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, June 28, 2011

Finally, A Roads Scholar in Our Number!

 I did say Roads Scholar, didn't I?  Tyler McCandless has received a scholarship from the Road Runners Club of America.  The awards are for aspiring road racers showing great promise in becoming national and world class athletes.  Congrats to Tyler on a job well done.

And here's a pic of classmate and Senior runner Mark Hawkins sporting his new PSU Track Alumni singlet while winning his age group at The West Virginia 5 K Championships.  The other guy had no chance!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Big Day For PSU at National Championships!

There were Penn State athletes all over the track (and in the field!) today at the USATF Championships.  Previously, Karlee McQuillen placed 8th in the Javelin with her 170' 1" effort.  Laura Loht placed fourth in the Junior Javelin with a toss of 150' 8".

Three separate events had two PSU athletes in the finals today, plus Ryan Whiting adding a third "honorary" PSU competitor in the Shot Put.  Ryan, despite his Arizona State pedigree, has been training at PSU full-time.  He ended up in fourth place, making the World Championship team because Adam Nelson is returning as World Champion.  Congrats Ryan.  Joe Kovacs placed 14th with a toss of 62' 10".  Just behind him was Blake Eaton at 62' 8 1/4".

My favorite event, the 800 M, also had two PSU tracksters toeing the line.  Having negotiated the grueling plelims and semi-finals in spectacular fashion, both Casimir Loxsom and Sam Borchers placed 6th and 7th in their biggest race this year.  Nemesis Rob "Dr. Moriarty" Andrews trailed behind both in 8th.  The long college season seemed to take an obvious toll on them all in the final, but Cas especially gave it his all, running in 2nd place for the first 1 1/2 laps behind the only other college runner, Charles Jock.  Charles held on for 3rd place and a world Championship berth. Time is running out to get your "PSU is 800 U" t-shirts".

But again, PSU alum Bridget Franek out-shined them all.  Bridget's 2nd place 9:44.9 puts her on her 2nd World Championship team.  Former PSU star Stephanie Pezzullo placed 11th also.

I know I've missed a bunch.  Drop a line in the comments to set me straight!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Blog Muse Pays Visit

Roaming Corespondent and Blog Muse Rob Whiteside stopped by Blog Central for a visit this PM to the delight of all.  A wide ranging discussion ensued and we have decided to re-introduce the Blog 10-Questions and possibly a new feature called "What's (s)he up to?"

And Rob, Gary was correct, Gene Tenace did homer in his first two at-bats.  And I didn't crop the photo!

Friday, June 24, 2011

PSU is 800 U: USATF Edition

Both PSU runners made it to the finals of the USATF National Championships tonite in Eugene.  Casimir Loxsom and Sam Borchers will be representing PSU in the finals on Sunday.  Make sure to order your limited edition "PSU is 800 U" t-shirt before they are sold out!  Congrats to both Cas and Sam, and also to Coaches Beth Alford-Sullivan and  John Gondak.

Addendum:  Blog favorite Bridget Franek also qualified for the finals in the 3000M SC.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Is There Anything Physicists Can't Do?

The answer appears to be no!  Some physicists tinker with large rings like the Tevatron or the Large Hadron Collider, but few tinker with this kind of ring.  He also apparently did this as an intellectual exercise and derived no financial benefit from it.  Sort of a hobby of his, just to keep his mind sharp.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Still More Honors For Middle Distance Star!

Ryan Foster has been named to the Capital One Academic All-American First Team. He is the only Big Ten selection to be named first team.

Congrats to Ryan for both the academic honors and the splendid end to his 4 years at PSU.  Visit his new web site to check out his upcoming meets.

Monday, June 20, 2011

PSU Track Alums in the News

1.  Shana Cox scored 10 pts. in her debut for Great Britain in the European Team Championships.

2.  Bridget Franek achieved the "A" standard in the recent NYC Diamond League meet with her 9:38.92 steeplechase.  She will be in action this week at the USATF Championships.

