)
7.    Do you get back to State College at all?  Yes, once/year for football game (We'll get him to golf someday!)
8.   What is your most embarrassing moment while attending Penn State?  When my Duke jock blew out during a joint Mens/Womens team workout.
9.   What exercising do you currently do?  Running, mt bike, & some weights
10.  What was the best home football game you attended?  Notre Dame (back when they were good)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Another Streaker and Hybrid World Record!

Our 17th straight year at Ocen City, New Jersey is predicated on the running of the Sea Isle City Beach Run.  It occurs on the first or second Saturday in August depending on the timing of high tide, because the miserable run is mostly on the beach.  With soft sand, rock jetties, and the wind in your face both directions, it is seriously worse than any marathon I've run.  I don't even bother anymore, but Barb Black soldiers on, this time for her 17th straight.  That has taken quite a bit of magic, defeating many obstacles no one else could have triumphed over. I'm not kidding either.

While Ron "Bile" (Bee Lay) Ferguson isn't a PSU Track Alumni, he certainly has put up with many of us over the years.  We may even entice him to join the group someday. I hear he can putt.  Ron's streak at the race would be 30-something years if it hadn't been for his recent open-heart surgery!  The implantation of a cow heart valve hasn't slowed him up much and we conclude that this year's effort is a world record for such hybrid humans of his age group.  Let someone else convince us otherwise.  He even posed as L. Viren at a tune-up Fun Run earlier in the week. 

While milling about Sea Isle city during the race, I saw many PSU Track shirts but didn't get to talk to anyone.  The reach and scope of the PSU Track community seems to be expanding, as this was the largest number of PSU Track enthusiasts I've seen "down the shore" in those 17 years.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Other Ground Zero

With all the recent talk of NYC's Ground Zero, we often lose site of the origin of the term.  Brian Boyer brings us back to earth, albeit a glass-like earth made of trinitite, named after the site where the first nuclear (that's Nucular in G. W. Bush-speak) blast occured (Trinity).

It's good to have brains such as these involved with the insurance of safety in the use of nuclear sources.  Homer Simpson has manned the board at Springfield's Nuclear Plant for more than 20 years while still acting as part-time mascot for the Isotopes baseball team.  And Brian has been at work in the field for just slightly less time than he took to graduate!

The great wrist-band photo adds to Brian's extensive collection.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Dave and Buster's Event Canceled

The Buffet and Play Event on Oct. 2, 2010 at the Dave and Buster's in the  Plymouth Meeting Mall has been canceled due to lack of  interest and Global Warning, but mostly lack of interest.  Maybe we can try again in the Winter/Spring?

A small substitute event will be held in State College on Sunday, September 19 prior to the Kevin Dare Benefit Golf Tourney.  Kung Pao will again be featured, although other dishes are begrudgingly accepted.  Anyone wishing to partake only need to email me for information. (dfbaskwillATcsDOTcom)

It looks as though we will have 2 foursomes entered in the tourney, with me acting as the Coach and drink coordinator.  Anyone wishing to donate to the cause (Dare's, not ours) can drop us a line and we will pass the munificence on.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Degrees of Separation

Steve Walsh, PSU '01, was just hired as the (Men's and Women's) Track and Field (and Cross-Country) Coach at William and Mary.  Steve is not only a great ex-PSU runner, but one heck of a good golfer also.  The chains that links William and Mary, PSU and our humble group are quite strong.  Coach Groves coached at W and M from 1958 1956 (via the Wand M site!) to 1968, before beginning his 38 year tenure at PSU.  Brian Mount ran with Gary Black, Steve Black and others at State College High and then at W and M.  While there, he ran with Zeb Stewart while Zeb was there at Grad School, (before being banned from Colonial Williamsburg for Life!).  Following graduation, Brian meandered to suburban Philly where he joined a running club run by our own Bob Gabel (past winner of the Golden Putter!).

I had the pleasure of golfing with Steve at last year's tourney.  I hope he can find time to golf with us again.  That's him all the way on the right, avoiding Ted Lyon and Coach at all costs!  A special tip of the cap to Jeff Sanden for the info.  That's him next to Ted and Coach!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Just When I Thought It Was Save To Return to Outside Jogging!!

We're all going to die.  The sky is falling.  And  much more that is even worse!  Stephen Hawking continues to let loose with his most deeply held beliefs.  This time he says we need to leave Earth in order to survive as a species.  Maybe in the next 100 years Just after the people in charge ended America's role in putting Man into space.  It's up to the Chinese, Russians, Indians and the Iranians apparently.  Best of Luck, Yankees.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

10 Questions: Larry Mangan

  1. What song immediately brings back memories of Penn State?  Let's Go (The Cars).
  2. What was your favorite PSU Class?  Jogging with H. R. Groves (MWF 9:00 AM).
  3. What was your best PSU Track or XC Performance?  1980 Olympic Trial 1500 M 3:39.2  Cross                      Country 29:38 10 K at Lehigh for 3rd at NCAA Div II Regionals.
  4. What is your best Coach Groves memory?   Running on the White Course, passing by the Coach when he let me  know, by way of an expletive-laden torrent of "encouragement" that he wasn't happy with my race up to that point.  I learned a few new words, as did my grandmother who was a few yards from Harry.
  5. What was your favorite haunt/watering hole in State College back in the day?  The Saloon/Lion's Den (tie).
  6. What was your least favorite workout?  The dreaded by-pass loop.
  7. Do you get back to State College at all?  Nearly every year for a football or basketball game and the occasional indoor meet.
  8. What is your most embarrassing moment while attending Penn State?  Sophomore year.  An unnamed hoopster decided to bring his date back to the room at 3:00AM.I awoke to what sounded like the soundtrack from one of those movies they used to show at Sparks.
  9. What exercising do you do?  Some walking and yoga.
  10. Which body part failed first?  At 40 my eyes decided to quit working without assistance!  Now I have glasses everywhere in the house and car.
The Rules Again for the newbies:  1.  Answer the questions.  2.  Eliminate a question.  3.  Pick a new question.(pending blog officer approval)  4.  Pick a new victim.  Blog officers will pick a new victim if someone fails to respond in a timely fashion.  Joe Clinton, that means you.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Honors Continue!

