20th Annual Penn State Track and Field/XC Reunion

And SAVE THE DATE! The Executive Committee meeting of the Officers of the Group convened and chose the dates for the 2022 Reunion and Coach Groves Golf Tournament. This will be the 20th anniversary of the formulation of this whole shebang, and you better SAVE THE DATE!! So set aside May 13th and 14th, 2022. (Each year will alternate between May and August) We will be going all out for this event and you won't want to miss it. Adult beverages, camaraderie with old and new friends, mediocre golf, AND LIVE MUSIC FROM PROFESSIONALS! Stay tuned...

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Year End Trip Back in Time

A Wormhole back to when hair was long, shorts were short, distances were Imperial, bellies were hard and times were analog.

Friday, December 30, 2011

I'm on Vacation!

This is the first time I've had off for more than a week in more than a decade.  And I plan on doing a lot while I'm off.
  1. Nap.  You know, the three letter word that always ends with a pee!
  2. Eat.  (See photo for documentation.) I'm rather good at this.*
  3. Run. Twice daily when on vacation!
  4. Did I mention nap?
  5. I may even blog if it doesn't interfere with the naps and meals!
My wife will be attempting her third Goofy Challenge in a row.  The Goofy is Disney's way of torturing people while they are in the "funnest place on earth".  The Goofy is a Half-Marathon on Saturday and the full Marathon on Sunday.  Both of these require waking at 3:00AM to make sure you are at the start in time.  Two years ago she had a broken rib and managed to finish in freezing temperatures anyway.  This year she has a torn meniscus and is trying to finish in the top half of overall marathoners including the men. I don't know how she does it!

*That isn't really me.  It's one of the protesters at the Wisconsin Capital during the protests against cessation of collective bargaining of benefits for State Employee's Unions.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Streak Continues!

I'm in!  The United States Running Streak Association has accepted my application and I'll be appearing in their lists soon. I'll be 191st on the list of current streaks, pending any other applicants I don't know about. I'll also make their supplemental list of people with 70,000 total career miles in a year or two. It's quite amazing how many people have run more than 100,000 miles!

Come Home To The Simpsons from devilfish on Vimeo.

In honor of the event, I've included the facsimile photo of myself running, and a great video of the opening segment  of The Simpsons filmed with live actors!  Happy New Year everybody.  Get ready, because 2012 will be a great year for the blog and PSU Track and Field (and XC!).

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Don't Forget to Vote For the Performance of the Year!

Vote for the performance of the year on the left sidebar!  Now!  And call, text, email, IM or actually talk to your friends*  to vote also.  We need to make this the biggest poll ever on the blog/web site.

Don't forget to spread the word about our site.  There's also our Facebook Site which needs new members.  There's no hazing or fees involved. Join us today!

Here's two performances which didn't make the finals, mostly because I'm an idiot, but you already knew that.

* I'm not actually sure the younger crowd resorts to old-school methods of communication.  I'm pretty sure it's still legal, however.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Longest Women's Streak Ended

It's not just a gratuitous way to include the words "Women" and "Streakers" in the same headline. Not just a way to attract more of us old-timers to the blog for the first time!  And to make the effort complete, I wouldn't dare include a picture of a woman streaking to attract those younger than I, would I?

No, I'm talking about the running of at least one continuous mile in every 24 hr. period beginning at midnight for as many days in a row as possible.
 Julie Maxwell, of Kasson, Minnesota, has ended her three decade old running streak after being injured in an accident on Sunday. Maxwell, who began her running streak on July 5, 1978, has the longest running streak of any female in the country (and probably the world) as certified to the United States Running Streak Association (USRSA). Her running streak lasted for 12,212 days (7/5/78-12/10/11).
A broken ankle is a certified way to end a streak of 33 years, I suppose.  My hats off to her, she'll start her next streak in four weeks or so.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Year End Physics Phun and Miscellany

Not so smart Physics junkies like me are starting to feel their oats.  It seems that not all is explained by the egg-heads in charge.

And what nerdiness can be added to a fascination with the Large Hadron Collider that would actually make it nerdier.  How 'bout building a model of it out of Legos!

Addendum:  The Good News - They are working on an Instruction Manual on how to build it.  The Bad News - It costs 2,000 Euros for the bricks, or $2,618 currentl;y!

Don't forget to vote in the Performance of the Year on the left side! (Maybe someone could show Ryan Foster a little love!)

And there are just a few days left to sign up for this year's purchase of the Alumni Singlet.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Christmas Miracle!

A Miracle on Ice II!

Friday, December 23, 2011

"Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics"

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."  -Author Unknown (Mark Twain popularized the saying.)

Track and Field is second on the list of sports to baseball with great statistics.  There are so many categories to keep every nerd like me interested.

Actually, nobody is telling a lie.  Our new Blog Laureate Larry Mangan has been skimming the record books and has come up with a few gems at year's end. He is quite relentless in the pursuit of accuracy, something I can't quite profess myself!

Several PSU performers are on the All-Time American Junior Lists:
  1. Karlee McQuillen, ('11) - #4, #6, #7, #10 in the javelin (all in 2008) best 176’2”
  2. Michael Timpson  - #5 performer 20.23 200 meter dash
  3. Cas Loxom #6  performer 1:46.57 800 meter run
  4.  Tracey Brauksiek # 10 performer 10:16.91 3000 M steeple

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Bah Humbug. Merry Christmas From My Zoo to Yours

This isn't actually one of mine, but the Scrooge-like demeanor should cheer us all up. Here's another one of Spot, this time after being mauled and being hospitalized with neck wounds.  He never gave up. Feisty to the very end.

Merry Christmas to all.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ten More Things I Learned in More Than 50 Years (Which I Learned From My Dog Spot)

I miss the little fellow.  He was a stray that we adopted into our zoo after he had roamed the streets for a number of years.  It took me 2 years until I could pick him up.  He had more fight in his 5 pounds than most football teams do in the NFL.  We have no idea how old he was, but it must have been ancient.  With his age came wisdom beyond his years and species.

  1. Running in circles for the sake of running in circles is pleasurable most times.
  2. Having one good meal and a bed of your own is really all you need most times.
  3. Having friends around, even if they steal some of your food, is still worth it.
  4. Barking for the sake of barking is pleasurable most times.
  5. Always listen to "the big dog".
  6. Work is a four-letter word ending with the letter kNap is much easier. And it ends with a pee.
  7. All trips to the doctor should end with a treat.
  8. Never give up, never give up.
  9. People are mostly good, but occasionally not. Trust, but verify.
  10. Never eat the tinsel on a Christmas tree.

Monday, December 19, 2011

First Annual Performance of the Year: I Need Your Help

I have made several nominations for the PSU Track Alumni Golf Performance of the Year and I would love your help making any additional nominations prior to the voting at year's end.  First we need to make certain we agree on our definitions.