3.   Sam Borchers bettered his PR in the 800 at the NJ International Meet this weekend with a sterling 1:46.85, and also will be in action at the USATF Champs.

4.  Ryan Foster was also in action at the NJ Meet and won the Eamonn Coghlan 1500 with a season best 3:42.71.

5.  Rebecca Donahue had a nice little article in the CDT about her running and coaching.  Her State College Girls Team won the PIAA title.

6.  Tyler McCandless set his Marathon PR at Grandma's Marathon with his 2:17:09 for 11th place.  Sorry about missing this at first.  Blog fact-checkers have been heavily fined!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Awards and Milestones

animated eagle&flag Pictures, Images and Photos

The Penn State Men placed 11th in the Program of the Year standings for the United States Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches' Association, while the Women placed 17th.  This was the highest the men have placed since 1993.  Congrats to the entire staff and athletes.

And in the milestone category, I have passed the 4 year mark in my quest to be enshrined in the annals of the American Running Streak Association.  I have achieved an average of 2.8 miles daily (with another 3.5 miles on the elliptical trainer to save my surgically enhanced knees!).  Tomorrow starts the 5th year of running at least 1 continuous mile every day.  It isn't much, yet I encourage everyone to try.  I know of at least one fellow alum I have convinced to take up the quest.  (And you know who you are!)  I have been asked to provide some sort of proof to authenticate that this out-of-shape hobby-jogger is actually on the up-and-up, and so I offer this video of me on my beloved treadmill.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Putting and Investment Prowess Helped by Physics!

I have been aware of the Investment angle via an anonymous PSU Track Alumni Golfer, and now I have been enlightened by the putting angle.  There is nothing that Physics doesn't apply to. Don't doubt me!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Foursome #4

Coach Fritz Spence braved the soggy conditions of the Elks Club Course with teammates Todd Leggett, Beth Shisler and one-armed Gary Black.  The four of them had some ups and some downs during the round, but the near-miss hole-in-one on Number 9 by Beth Shisler topped the day.  Statistically, the 40 of us yearly golfers have about a 1:80 chance for a hole-in-one during a round.  In other words, with the ten years we've put in, we are due for one in the next 70 years!  And remember, a rank amateur has about the same odds as a seasoned professional for a hole-in-one.  We got that going for us.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Less Hope and a Change

The change is in the most popular blog posts ever on this site!. For once, a PSU related post has garnered enough attention to make the top three!  The "Interview With The Coach" is now second on the list.  If you haven't heard it, please stop by and listen to it now. 

And there's less and less hope that either collider has actually found a Higg's Boson, the "god particle" nerds have been waiting forever for.  Now, smarty-pants are saying it's unlikely they exist at all.  Oh, despair... Hope and change.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Throat Slit Gesture Ruins Other-Wise Great Run: Editorial Rant

As fair warning to any future PSU stars, I will not fail to criticize to the utmost of my ability any bad sportsmanship I see, regardless as to whether is is perpetrated by Nittany Lions or not!  We need to be better than the rest of the athletes we compete with.  We just do.

I watched some of the NCAA Championships and was delighted at the level of competition and the quality of the races.  When I saw Matt Centrowitz Jr.winning the 1500 M, I marveled at his stamina and speed.  And then he did the throat-slit gesture.  A gesture that would lead to disqualification in virtually every sports league I have ever experienced.  Yet nothing from the NCAA on this one.  The Texas A and M 4 x 400 anchor noted this and gave the same gesture at the finish of his race, winning the team title for the Aggies.  Both should be disqualified  and possibly more.  They just should. If the NCAA doesn't reprimand him, then Oregon should; but they won't. (They, in fact, seem to be celebrating it.)

