20th Annual Penn State Track and Field/XC Reunion

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

Friday, July 29, 2011

Ryan Foster Rocks the PSU Alumni Shirt at Ryan Shay Mile in 4:03

Laundry Officer and Hall of Honor member Larry Mangan alerted me to this video of the Ryan Shay Mile in Northern Michigan last week.  Ryan Foster admits he wasn't at the top of his game but still ended up 5th in 4:03, which isn't a bad day at the office (trust me Ryan!).  He's also sporting a PSU singlet which is a better advertisement for our group than any modeling I could do!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Boys of Summer

"Baseball been berra berra good to me."
-Chico Escuela.

Another no-hitter was thrown last night, which got me to thinking to all the baseball games I've been to and how I've never seen a no-hitter.  Have you?  I did see a Phillies fill-in starter pulled after six innings while throwing a no-hitter.  I can't even remember his name. What has been the best baseball moment you have witnessed in the stands?

Mine was a bittersweet moment indeed.  I saw Pete Rose tie Stan Musial's National League hit mark in Veteran's Stadium.  I wasn't even in the cheap seats, and had splurged for once just to get a little closer.  Nolan Ryan then struck him out three straight times to deny him the record.  All of MLB then went on strike right after that game and Pete had to wait until the strike ended.  It was only the second time in his career that he had struck out three times in a row.

Jun 10, 1981 - Phillies 1B Pete Rose singles off Nolan Ryan in the first inning to tie Stan Musial as the NL's all-time hit leader with 3‚630‚ then strikes out in his next 3 at bats. Rose's single is the only hit off Ryan until the 8th inning‚ when Philadelphia scores 5 times for a 5-4 win over Houston.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Higgs is Just Taunting Us Now: Physics Update

After excluding numerous hiding places for the Higgs Boson, otherwise known as the "god particle" the Tevatron in Illinois and the CERN facility in Switzerland have turned to the last few remaining hiding places.  The search has discovered two "bumps" in the data, from two different teams, which may mean the elusive particle that gives mass to the entire Universe has been found.  This would fundamentally transform our understanding of the Universe and mean the funding for Physics research would change dramatically.  Geeks everywhere are atwitter for final news!

In other news, our Tevatron link and potential Group co-Physicist Ron Moore will be moving to Beantown in the coming months, as the Tevatron begins scaling down operations.  We wish Ron well and realize that we have a better chance of coaxing him to our reunion now that he will be in the same time zone!

In the bad news category, Hong Kong scientists have determined that time travel is impossible. At least we won't have to see a 4th (or is it 5th?) Back to the Future!

And on the (Anthropogenic) Global Warming Front, The CERN facility has gagged its scientists from interpreting the results of a large study that seems to show that the Sun may actually be involved in the warming everyone is so worried about.  (I won't say "I told you so" until I'm on my death-bed however!)  Mr. Gore may be apoplectic.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Catching Up on Submissions

I have been remiss in keeping up with submissions from my "tens" of readers!  (Actually we achieved 100 readers a day last month, and have soared to the top 100 web sites in Central Pennsylvania!)

Recent Hall of Honor inductee and Morale Officer Larry Mangan brings us this great news from The Bahamas.  It seems that the presidency of Mike Sands has propelled Bahamas Track and Field to historic levels.  Mike is on a short list of PSU stars that we desire to entice to our Golf Tourney.  We also would love to visit him at his home for a Winter "practice" tourney.

My sister Susan brings us this great Wrist Band Photo from the recent Arts Festival Weekend.

And speaking of Wrist Bands, here's a great one from honorary member Brian Mount, mixing our 2010 version with a new William and Mary wrist band.  With W and M's Head Coach Stephen Walsh joining us the past two years, we must have Brian bring a few friends along for next year's tourney to trade wrist bands.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Channeling the Ashenfelter Brothers

Sixty years later, and the results are eerily similar...