The United States Track and Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association has awarded the Penn State Women's Outdoor Track Team the Scholar Team of the Year. Coach Alford-Sullivan's forces placed fourth at the NCAA Championships while maintaining an overall GPA above 3.0.  Congrats to everyone involved.  It takes a lot of hard work and preparation to juggle everything just right to get results like these. Lion Pride indeed.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Let's Gross Out the Vegans!

Not many of us Right-Coasters have ever had an In-N-Out hamburger, seeing as stores must be within driving distance of suppliers to keep their never frozen pledge.  All the suppliers are on that other coast!  But as in all cases of cult followings, the real crazies will find a way.  Sometimes it takes an obsession and other times it takes an obsession bordering on mental illness.  And God bless them.

This guy says he knows the secret to the phenomenon, but I'm skeptical. Mustard just doesn't shake my world, not even on a hot dog.

But science has provided what might be an answer that vegans may not want to hear, but heart surgeons and pharmaceutical manufacturers may herald. (Hint: A 40% fat ground beef blend seemes to be an ingredient!)  It's been a while since I have flown, but an In-N-Out "Animal Style" may get me back in an airport!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

We are Making a Difference

Besides honoring the long tenure of Coach Groves, a big goal of our group is to promote the current and future of the Penn State Track and Field (and Cross Country) Programs.  Huge strides have been made already and we really are only in the infancy of the effort.  The current Coaching Staff and Athletic Department have praised our efforts and have discussed how impressed they are. 

Hard, objective evidence will, of course come with more Big Ten Championships, Penn Relays Championships of America victories and NCAA triumphs and the like.  But the subjective evidence is already appearing.

"Also, the support from former teammates and alumni makes a huge difference as I progress in this sport. I got emails, messages, phone calls, etc etc from alumni congratulating me and wishing me good luck. I tried to really embody the heart of a nittany lion and these comments absolutely made me excited to continue representing the great alumni from Penn State."  -Tyler McCandless in an interview following his San Francisco Half-Marathon victory.
Tyler's progression in the sport is a testament to the work ethic, values, comraderie and spirit that comes from a program with a rich history and continued support in doing things the "right way".  Our meager efforts do make a difference.  Kudos to Clark HaleyHarry Smith and the rest of gang for keeping our group going.  It's not about the golf, unless you speak to them when making up foursomes.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Thanks A Lot Mr. Burns!

Springfield's Nuclear Plant helped spawn "Blinky" the three-eyed fish way back in Season 1 of The Simpson's but now real life has caught up with it!

The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Squealing in the mountains of Germany.  It's all thanks to the great design and management skills of the Russian counterparts to Montgomery Burns and Homer Simpson.

Now radioactive wild pigs are having litters twice the size of usual and are overtaking vast swaths of Old World Europe.  I'm not positive, but I don't think Brian Boyer's trip to Chernobyl had anything to do with the wildlife problems they have encountered.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Kevin Dare Golf Tourney

The "A" foursome may already be chosen with the likes of Keeper of the Beer Clark Haley, Keeper of the Cup Harry Smith, Group Icon Paul Mundy, quintessential Hall of Honor member Steve Balkey, Director of Corporate Espionage Gary Black,  Grand Exalted IT Czar Jeff Sanden and newly crowned tournament champion Nick K.

But, that doesn't mean you can't join the "B" team or even my "D" team.  Let one of us know you are interested and you too can obtain a beautiful Golf Shirt from the group store.

The event is held Monday, September 20 on the Blue and White Golf Courses, and benefits the Kevin Dare Scholarship Fund.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

10 Questions: Bill Malchano

What is your favorite Seinfeld episode?
   Master of My Domain
What was your favorite PSU class?
What was your best PSU Track or XC performance?
    Penn Relays Marathon - 2:40.52  (Freshman year) ; 2:41.02 (Sophomore year)
    Two completely different race strategies and times were only 12 seconds apart after 26 freak-in miles. 
What is your best Coach Groves memory?
    Whenever someone had a cold - Coach would always interject that you must have been  "*erkin off" with the window open  
What was your favorite haunt/watering hole in State College back in the day?
    Spin the Wheel Night at the DEN
What was your least favorite workout?
    I hated the "Timed" Bypass Loop run
Do you get back to State College at all?
    Attended the 2009 Golf outing. Attended all others before 2005. Debbie & I will be back in 2011
What is your most embarrassing moment while attending Penn State?
      Several events come to mind - PSU Hay Ride and a full bottle of Peppermint Schnapps. Not a proud moment
      An ill-timed use of a pair of Binoculars handed to me by Clark Haley.   
What exercising do you currently do?  
  Currently cross train - Run, Stationary Bike or Elliptical daily
Which body part failed first?
  None have failed completely but majority are not performing at full capacity. 
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