First, a PSU Track Alumni Golfer may not be what you think it is.  Golf has absolutely nothing to do with it. ( It never has.  It is highly recommended, however!)  And the definition of alumnus is:

A graduate or former student of a school, college, or university.

But for our purposes I will expand it even further!  Anyone who cares about PSU Track and Field and Cross Country is eligible for our purposes.

Secondly, a performance can be in any aspect of human existence, including, but not limited to performance on the track, field, cross country course or roads. For example, finding a cure for cancer would qualify as a fine performance!  I have discovered how diverse a community we are, so anything is eligible.

Here are several of my nominations, in no particular order:

  1. Ryan Foster's sub-4 minute mile indoors.
  2. Cas Loxsom's School Record 800 M run outdoors.
  3. Jim Clelland's performance as Ebeneezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol: The Musical  (This isn't a joke at all.  I really believe this is worthy of note and consideration.  To know Jim can be heard in the back of an auditorium without electronics is heart-warming)
  4. Doreen McCoubrie's (Startare) marathon at Philly.  2:50:23 at age 50
Give me some more nominations!

All-Time Best NFL/Track Events: PSU Well Represented

The NFL and Track and Field have a long history together.  The recently discussed Renaldo Nehemiah certainly comes to mind.  But did you know that two PSU Track Stars are at the top of all-time individual event performances among Trackand Field/NFL athletes?

First on the list is Brian Milne, who is the No. 2  all-time performers in the discus. His toss of 207 feet 5 inches was second only to Christian Okoye's 212 feet 4 inches.

But First on the list of 400 meter hurdlers is my teammate Paul Lankford, who enjoyed a 12 year NFL career in Miami.  With a minimal amount of football experience, Paul became one of Miami's best secondary players for many of their stellar seasons.  Paul was also the high school national record holder in the 400 hurdles prior to arriving in Happy Valley.  His all-time best of  49.55 is the best all-time among NFL stars.

I Really Wish I Could Remember All of This One!

I only have sporadic memories of this.  We've gone over this before, but some new information has come to light.  While I remembered Villanova coming to town for a duel meet,but  it really was Maryland.  I mistook Mark Belger for Renaldo Nehemiah, I suppose! I was injured at the time and I don't even have record of running anything at the meet.  It was held at Westerly Parkway Junior High School of all places, as Beaver Stadium had been lifted up and seats were added in front, obliterating PSU's former track.

The unfolding demise of Maryland Track and Field (men only!) is a sad reminder that the bottom line is often the bottom line.  When we met on the track for a now extremely rare scored duel meet, Maryland was at the zenith of its Track existence. The team that trudged off the buses in the Junior High parking lot were the champions of the ACC many times straight (24!), and were to go on to a top 10 finish in the NCAA Outdoor Track Championships in 1979.  They were repeat 6th place finishers indoors.

But a funny thing happened that day. The only part I remember is that  PSU beat them on the day's final event.  It was the pole vault, which always seems to take forever at these meets.  The all-day gray skies and drizzle made for difficult conditions.  The difference was that Maryland's two 17 foot pole vaulters could not quite get comfortable and two PSU vaulters managed to make their usual heights (high 15's?? low 16's??) and we won the meet by a few points. Goliath got back on the bus and made their way back to suburban Washington DC (not Philly!).  This David went back to his dorm room and promptly forgot nearly all of it!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

"God bless us, every one!"

As Official Herder of Cats, I have been constantly amazed at the range of talents in other Penn State Track Alumni.  I have never been part of any other group that has more inherent intelligence, talent and likability than our fellow tracksters.  But even still, this one still surprised me to no end!

I've always known that Jim Clelland was smart and funny.  I had to get real close some times to really hear some of the things he said.  Others just feet away, never heard a thing. Most of us always joked about his quiet nature, and Tim Backenstose just called him "Noisy Jim" in an email and I knew who he meant straight away.

But to get the news that Jim was the lead in a production of A Christmas Carol: The Musical floored even me.  Tim reports he was "Spectacular" in yesterdays performance!  Today is the last performance I think, so if you are nearby, check it out.  I'm really sorry I will miss it.  Tim will try to bring us some cell phone video soon. 

"God bless us, every one."

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Mike Valenti's 80's Photos!

Had these laying around for quite awhile and thought everyone should enjoy them.  Thanks, Mike Valenti, hope to see you thrashing the greenery with us in Happy Valley in May 2012!  And make sure Todd Shenk hears about it too!  (It's about time the Field Men make a strong showing!)

Name everyone you see  in these photos via the comments below!

Anyone with other collections they would like to share, just get in touch with me at dfbaskwill@cs.com

Friday, December 16, 2011

Carl Wolter On ESPN and ESPN2: Smacking Golf Balls Further Than You!

If you can, watch ESPN December 24th at 1pm. Or ESPN2 at 11am, and watch this Remax World Long Drive Championships.   
(Check out Carl's 446 yard drive in the semi-finals!)

PSU Track and Field Alumni can do almost anything!

Apparel Orders Pouring In!

There is still time to get your order in for this year's order of the Alumni Singlet!  Orders will be taken until New Year's Eve, and then the order will be placed.  Men, Women and children (and I suppose large dogs) are eligible.  We have already received orders for every size from Small to XXX-Large!  The singlets will be the same style (I beleive it's the called  the Miler style).  Women who have ordered will be contacted by sub-4 Miler Ryan Foster as to which version they desire.  Orders are already in the "dozens" range, so join the crowd and get your very own sanctioned PSU Track and Field Alumni Singlet, almost just like us old-timers used to wear!

And don't forget to shop in our Group Store for our very own stuff, including the popular PSU is 800 U Value T-Shirt and drinking glass (designed by an Olympian!).  Also check out the latest addition to the racks, the Rusty Boots grey t-shirt, boxer shorts and (Root) Beer Stein.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Steve Black Debuts His New Web Series "The Gravediggers"

Steve Black (PSU is 800 U!) has been acting for several years now and decided to make his own web series called "The Gravediggers".  My father called me excitedly one day to say he just saw Steve in a TV show, the one about the Pizza Delivery Guy who had a bomb strapped to his neck.  He previously appeared in the John Adams series on PBS.  And he just got his screen actors guild card, so he has the Union behind him now!

As an extra special bonus, see if you can find Gary Black in the short film!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Update on Maryland Track Discontinuation

I was there in the stands among the throngs from Jamaica smoking the evil weed (not me!! Them!)and pounding on drums to witness Renaldo Nehemiah at his best at the Penn Relays. Maryland had an all-around good team at that time.  It's hard to believe what has become of things.