Those who have been paying attention know that I revere Horace Ashenfelter.  That reverence extends to his brothers Don and Bill.  All three ran for Penn State in the late 40's/early 50's.  State College must have been a wondrous place back then.  Just think of the hoards of students from that era that have retired to the various Retirement Villages that have sprung up in recent years in Happy Valley.  Penn State had to be a dynamic place in the joyous years following World War II.  I would bet that the Ashenfelter Brothers had a heck of a good time while students!

Fast forward 60 years, and another set of three brothers from Pennsylvania matriculated to the same school and joined the Nittany Lion Track and cross country squad.  Although they weren't students there all at the same time, I'm willing to overlook that point.  The other facts just happen to line up quite well.
  • Both sets of three brothers are from Pennsylvania.
  • Both sets of three brothers ran cross-country and track for PSU.
  • All three brothers from both groups competed in the mile run.
And most importantly,

  •  At a competition all three brothers ran the mile in the same race and both groups averaged 4:24! *
The Fuller Brothers ran the Harrisburg Mile this week, with Brian winning the elite race in 4:16Kevin ran 4:23 and Mark ran 4:34.  Since two are graduates and Kevin is in the middle of summer distance training for his return to PSU's cross-country team, the times are quite good.

When I realized the three of them were running the mile race, I immediately remembered the results of the 1949 Penn Relays 4 x Mile event.  PSU won the event, (with the three Ashenfelter brothers on the team), and they averaged 4:24 per man.

Now I'm wondering which Fuller will end up joining the FBI....

You'll know we are closer to our goals when an Ashenfelter and a Fuller are on the same foursome at our annual golf tourney.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

All in the Family or Family Feud?

It looks like there is a big storm brewing in Harrisburg on Wednesday evening with the running of the Harrisburg Mile down Front street.  The Fuller Brothers are taking a family rivalry to the streets.  The Bloods and the Crips are in hiding.

Brian, Kevin and Mark will all be toeing the line in the elite race.  Let's hope Brian and Kevin will be sporting a PSU Track alumni singlet. Mark will be a Junior at PSU in the Fall.

My only question is, "Which is the Meathead and which is the Dingbat?"

 Here's a recent photo of the three during an interval workout in preparation for the race.

Addendum:  Brian for the win!  Rocking the PSU Track Alumni singlet!!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

It's Here! Two Weeks Late/But Totally Free! *

*  excluding travel, souvenirs, food and lodging.  All possible expenses are indicated with a *

Benjamin Franklin has always been my favorite Founding Father.  I have always pushed this onto my two daughters. Whenever they are home from school and not as sick as they say they are, I require them to find something out about him that I didn't know.  That can mean an all day quest.

I came up with a walking tour of Philadelphia's sites affiliated with Franklin when they were young, and it has expanded over the years as I find more and more locations to add.  Almost all sites are free to visit, although some certainly give the option of purchasing things.  Feel free to add to my list by commenting to this post.

1.  Benjamin's initial landing site in Philadelphia.  Market Street at the waterfront.  Having left the employ of his cruel brother, Benjamin fled Boston as a young lad and traveled to Philly by ship.  He purchased 2 loaves of bread with the last of his money and met his future (common law) wife in his first minutes in his adopted city.  You can spend money here at many sites, now including a casino.  (Which would make Benjamin angry, I would suppose.)

2.  Benjamin's home.  Between 3rd and 4th Streets and Chestnut and Market Streets.  Ruins of his actual home are preserved 6 feet below the surface and a skeleton frames the size and shape of the actual structure. His wife, Deborah (Read) Franklin kept the house under repair and thwarted creditors during the 25 years Benjamin lived in England and France.

3.  Benjamin Franklin Museum (not the Franklin Institute). Next to his home site.  An underground museum of Franklin artifacts including his desk and his armonica and an early rendition of his Franklin stove.

4.  Post Office and Printing Shop.  316 Market St. * It will cost a few pennies if you want to send yourself a postcard stamped "B. Free Franklin".  Franklin coined the term "The Press" here for news reporters.