The comparison between Centrowitz and Robbie Andrews cannot be any starker.  Robbie acts like he's been there before and will be there again.  Centrowitz acts like a one-shot lottery winner.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Whoa!: An Incredible Race: PSU 800 M Record

Don't get me wrong.  This site is all about Penn State and my current hot topic is PSU's 800 M past and present.  But I just have to admit that Robbie Andrews of Virginia is a special runner.  Stayed in the back of the field for the first 80% of the race and then passed everyone in the last 23 seconds to take the title in a time only 1/100 of a second off the Championship record!  America has four college 800 M runners at 1:45.xx or better and all of them are true sophomores.  Have I mentioned my favorite race is the 800M?  My PR 1:58 (in HS) not withstanding.

Cas Loxsom ran a great race.  He finished fourth in a new Penn State Record of 1:45.31!  Both Cas and Sam Borchers will be representing PSU at the upcoming USATF Championships.

And Joe Kovacs finished 3rd in the Shot Put!  Blake Eaton took 9th place, so there's 2 more All-Americans in the mix.  Way to go, guys!

Watch more video of NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships 2011 on flotrack.org

Thursday, June 9, 2011

2 NCAA 800 M All-Americans (PSU is 800 U)

Cas Loxsom qualified for his first NCAA 800 M Final in yesterdays preliminary round  with a robust 1:47.34.  Worthy adversary Robby Andrews of Virginia just edged him at the tape.  Both move on to the finals automatically.

Sam Borchers was in the same heat and placed third, just slightly behind Cas, with a personal best 1:47.51.  Alas, he missed the finals by mere hundredths of a second in 9th place.  This gives him All-American status in what would have been his last race for PSU.  He qualifies for the USATF Championships with his time and could wear the blue and white colors one more time!  (A personal "way to go" from me to Sam.) I hope he remembers our alumni group in the coming years.

Next up in the Middle Distances is Tasmania's Ryan Foster in the 1500 M.

Don't forget your "PSU is 800 U" t-shirt, designed by PSU great Greg Fredericks.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Where I Try to Get 40 IQ Points Back: Man, I'm Dumb

"We home school 'em. I teach the big ones, and the big ones teach the little ones, but nobody taught me, so the whole thing is an exercise in futility" -Cletus, apparently my blog adviser.
My recent loss of intelligence needs to be corrected as soon as possible, so I'll try some news from the world of Physics again.  Might not work, but at least I'm trying.

First up is news that at the Tevatron Collider, where PSU Track Alum Brainiac Ron Moore works, chances have improved that they really have discovered a new elementary particle never before seen.  Not the "god particle", but something similar.  Scientists are all about secrecy and such in these exciting times, but word still leaks out.  In my eyes, this also raises the odds that the other collider has actually found the "god particle".

Next up we switch to the competition in the colliding world, the CERN Collider in Switzerland.  They have successfully made and contained antimatter for several minutes for the first time.  With the discovery of this method they can now begin the real work of experimenting with antimatter.  Not everyone is sure where this will lead, but geeks are excited beyond belief in central Europe.  Dan Brown's evil Priest in his second book better be kept out of the loop!

Stephen Hawking now unequivocally says "There is no God", something he was loathe to fully articulate before.  He says he has always felt this way but didn't want some to think ill of him before.  He says he no longer cares what people think of him.

But other Physicists have believers bases covered.  Despite physics being the most pure of the sciences, not everything can be known for certainty. Even Stephen Hawking would agree with that statement.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Final Results of the 10th Annual Coach Harry Groves Golf Tournament

Harry Smith has supplied the Official Results of the recent tournament.  Everyone knows I would have erred numerous times if I tried to bring this any sooner off the top of my head.  Harry Smith deserves accolades for all his work.
Also results included below (graduation year listed after each name - to the best of the PSU alumni directory)