On the bright side, maybe they've already raised significant monies, as I remember they needed nearly $9Million and now it says they only need $4.2Million!   That few people at the current heavyweights of US College Track and Field still worry about it happening at their school dismays me.  All of us are always just one or two pay-checks away from disaster, even Donald Trump. Vigilance is the key.  Getting all the alumni to care about it is key to securing a healthy future for any program. There already is no Division I Track Programs in the state of West Virginia.  Let's hope the cancer does not spread.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Rolling Over the Odometer is Not an Easy Task

I just alerted the web site director for 100K Lifetime Miles about Coach John Lucas's career of over 160,000 lifetime miles.  It turns out it's Amby Burfoot, past Boston Marathon victor, Runner's World editor and 2-time Olympic Marathoner in 1956 and 1960.  Amby, of course knows Dr. Lucas already, and my alert may trigger a reunion between the two, which pleases me.

My career of a little more than 5 miles daily since 1975 adds up to about 68,000 miles so far, so I have a healthy respect for anyone with over 100,000 miles. Who else among my "tens of readers" has more miles under their belt?  I know you're out there!

Monday, December 12, 2011

High Jump Leads Blue-White Meet

Jon Hendershot impressed the crowd at the season's first meet at the Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Complex this past weekend.  His jump of 7 feet 1.5 inches is an early season mark that should turn some heads. Jon is from Nazareth PA, a place I am quite familiar with from my childhood. I wonder if Jon ever had a Jimmy's Hot Dog from Easton?

There were many more impressive results, but I wanted to give a shout out to Jon that the Alumni are aware and behind the current athletes as never before.  Other results can be scanned Here!  There are 4 more indoor meets this season at PSU.  I hope to be at the Penn State National at the end of January.  Check out the schedule of meets at the convenient Rusty Boots web site.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Linking the Past and the Present Like Never Before

One reason our group is in existence is to link all past and present PSU Track Alums so that we can promote a successful and dynamic Future for Penn State Track and Field (and XC!).  The efforts to find common ground between old-timers like me and the current Nittany Lions is never an easy task.  It is made easier when  the two groups actually meet and the older set sees a part of themselves in the younger, or the younger set sees an attribute in an old-fart like me that they may wish to emulate or learn from. (Gosh forbid!) Both groups have a lot to offer the other, so getting them together is a major step in the right direction.  With this year's PSU Track Alumni Reunion and the Coach Groves Golf Tournament in May 2012, another bond will be added between the past and the present.  Final details are not yet ironed out, but activities and get-togethers are in the works, the likes of which have not been seen in Happy Valley's history. One missing ingredient in the mix is YOU.  Set aside the dates of May 18-20, 2012 for a celebration of the complete history of PSU Track.

One linkage of the past and present has been the Rusty Boots cheer (whose complete history is still eluding us!).  It makes us "has-beens and never-was'es" (I'm using this in jest and in a self-mocking way, so don't take it too hard!) smile when we hear the cheer or see references to it. 

In the hopes of promoting that linkage, I have arranged for several items to be added to the PSU Track Alumni Golf Store sporting the Rusty Boots emblem (modified a little by me, I hope it's all right with them!).  It took some doing to get it sorta, kinda correct, but I'm a podiatrist, not a graphic artist!  I hope some of you will enjoy them and order a few.  A buck or two goes back to our group and is 100% destined for the Coach Harry Groves Scholarship.  Check out the other items also.  If anyone wants something else with the Rusty Boots emblem, just let me know.  It can be arranged.

with Group Logo on front and Rusty Boots emblem on back
excellent companion to the Alumni Singlet (sold separately)

no explanation needed

Root beer boys, root beer!

Just Added! 
Light Grey T-Shirt
Like in the olden days!
with Group emblem on front and Rusty Boots emblem on back shoulder!
I can hear the cheer now....

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Couple of Early Christmas Presents

Today is the Blue-White Meet to usher in the 2012 Indoor Season.  I'm not sure who to root for but if past years are any indication there will be some surprisingly good times (and distances and heights!).  My plans are to make it to the Penn State National at the end of January, which happens just before the Championship season.

When Finals are out of the way, the Christmas Break will be upon PSU's student-athletes, so I'm bringing them a few early presents to savor.

  1. Our new found friends at Rusty Boots will likely enjoy Taco Bell's newest entree once the competition is over.  I cannot imagine  how many of these critters my friends and I could have devoured back in the day.  Maybe us old-timers could join the current members for a tasty meal at "The Bell" following the grueling competition in January? 
  2. General Martin Dempsey, currently the Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon happens to enjoy singing as much as he enjoys defending his country.  Here's his rendition of Christmas in Killarney for all to enjoy.

Friday, December 9, 2011

I'm a Procrastinator, But This is Ridiculous

I'll finally get to the task of creating the proper size emblem to upload to the Group Store, so we can finally get a few PSU Track Alumni/Rusty Boots items in stock.  I've been thinking about it for a few days, and my excuse is my day job keeps hogging up too much of my blogging time.  So I know I'm a little bit of a procrastinator, but the Lords of Golf make me look good.

Indoor season is just beginning, and I'm really looking forward to the Penn State National at the end of January.  There could be some big news coming for the group by then.  And we're all preparing to get on the same page so we can get some specific information out about the 2012 PSU Track and Field (and XC!) Alumni Reunion and the 11th Annual Coach Harry Groves Golf Tournament in May.   Remember everyone, the golf may be optional, but it is highly recommended.  There never has been a more critical time to become involved.  And as always, I guarantee a good time.  (Only one complaint has been filed in our first ten years, which is a much better record than even Disney World!)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Generic Track and Field T-Shirts

Cafe Press, who hosts our very own Group Store, also has a nice selection of  Track and Field themed t-shirts.  My favorite is the Latin Triple Jump tee (Hoppius, Skippius, Jumpius).  I haven't looked through them all yet, but take a look on your own.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

"A Higgs, a Higgs, My Kingdom For a Higgs"

Has the elusive particle that gives mass to every other particle finally been found (And Here) When have you ever seen so many nerds this excited since they added 2 minutes of "never-before-seen" footage to the original Star Wars? Or getting that sweet game console they "always wanted".

Somebody is going to be eating a glorious bunch of Swiss Chocolate, it looks like.

Mike Pfaff Films 3 Episodes of "2 Broke Girls"

Mike Pfaff secured a recurring role on the new sitcom 2 Broke Girls and filmed 3 episodes last week.  I'm sure his aerobic training as a PSU Track Alum contributed to his performance in some way. The first of his episodes, "The Upstairs Neighbor",  is tentatively scheduled for January 16th.  This may mean his other episodes will occur during Sweeps Week, guaranteeing wide viewership.  I'll be watching!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Alumni Singlets Singe Sin City!