5.  Benjamin Franklin Grave.  Christ's Church Burial Ground, 5th and Arch Streets.  You can see his grave next to Deborah's through the fence.  *Many people toss a penny on it every time they pass.  "A penny saved is a penny earned."   With today's political problems, you can almost hear him spinning in his grave!

6.  Friends Meeting House.  320 Arch Street.  Benjamin Franklin was not a Quaker, but greatly admired them and attended occasionally with Betsy Ross and others.  My suspicions are it was a great place to take a nap. If you have ever attended a Quaker Sunday Meeting, you'll know what I mean.

7.  Elfreth's Alley.  The oldest continual residential street in America, they say.  *The Betsy Ross House is here but it costs money to tour it.  My advice is to look at the outside and visit the gift shop to just browse.  If you want to know what it is like in her house, go home and turn off the electricity and walk around, all the while realizing that everything is twice as big now as back then!

8.  City Tavern.  138 South 2nd Street.  *A working restaurant where you can have a colonial meal just like those that triggered gout attacks in Benjamin!  Pheasant and such isn't my kind of fare.  Bookbinders is right nearby!

9.  Independence Hall.  6th and Market Street.  No need to say more, although I will.  I always thought it was a great country that allowed students like me to cut through a National Park on the way to school. That just doesn't happen in many countries.

10. Liberty Bell.  6th between Market and Chestnut.  The bell has been moved several times and now resides here, across the street from Independence Hall.

11.Constitution Center. 5th and Arch Street.  As an old man, Franklin presided over the Constitutional Convention, sort of like a revered mascot or something.  The gout and his health made it difficult for him to attend, and he often was carried on litters. I really wonder what he would think of today's Constitutional arguments?  I don't think he would consider it a "living, breathing" document, but who knows.

12. Philosophical Hall.  104 South 5th Street.  As one of the New World's preeminent scientists, Franklin started the Philosophical Society as a way to promote more scientific inquiry.

13. Library Company of Philadelphia.  105 South 5th Street. Franklin also started the Colony's first library.  He would probably be a great proponent of the internet today.

14. Pennsylvania Hospital.  Between 8th and 9th Streets and Spruce and Pine Streets.  Franklin helped start the Nation's first hospital here.

15. Site of the Kite/Electricity Experiment.  10th Street 1/2 block south of Market Street.  A small plaque on a church is all that marks the spot of the great scientific achievement that sealed his place of honor in all of Europe.

16. Christ Church.  2nd and Market Streets.  Benjamin Franklin belonged to this church, although he is thought of as a Deist, as were most of the Founding Fathers.

17. University of Pennsylvania.  Yes, he founded this too!  A glorious completion to the tour is a run to Penn's Franklin Field for an interval set.  (A great tip:  run them in lane 1, as lane 4 is 400 meters! You'll feel like a champion.)

Friday, July 15, 2011

We Have to Get a Team Together For This! *

Zombies have always been a big part of the blog, and now all the attention I gave the topic may pay off!  A well organized 5K obstacle race will occur in Baltimore this coming Halloween.  Runners will either end up a survivor or a member of the walking Undead at the conclusion of the event.  *Actual teams are not allowed, but certainly cooperation between otherwise un-aligned competitors cannot possibly be detrimental.  The advice from race organizers about training is:

Run.  Watch zombie movies. Run some more.

Have I mentioned that I am an Associate Producer on an upcoming feature length remake of one of the most recognized zombie movies of all time?  Plan 9 is in the final production phase.  My vast knowledge of zombies may help all our chances of achieving a survivor's medal. Here's actress Abby Miller in costume for her role.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Big News and a Giant Thank You to Everyone Involved

A toast to everyone involved in the 10th Annual Coach Harry Groves Golf Tournament and Reunion.  Many people contribute to the effort, both large and small. (I mean contributions, not skinny vs. hammer throwers!)  Thanks to everyone who attends, to those who contribute and to those who work hard to keep the effort alive. We are slowly gaining momentum.  I personally have no doubt we will reach any goal we set.