1st place (-8 new record) Steve Shisler 86, John Gondak, Clark Haley 85, Paul Mundy 85
2nd place (-6) Andrew Jenkins  00, Steve Walsh 01, Bradd DelMuto 01, Mike Enwright 04
3rd place (-5) Doug Kent 80, Jeff Sanden 82, Nick Kello 85, Dave Baskwill 81
4th place (-4) Larry Mangan 81, Paul Mangan, Greg McKelvey 80, Mark Hawkins 81
5th place (+2) John Ziegler 80, Steve Balkey 88, Jess Riden 04, Kelly O'Brien 80
6th place (+2) Beth Shisler 86, Gary Black 82, Todd Leggett 84 Fritz Spence
7th place (+3) Harry Smith 84, Ian Smith, Holden Smith
8th place (+5) Barry Robinson 85 ,Leon Woolford 01, Rob Boulware 86, Heather Atkinson
9th place (+5) Ken Brinker 69, Bob Gabel 80, TJ Crater, Drew Hardyk 00

Perfect Attendance  10 years recognition - Steve Shisler, Dave Baskwill, Harry Smith, Clark Haley
Long Drive Hole #3 - Harry Smith (probably about 250 yards plugged in the fairway)
Farthest to Attend Reunion/Outing - Ken Brinker
Brotherhood Award - Leon Woolford
Closest to Pin #10 - Steve Balkey 28' 10"
Longest Putt #18 - Jeff Sanden 5' 1"
Shot of the Day #1 - Beth Shisler #9  - 1 foot from a hole in one
Shot of the Day  #2 - Kelly O'Brien hit a house and a tree and various other OB objects
Ghostman Award - Larry Mangan
Numbnutt Award (being sub-titled as the WoodPecker Award) - Brian Laird (for turning his ankle at Starbuck's on Tuesday prior to outing and unable to play golf due to being on crutches)
Woman first time golfer Award - Heather Atkinson
Cheating Award - Bradd DelMuto (captain of the foursome that bought 12" string but did not know how/did not have one to use during the round)
Women's MVP (The Kathy Award - Beth Shisler for almost hitting a hole-in-one on hole 9!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

PSU is 800 U: The Beginning

I've always highlighted the 1885 Penn Relays 4 x 800 because Steve Shisler has been to every one of the Coach Harry Groves Golf  Tournaments.  We shouldn't forget the "One that started it all!" for Coach Groves, however.

After Paul McLauglin, Randy Moore, Mike Cook and Kenny Wynn rolled to victory in the 1983 version of the event, my wife ran into Coach Groves trying to hide in the stands rather than along the wall, as was usual.  Barb was looking for her brother Gary, and noticed a startling phenomenon.  Coach Groves was crying!  He asked her not to tell anyone, which lasted as long as it took Barb to find me in the front row cheering the victory lap.

We had the pleasure of welcoming Mike Cook back to State College from North Carolina at this year's reunion for the first time since graduation.  We nearly got him to golf too, and we'll continue to work on that for future events.  Paul couldn't make it this year, and we are always trying to get Randy to make it again.  Mike almost won the award for furthest traveled, but was beaten out by Ken Brinker.

Don't forget to order your "PSU is 800 U" t-shirt!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Interview With The Coach

Where we learn:

  1. How Coach became interested in Track and Field.
  2. How he ended up at Penn State.
  3. His early coaching influences.
  4. The true purpose of Track and Field.
All delivered in high definition, unedited.  Note that Coach Groves is wearing his original hand-made (by Gary Black) "PSU is 800 U" t-shirt.  I'll have to spring for one of the newer versions!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Coach Groves Interview Here Tomorrow!

But until then, here's a comment on current events embroiling the nation:

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Bike Week

Hall of Honor member and three-time tourney winner Paul Mundy is off on another adventure.  This time his bike takes him south, visiting a slew of states he might have missed before.  He promises to send along some wrist band pics, but in the meantime we have a blog his daughter will update during their trip. Both are sporting Harley-Davidsons made in good 'ole York, PA.

Web Statistics