Dennis Pollow and Brian Fuller continued their scintillating season sporting their singlets in Sin City this past weekend at the Las Vegas Rock n Roll Half Marathon.

A Ten Minute Mile Doesn't Beat a Rottweiler

It didn't used to be that 3 daily miles on a treadmill satisfied my running needs.  Indeed, I didn't even count miles on a treadmill until my "career" ended in the 1980s.  I also used to like to make every run a little different than any other run.  Sometimes that meant changing just a little bit of my usual runs, and sometimes it meant making up new runs.  Rob Whiteside and I tried to create many new runs my Senior year at PSU, but I doubt any of them lasted past Rob's Senior year.

Even when I left for graduate school in Philadelphia, I often got tired of the same old runs every day to Fairmount Park and back. We tried numerous times to create additional route to Penn, South Philly etc.  Sometimes these were successful, and sometimes not, but at least they weren't boring.  So when I tried to combine our Penn run with our Fairmount Park run, at least one of my fellow students took me up on it.  This was before Map Quest, Google Maps and other convenient mapping software, as it was before most software altogether!

So it seemed an easy and convenient route to run to Penn, around the campus and then directly to the Philadelphia Zoo and Fairmount Park.  There it was on the folded auto map, right in front of us!  Nearly a straight line, nothing in the way to impede our triumphant new route.  Except...

The route happened to go right past the site of the 1978 confrontation between the Philadelphia Police and M.O.V. E., a group not inclined to care much for 2 skinny (I still was, I swear!), white, shirtless runners trying to get from Penn to Fairmount Park.  The site of the confrontation was still there in 1982, as it was razed in the confrontation and no one dared build on it again. The empty lot was a sort of shrine, even to those African Americans who didn't buy into the whole MOVE credo. Across the street from the burned out site was a young boy being yanked along by a large Rottweiler dog (pit bulls weren't the "go-to" dog in those days).  When the boy couldn't manage to hold the dog any longer he just blurted out "Sic Whitey" and The Game was Afoot.  Sherlock and I had no other options than to outrun a crazed Rottweiler or be devoured, with bystanders laughing the whole time.  Luckily we had enough of a start and Rottweilers must not be trained in middle distance skills, as we managed to outrun the beast with the fastest mile I ever ran post-college.  I would estimate a nice 4:40 effort with a few weaves and bobs along the route. Even a few spectators toward the end, after the dog gave up but we hadn't, were impressed with the effort and urgency of our run.  The Philadelphia Zoo still brings a smile to my lips, and it has nothing to do with the exhibits.

Two years later, as we watched an entire neighborhood burn to the ground from the roof of our apartment in the second Philadelphia Police vs. MOVE fiasco, we decided to take West Philadelphia off the running map for good. Luckily, I may add, as a 4:40 mile was out of the question by then!  A ten-minute mile won't beat a Rottweiler!

And I have even a second Bear Story I may have to write up one of these days!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Scary Runs Seem to be Multiplying

I regaled all of you with my Bear Story years ago, but now two other PSU Track Alumni (Golfers) have one-upped me for sure.  Check out Paul Souza's latest "fast" run:
OK, so I get up Tuesday morning and go for a run. I run under the arch and down to the river and I turn right and head on up the river for a couple miles. Suddenly I notice that I am all alone and the buildings are looking more and more burned out and decrepit. I see a bridge up ahead and I decide to run to the bridge and turn around. Suddenly I notice a black car with blacked out windows turning off the street and traveling down a gravel path toward the riiver. I realize they have no business driving down here, except to come after me. Which they did. I ran the fastest half mile of my life, jumped over some bushes and booked it up a small gravel hill to the train tracks and ran on the tracks back to the arch which was a block from my hotel. The car followed me until it couldn't go any further. At one point as I was running away it crossed my mind that I was going to get shot in the back and die there along the river and no one would find me for days. On a posiitve note, it was my fastest run of the year!
Be sure to contact Paul Souza and let him know there is no excuse for not golfing with us this year!  Maybe he'll even sing for us!

Then there's Ryan Foster's attempted long run, which got a little abbreviated with an excuse better than my running into a bear!

I am sitting on the couch still in my running gear, still panting, after one of the scariest, most horrifying moments of my life…
On my long run today, about 35 minutes in, I was running through a secluded wooded area just outside campus when I came upon a bright blue Suzuki. I was immediately curious as to what a small 4-door sedan was doing down this off-the-beaten-path trail. As I got closer, my stomach began to tie up and I felt every sense in my body heighten. Fear gripped me as I noticed the back-drivers-side door open, as well as the trunk, and on the ground next to the car, a shovel. Knowing something wasn’t right, my flight response kicked in and I began sprinting. As I passed by the car, my gaze was drawn to the back seat. There, seated upright, was the shape of a human torso wrapped in garbage bags, and next to it in the middle seat, a human arm.
I ran.
For the next 5 minutes I pounded towards the nearest building, a conference hotel on the outskirts of campus. Terrified, I kept expecting to hear a car engine behind me as I ran for safety.
As I pulled in to the parking lot I managed to borrow a phone from a man and call 911. They told me to wait in the hotel lobby. Minutes seemed like hours, and after waiting an eternity, I convinced myself that I must have been mistaken. Somebody would have come by now if it was important. So I decided to run home. The only way back went right by where I had seen the car. In the dark I could still see the outline, and off in the woods, faint torchlight. Panic renewed, I bolted for home.
When I walked through the door I quickly checked my phone and found a voice mail from the local police department asking me to call them as they can’t locate the car. Still fearing the worst, I call back…
The sergeant on the other end calms me down from my panic and tells me that they’ve located the car, and then proceeds to shock me even more when he starts to laugh.
“Ryan, this is actually a pretty funny one. It turns out that what you saw was exactly what you thought. There were body parts in that car. The Penn State Forensic Science Department was out there burying fake body parts for a class tomorrow.”
For the sake of the ten years off my life, they better learn something tomorrow.
Be careful out there...

Tougher Than the Zombie Run?

Here's another example of a run we should get a team together for (pardon the mangled English!).  If there ever was a run worth getting your new Alumni Singlet dirty for, this may be it!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Bunch of Unrelated Stuff in Physics Before Indoor Track Gets Started

  1. Neutrinos may or may not travel faster than the speed of light.  And either way, Albert Einstein probably wouldn't lose any sleep even if they do, despite invalidating much of his Theory of Relativity. I'm pretty sure he'd relish the challenge of explaining it further.
  2. The Higg's Boson, aka "the god particle" may or may not exist.  We'll likely find out this year as the CERN Super-collider ramps up further.
  3. Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming may or may not exist, but scientists "promoting" it have been acting very, very badly.  (Including PSU's own Michael Mann!)  Sharing data and keeping it archived is one of the first things I learned at PSU.  I still have the data I meticulously acquired studying the behavior of parasitic wasps on their caterpillar hosts.  This was done for hours at a time staring into a microscope at the fruit-fly sized wasps. As with most of science, the data came to nothing, as we were looking for behavioral mutations when the wasps were exposed to diesel exhaust and never identified any that I know of.  I suppose I could have faked it and asked for trillions of dollars like the "Warmists", but I never did.
  4. Even YOU should be able to understand Quantum Physics!
  5. And if you can't, it still is cool to watch this levitation video!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Another "Way Back Machine" Entry

I warned Coach Gary Schwartz and Beth (Stever) Shisler this was coming! I keep hoping to get Coach Schwartz to come to our golf outing in May!  And this time you don't need to guess who's who, but it is in the time "before color was invented"!

Friday, December 2, 2011

The "Way Back Machine"

Not far enough back that my kids would say "That was before they invented color!" but far enough back to make for a great "Can you name everyone?"

Submit comments to identify everyone you know.

Those vintage Keyrolan sweats were made in clothing mills in Bangor and PenArgyl, PA back in the late 70's and early 80's.  They sure were sweet!

That's Entertainment!

PSU Track Alum Mike Pfaff recently got a big repeating co-starring role on the sitcom Two Broke Girls, which is a really good show, now made better!

The shows before and after are great too, and a great way for the whole family to spend some time together in this hectic, crazy world.  Good luck Mike. Drop us a line if you get the chance and golf with us some day!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Truth About Penn State

If you really want to know the truth about what Penn State stands for, and what great people you can meet at one of our Track Alumni Reunions, read the Collegian article about Maggie Redden and Teri Jordan! Help us get the word out that we have accepted the mantle of  "Success With Honor" and mean to improve upon it. Inspiration for everyone from a group for everyman.

Cross Country Recap: Performances of the Year

In no particular order!

  1.  Coach Alford-Sullivan being selected to receive the 2011 Joseph Robichaux Award, which acknowledges a coach, administrator, or volunteer who has made a significant impact in women's track and field in the United States. Congrats!
  2. Owen Dawson's  performance at the NCAA Regionals at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.  As I always kid Steve Shisler, "Not bad for a half-miler!" (It's only in jest and I condemn myself after each utterance.)  I see some great middle distance efforts ahead!
  3. Caitlin Lane's All-American performance at the NCAA Championships.  Enough said!
  4. Doreen McCoubrie's (Startare) marathon at Philly last month.  2:50:23 at age 50. (Sorry about that Doreen, but I suppose everyone knows now!) This is very near Joan Benoit Samuelson's World Record for the age group and placed first in the age-adjusted scores now used widely for comparisons.  (And Doreen, you need an Alumni Singlet!)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Someone Convince Carl Wolter to Golf With Us Next Year!

I think Carl Wolter still has the record for the longest drive in the Championships of Distance Driving.  Now getting him to come back to State College for the Annual Harry Groves Golf Tourney is the task at hand.  I'd love to see his handicraft in action, as would many others.  But my money may still be on Beth Shisler to win the "Longest Drive" competition.* 

* She uses the ladies tees and the ball must make the fairway.

Shislers Cross the Line!

The Finish Line, of course!

Beth Shisler ran her first marathon recently in Philadelphia, which gives me another chance to acknowledge both her and Steve for all the help they have given the group for the past 10-plus years.  Steve finally got his name on the Harry Groves Memorial Cup last year and Beth has won the longest drive competition several times. (Carl Wolter, take note!)  They have also hosted our rag tag bunch for the awards ceremony until there local zoning laws wouldn't allow us back. (Just kidding)

Steve Shisler ran 13 of the miles with her, which is way more than I could do for my wife at her upcoming Disney Goofy Challenge.  And that ain't half bad for a half-miler, Steve! (hee hee hee)  This also gives me the opportunity to tell Steve I still have his 1985 Penn Relay Photos.  I will bring them to an indoor meet soon.

Congrats, Beth.  You look happy in the photo, which is way more than I can say for my first marathon, which was the Harrisburg Marathon in 1977, the day after the High School Cross Country Championships.  I was dumb that way...  a twenty mile run and a 6 mile torture.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The FASTEST Track Alumni Group in the World!

When Ryan Foster volunteered to spearhead the orders for a new round of the Alumni Singlet, I was so delighted that I made him an Officer of the Group.  I am especially happy to see that the enthusiasm of recent grads is rivaling that of some of us old-timers.

By making him an Officer, I then realized that we now have 3 sub-4 milers participating significantly with us.  My 4:18 mile best doesn't add much to the equation, but I will add that I only ran the mile once while at PSU, which is the PR I'm talking about.  So I figure our 4-man relay team would be competitive even with me slogging the second leg!  (I think Clark Haley's PR would be a great 4th man, possibly 4:02??)  But then again, I may have to add Steve Balkey to the group as Beverage Procurement Specialist and Practice Facilitator Any other suggestions?

Either way, Ryan is taking orders for the singlets, which we continue until 12/31/11, and then the order will be placed.  There are already several orders in, so be patient everyone, and they will materialize in the new year. I have one and it is really cool.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Are We Ready? When The Bell Tolls For Thee

Andrew Valmon, second from left, who partly owes his Olympic Gold Medal to Coach Groves, got a conditional reprieve the other day.  His Maryland Terrapins Men's Team can avoid the cutting of their program by simply coming up with 8 years of revenue to continue the entire indoor and outdoor, as well as the cross country teams.  That's where the problems start.  Absolutely no one expects them to raise that amount of cash in just a few months.

Despite the far-fetched notion that this could happen at PSU, are we ready for the same thing?  Without football revenue, PSU would face many of the problems nagging our neighbor to the south.  There are even  serious voices among the deciders calling for "the death penalty" for PSU football.  In any unlikely scenario of a substantial loss of revenue at any university, combined with Title IX, the men's track and cross country teams are always among the first teams to be placed on the block. It's all money and number of athletes. It has nothing to do with academics!

Would we be ready?

The goal of our group isn't primarily money.  It's probably way down on the list, but it needs to be there.  We desire companionship more than anything, followed by honoring Coach Groves and the past history of PSU Track.  Next would be the current team and the future team, both of which require revenue.  If the normal source of revenue were interrupted, would we be able to keep it going?  If Maryland requires $9,000,000.00 for 8 years, that would be $6,000 per living PSU Track Alum! What would Penn State require?  My guess would be much more. We need to be ready for any eventuality, no matter how remote.  

Let's start the ball rolling by making this year's Reunion and Coach Harry Groves Golf Tournament the biggest one yet.  Although only a small step along the course to fiscal independence, it would represent the biggest show of force to the new athletic administration we could make.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

New Official Apparel Supplier Volunteers! Alumni Singlet Orders Being Taken

When Dennis Pollow became one of the 53% of us who has to send scads of money to the United States Treasury he had to move away from State College, and we lost our connection to the Alumni Singlet manufacturer. (Remember, the politics here are oblique, and we will not have an argument over whether Dennis is in the 1% or the 99%, just the 53% and the 47%)  With much whining and "hint-giving"from me, I have finally found a replacement in Ryan Foster, who is excited to volunteer to assist those desiring a singlet to spread the word of the pride we all have in being Penn State Track and Field (and XC) Alumni (Golfers).  Ryan will be our youngest Officer of the Group and will have the moniker of Official Apparel Facilitator.  I thank him profusely and look forward to getting together at an indoor meet this year.

Order your very own alumni singlet to help spread the word of the largest and most active track alumni group in the world by filling out this form today.  Wearing one of these beauties is the easiest way to appear in a picture on the world's number one track alumni/Physics blog!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Ashenfelter 8K Turkey Trot

Turkey Day is also the yearly day to remember Olympic Gold.  The Ashenfelter 8K Classic is annually held in Glen Ridge NJ, this year totaling 2,500 runners!  Anyone know any PSU Alumni at the event other than Horace Ashenfelter III? 

Bird is the Word (and Alumni Singlets)

There were 3,600 in downtown York for the Turkey Trot this year.  That's quite incredible, as that many people weren't in downtown York during the entire span of time from 1970 to 2000.  I used to run a Turkey Trot 10-Miler in Millersville that attracted a couple of hundred runners, but the organizers of the York event realized that a 5K would bring the crowds.

They also had a Turkey Trot in New Cumberland which attracted quite a few PSU Track Alumni Golfers. Remember guys, the golf is optional but highly recommended.  Here's Ryan Foster and Brian Fuller sporting their alumni singlets in style as they tie for the win!  There were a couple more Fuller Bros,.  right behind, with Jeff and Mary Sanden placing first and second in their age groups.  Kara Millhouse watched the whole affair with amusement I am told.

Each time the alumni singlets are presented to the world, I am besieged by requests for orders.  We need to get a volunteer in State College who will spearhead the effort for another order.  Help from afar will be available, but we need an" insider" to actually make the arrangements. Don't make me come up there!

1. Ryan Foster 15:01.87
2. Brian Fuller 15:02.67
3. Mark Fuller 15:59.56
4. Kevin Fuller 16:36.78

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Cherpumple and a Wrist Band

Happy Thanksgiving.  I'm particularly thankful for the possibility of a good 12:30 game this year, and of course, another wrist band submission from our very own traveling physicist, Brian Boyer.  Here he channels my hero, Richard Feynman at a Rio Beach. That's Richard juggling at the Copacabana Beach in the 50's. 

Sorry Brian, I will attempt to rotate the picture back to normal, I'm not sure why it won't display as originally oriented.  Just turn your head everyone and quit complaining!

And here's this year's version of the turducken, this time for dessert.  I present the Cherpumple, a cherry pie, an apple pie and a pumpkin pie all baked into individual cakes and then put together into one huge 21-pound decadent lump. Hell, skip the turkey, this might require a little room.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Old School "Ballmer" Goodness

An anonymous response to the previous post on streaking yielded this little token of yesteryear.  It brings back many memories for a few of us.  This must be the finishers jacket from the 1979 Maryland Marathon showing the greatest silhouette emblem of Bill Rodgers, Ron Hill and possibly Tom Fleming (?) at the 1977 race.  I never got the jacket, so I assume its from the '79 race.  I ran the '77 and '78 races, I believe, and dragged 3 or 4 other PSU athletes along in '78.  I think Ralph Hoffmann (PSU '79 Forestry major) ran a 2:31 or so on the most difficult Marathon course I have ever run.  It was an out-and-back course from Memorial Stadium to Loch Raven Reservoir north of the city.  A large hill named Satyr loomed at about the 20 mile mark and took many a victim, including me both years.

The jacket looks nice, but I especially remember the greatest backpack bag that we got in '77 or '78.  A single drawstring bag made of plain canvas with plain lettering lasted nearly 30 years of hard use by me, my wife and two kids.  I'll have to go look for it again. The t-shirts with the same emblem were great too.  Here's Don Ziter sporting his while breaking Coach Groves' rule against competing in outside races in 1980!

The short, shorts always bring a smile to my lips.  Do you remember those great New Zealand Splits?

Addendum:  Our Benevolent IT Czar Jeff Sanden dug into his attic to come up with another gem, the actual bag from the 1977 Maryland Marathon, the single best gift I have ever received.

Happy Thanksgiving

I could not find video of a turkey on a treadmill, so a Rhode Island Red will have to do.  Just squint your eyes a little bit and you can pretend its a turkey.

But I did find video of a turkey visiting the 19th Hole at Disney World!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I'm Back Into the Top Echelon of American Runners!

Not really.  But kinda, sorta.  When I realized I could no longer run fast and my knees wouldn't allow me to run far, I had to come up with something to keep me going.  Streaking became my "thing".  I would follow the example of Ron Hill, veteran marathoner and streaker-extraordinaire.  Ron even ran just before midnight following knee surgery that very same day.  I think his streak is still going and has been through many more significant things than just knee surgery.  Traffic accidents with leg fractures, illness, family deaths and even more has not ended his quest for "just one more day". Then I found that like-minded, crazy men had already started a group in 2000 that catered to fools like me.  I started my streak 6 days after the last of my 3 knee surgeries and haven't looked back.

I turned my lowly streak into the United States Running Streak Association this week. If the application is accepted and certified, I will be #191 on the Active List.  I haven't been in the top 200 runners in any category since my 24-Hour Relay (17-year-old )world record of 4:53/mile for 27 miles  in 1977, (which was eclipsed 6 days later by future Nittany Lion roommate Alan Scharsu!). And that was the hardest single running event I ever participated in.  I recommend it to no one.

So onward I slog (10 or 11 minutes/mile!), step by step, inch by inch, not having any clue where it will take me....  


Monday, November 21, 2011

A Fine Race Indeed

The Penn State Women's Team performed well above their recent ranking and grabbed 13th place at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, with Caitlin Lane leading the way in 16th overall position!  Way to go, all involved.

Now that I have single-handedly deemed that the old football motto of "Success with Honor" will now be in the sole possession of Penn State Track and Field Alumni Golfers everywhere, (I think we have more of a claim to it than the football squad anyway!), let's just say that this performance is the opening volley in the rehab for "Dear Ole State".  Thanks to the entire squad!

13.   368  Penn State                                   

  1     10   481 Caitlin Lane         SR  9:53   20:04

  2     39   482 Kara Millhouse       SR 10:04   20:43

  3     85   478 Natalie Bower        JR 10:17   21:09

  4     93   483 Brooklyne Ridder     JR 10:19   21:13

  5    141   479 Emily Giannotti      SO 10:30   21:39

  6   (167)  477 Abbie Benson         FR 10:39   21:55

  7   (173)  480 Lindsey Graybill     JR 10:41   21:58

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Very Fast Baby Steps: NCAA XC Championships

Each and every one of us gets to participate in the rehabilitation of the Penn State Tradition, otherwise known as Success With Honor.  Each little step we take puts us just a bit closer to the redemption of what all of us have tried to live up to since our day of matriculation. Just because some individuals did or did not live up to our ideals, doesn't negate the fact that the quest for that ideal is noble.

My steps happen to be pitifully slow, but consistent (1618 days in a row! I will enter The Streak at runeveryday.com this week, which will probably jinx me right away.)   The Women's Cross Country Team along wth Kyle Dawson and Vince McNally will also take some of those steps for us, and a lot faster than I possibly can!  Good luck everyone.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Updates in a Tumultuous Time

I'm not talking about the PSU travails, God knows enough people are talking about that.  The more I hear, the more I realize that a mob mentality has taken over.  Don't trust anyone who projects a morally superior demeanor.  It is more than likely that they are no more morally sound than any of us, especially the sports  talking heads that have multiplied exponentially in recent years.. Just realize that making yourself incrementally better every day is the surest way to "cure" the current situation our Alma Mater finds itself in.  Living by example is the best way of doing that.

I have failed in this myself, in that I have always felt PSU was superior to Ohio State because Ohio State holds on every offensive play in football.  They still hold on every offensive play, but now I realize that it doesn't make anyone better than anyone else.  Live and learn!  (But check it out by watching only the offensive line of OSU in today's game; I'll bet you'll find that I'm right!)

The updates affecting Track and Field are disturbing enough.  Reactions are hot in the University of Maryland cessation of Men's Track, both indoor and outdoor, and cross country.  I've tried to check, and I have not come across any examples of any program "discussing" dropping of a track program and then changing their minds.  Sad days indeed.

Maybe even more disturbing to me, is that someone I have run several races against is sleeping on a dirt floor in a South African prison.  Former US citizen Sydney Maree still has some friends from Villanova and let's hope something can be done.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Wee Bit of Mirth: Better Than a Snow Day!

Just a brief link to bring a smile to all of us who would love a day off of work.  Remember how great it was when the weather forecast likely meant a day off from school on the day the Science Project was due? This is waaaayyy better.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Optimism and Pride

I'll dispense with the Pride part first.  My daughter's Cross Country team had their banquet last night and she received an award as the girl's team Most Improved Runner, which entails much more than just improving in times during the year.  In her first year of running cross country, she went from a shy, quiet girl in the second pack to a happy,  out-going girl running with the Big Dogs.  I couldn't be more proud, which is to say I have tempted someone upstairs with one of the seven deadly sins. I've also had gluttony covered for quite some time too!  I promise I will be good from here on out.

Optimism is what Coach Groves is extolling in the wake of the worst scandal in the history of sports in America, and I'm really happy to hear of it.  Director of Youth Development Artie Gilkes brings us this quote from Coach Groves:
"The thing that I love about Penn State and what kept me there all those years was something I saw right away in 1968...That is that at Penn state more than anywhere else, even in spite of some people hijacking it, the good always overcomes the bad...It may not be right away but it does and Penn State will heal."
Artie will be spearheading some new initiatives at the behest of Founder Clark Haley and Keeper of the Cup Harry Smith for the coming Reunion in May 2012.  You won't want to miss it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Crazy Like a Fox

A year ago at an indoor meet I had a conversation with 2 1980 Olympians about several topics, including the future of college track and field.  When I stated that we must do all we can ourselves to fortify ourselves against the discontinuation of major programs across the country, one of the Olympians said I was "crazy" and that "it would never happen".  Luckily, one of the Olympians was Greg Fredericks, and he can verify the substance of the talk.  Two of the programs I highlighted were Villanova and Maryland.  After dismissing me as a credible source of knowledge, the Olympian moved on to other topics. And, oh yeah, I really made him mad when I told him that in our only race together, I beat him.  New contest:  who was he and which race was it?

Well, I was right (and here!), although I won't deny that I am crazy for other reasons.   And I am sorry that I made him mad by telling him about the race. I really am.

We must do all we can to avoid the same things happening.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Double the Mirth and More Streaking!

I'm getting back on track after a rough week. (and I mean mine not PSU's)!  With my commitment to the future of Penn State Track questioned, criticized and impugned by some I know and anonymous miscreants besides, I had a lot of time to think.  I had no computer at home and at work due to the "storm of the century" at Halloween.  I may never recover some of my stuff, but what the heck, starting over has its benefits.  (That's a reference to my situation and PSU's for those not keeping up!)  Now that I have digital access again, I have decided to double my efforts, as I know they are meaningful and more important than ever.  Those who have left the fold over issues none of us had anything to do with are welcome back at any time.  Now is the time to start contributing to our mission, with words or funds or any way you can.

My streak continues, against many odds.  This weekend I felt like the lonely deer in Valley Forge  Park.  Last year I had 1,500 friends and now only 150 to 250.  But I still managed to shuffle a 3 1/2 mile loop under 11:00 minutes/mile past the deerless monuments, asbestos dump and future casino.  I'm debating whether to turn in my streak to the American Running Streak Association or not.  Vote in the poll to help me make my decision.  It would make me a novice, and no where near the accomplishment of this guy!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Limited Posting

Work has me attending boring lectures and such, and I have no computer (here or at home) right now.  My options are limited on things people submitted and comments about PSU's travails.  I will get back to them when I can.

Good luck to both XC squads at the Regionals at Maryland's Eastern Shore.  Luckily, they get to escapr the maelstrom that is State College, at least for a short while.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Lightest of Touches

My editorial powers at the blog are with the lightest of touches.  Comments, of course, are always encouraged, but the past has demonstrated that a modicum of restraint is sometimes needed.

First off, advertising and spam are not permitted.  Those who have never done this would be amazed how much spam from nefarious places floods into even a humble blog like this.  I wish I had saved some of it to demonstrate.  Needless to say, I have apparently 178 Ethiopian relatives who wish to give me money, and I have won lotteries in 34 different nations.

Second, offensive material and links to offensive material (as deemed by your benevolent dictator) are not permitted.  This also apparently disqualifies 1/3 of the internet, but so be it.

And last, profanity is not permitted.  I have included many comments in the past excluding the profanity with the author's (if known) permission.

The light touch I use has been noted by some I trust, to be a confirmation of my spirit of freedom of speech.  This means I have included many off-topic comments and plenty of gibberish also.  Either way, I'm proud of what we have accomplished with our blog. Comment away!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

PSU is 800U: The Comeback*

*  I changed the title.  I don't want to offend anyone, and this gets the point across better anyway.  Thanks for the feedback, whoever you are...

When I assumed the role of Herder of Cats for our 11-man Penn State Track and Field Alumni Golfers group in 2008, I had no idea what I was in for.  More than 800 posts later, I'm still surprised at what our little band of brothers have achieved with our experiment in motivation .  Nothing pleases me more than bringing a Lion back into the fold.

It was a delight to see Penn Relays Watch Winner and former Pennsylvania State High School Mile Champion Mike Cook at last year's reunion.  It was his first visit to State College since graduation! He's planning on coming again this year, and will even hack and thrash at the greenery on one of Happy Valley's glorious golf courses with us this year! (I don't think we have decided which one yet.)
But when Mike told me that he even recently ran a 10K, I had to refresh my computer monitor (the one at work, since I still don't have a replacement for the exploded one at home) and check again.  I don't think Mike ever ran a 10K when we were really running 10Ks back in the day.  He had decided after high school that the mile was a bit too far and switched to the 800M instead.  But now, with a slight nudge from our humble little cadre of has-beens and never-was's, Mike is truly a distance runner!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Somewhat Inept Attempt at Cheering Everyone Up

Scandal and unease has taken over State College and will only be getting worse.  Such is the way things work in a world where information can be disseminated instantaneously to everyone who wants it, and even to those who don't.  My heart goes out to everyone involved, especially families of the victims.

But, I take heart knowing what I would have done in such a situation.  Doing the right thing in this case would have meant extreme personal sacrifice, but I would have done it anyway.  Loss of job, friends, and more would have certainly followed, but I would have done what was right.

I know this primarily because of what my parents taught me, but also partly due to what I was taught by Coach Groves while at PSU.  I have witnessed what Coach Sullivan is teaching athletes at PSU today, and it gives me much encouragement that all is well with PSU Track and Field (and Cross Country!)  Honor, integrity and "doing what's right" doesn't guarantee success as an athlete, but it is one heck of a good accompaniment!  We can all hold our heads up high as Penn State Track and Field Alumni (Golfers, remember, the golf is optional, but highly recommended!)  I know I'm not the only one who learned quite a bit about how to deal with people and situations from Coach Groves. The athletes today have the same from the current Coaching Staff.  So let's all redouble our efforts to support the Program and each other as we suffer the slings and arrows from afar. Keep fighting the good fight and we'll become stronger than ever.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

PSU Track Alumni at PIAA Championships

Several PSU Track Alumni Golfers were in the crowd in Hershey at the Pennsylvania Cross Country Championships. It was a nice day after last week's fiasco of a weekend and times were fast.

  • My daughter's team, York Suburban, placed 16th in the AA Girl's Competition.  My neighbor, Sami Gehly was the team's second finisher.
  • Larry Mangan's son Michael helped his Lower Moreland squad to a 10th place finish in the Boy's AA meet.  His daughter's former team, St. Basil Academy, powered to the win in the AA Girl's division.
  • Also in the AA Girl's group was John Zeigler's daughter Heather, who was second for her Meadville squad.  Meadville is near the home of Harmonsburg's very own Rob Whiteside and also close to the cheerleading home of Hollywood's Sharon Stone.  I'm not sure which High Schools John, Rob and Sharon attended, but it sure must have been a hotbed of some sort back in the 70's!

    • Rebecca Donaghue coached her Little Lady Lions from State College to a 9th place finish in the Girl's AAA race.
    Anyone aware of any others, I missed?  I'm sure there are plenty.

    Addendum from a little birdy:  Also in attendance were perennial spectators and Harrisburg area residents Mark Haywood and Jeff Sanden (who is still waiting for the Golden Putter!)  Coach John Gondak was also there scouting for more talent (PSU is 800U!).  Even our very own Founder Clark Haley may have been spotted!

    Thursday, November 3, 2011

    20 Things I Learned in More Than 50 Years (Yea, I'm Slow!)

    1. In my opinion, morning runs are the most important element in a good runner's training regimen.  They are unfortunately the least fun also.  I maintain that any modicum of success I achieved in the sport is directly tied to the decision to start two-a-days in high school.  My favorite morning runs in college were the ones where I ran by Rec Hall and tapped on Coach Groves' window to be exempt from his Fitness and Games Gym Class, Twice!
    2. Women will invariably answer "It depends." to the question "What is your shoe size?"  Men will answer quite specifically "9 1/2 C" or something similar.
    3. Post-operative swelling always lasts much longer than the patient wants (which is measured in hours!).
    4. Dogs can eat the same thing every day and remain much happier than most people.  And yet my obsession with Kung Pao Chicken once weekly is viewed as "insane" by some.
    5. Women will take at least 3 bags to work; a purse, a bag of a prepared lunch and another bag for anything else, which usually includes a change of shoes.  Men will often forget to take even their wallet and will have no bags unless it contains work tools. 
    6. Both men and women under 40 will always have their cell phone in their hand.  Those over 60 have one at home but won't know how to use it.
    7. People who give waitresses and waiters a hard time should be avoided at all cost.  Anyone who ever tips less than 10% at a meal should be sent to San Quentin.
    8. Most people don't know that 400 meters is shorter than 440 yards.
    9. Fleas are much more aggressive and proliferate when camped on a cat.
    10. The size of the TV is proportional to how quickly it fails after the warranty expires.
    11. Computers were put on this earth by God to test human endurance.  At least Microsoft PCs anyway.  Maybe Apples are different. I had an Apple II many years ago but I don't think that counts. And Steve Jobs never consulted God anyway.
    12. The Steeplechase is another of God's tests.  I'm not sure I passed that one.  I look forward to St. Peter's review of my record on that one.
    13. Hammer throwers are a fun group to hang out with. Without their hammers, that is.
    14. Fast Food will be the death of all of us, but it sure is tasty sometimes.
    15. Physics is incomprehensible.  If it isn't, you just haven't studied it enough.
    16. In only two months time, Cross Country goes from being too hot to do to being too cold to continue.
    17. I can vacation anywhere and a perfect vacation for me would be a Cruise where the ship never is untied from the dock.
    18. The Chinese have 5 times as much Capitalism than do the Americans.
    19. Hill repeats are another test God gave coaches to torment and test athletes. I'm hoping it's not uphill to Heaven.
    20. Practically no one reads my blog, but many people tell me they do.
    Web Statistics