Although the final number is not yet available (there is more to come!) a record $7100 has been donated to the PSU Track Scholarships due to all of our efforts. Remember, both Founder Clark Haley and Keeper of the Cup Harry Smith have always insisted that every penny collected (after our modest expenses are paid) be donated to the Scholarship Funds. That principle applies to every penny I collect through donations to the blog as well.  No one benefits financially from any of our efforts, unless someone wins the hole-in-one contest!  A fully endowed scholarship is certainly not an easy thing to do in today's world, but we are on our way.  With a self-sufficient Track and XC Program, there will be no way to stop us!  David can slay Goliath, and every little pebble can be the winning piece.

Monday, July 11, 2011

This Still Isn't the July 4th Post I Promised

And it looks like Benjamin Franklin is not happy with me.  I promise I'll get to it soon though.

In the mean time I'll just post a few random things of interest:

  • The flying car they promised us old-timers in the early Sixties is just about ready to take off!  Insurers are really happy with it...
  • An Ultra-marathon in Montana was canceled this week because snow made the course un-runnable.
  • Running a Marathon in Iran might not be a real good idea.
  • It turns out that IBM's "Watson" isn't very smart after all.  Who would opt for a career in medicine after cashing in at Jeapardy?
  • It turns out that soccer is good for something after all!  PSU star Stephanie Pezzullo continues her running career following her successful 4-year PSU soccer tenure.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Revitalized Ten Questions: The Coaches Edition

As more and more attention is directed to the Penn State Track Program, more and more people seem interested in our humble group of Alumni Tracksters.  Coach Beth Alford-Sullivan recently acquiesced to being our first victim in the revamped Blog Ten Questions.  This comes after the announcenment of her appointment as the Women's Head Coach at the Junior Pan-Am Games in Florida later this Summer.

1.  What was your first experience with track and field?   

 Running the 6th grade 600m dash….I was 2nd to Bob Kempainen….who went on to be a 2 time Olympian in the marathon 1992 and 1996…..Bob and I made a pact to be Olympians because his older brother was in Cross Country skiing at the time and I eventually got there as the 2004 Coach!!  And so it began at Burwell School in Minnetonka, Minnesota!

2.  If you didn't get in track coaching, what would you have done instead?
 I would have a reality TV show that followed around Track Coaches and programs….this would be a huge hit!

 3.  What was your most rewarding experience in track coaching?

 There are Sooooo….many….hard to pick one or just a few….but mostly seeing the program and individuals progess is the best!!

4.  What is the hardest part of your job?

There really isn’t a hard part…but you must have patience….with all aspects of the job….and many times that is not a strong suit of mineJ!!

5.  Who are your biggest coaching influences?

My husband continues to be on a daily basis….my parents always are supportive…Vin Lananna at Oregon over the years has been a great mentor….my best friends/Kim McGreevy (former PSU great)/Kathleen Raske (Head Coach at Sacramento State/JJ Clark (Head Coach at Tennessee)/and Greg Metcalf (Head Coach at University of Washington).  These are my Go-To peeps!!

6.  Was initially adjusting to State College life as difficult as I think it would have been?

Moving to State College from Palo Alto, Ca…was tough, what can I say….now I wouldn’t trade it for NOTHING!!

7.  If trapped on a desert island with a solar-powered video player, what 1 movie would you play over and over?

I would play the movie Slap Shot over and over….Paul Newman was an inspiration!

8.  And which 1book would you read, over and over?

Seabiscuit….hands down.  The story of that race horse was one I LOVE!  I have a photo of Seabiscut beating War Admiral on my wall in my office.  He was a true American Hero.

 9.  Which track and field event is your favorite to watch, (not Coach)?

OK….I love the Javelin…especially when thrown correctly…it is beautiful to see.

10.  Have you ever tried Kung Pao Chicken?

 Yes, but I favor a good ol….cheeseburger and a cold beer.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Foursome Number 5: The Ringers

Steve Walsh '01, Andrew Jenkins '00, Bradd DelMuto '01 and Mike Enwright '04 combined to make what I considered to be the most formidable foursome of this year's tournament.  With 2 returning champions and Steve "Clubber" Walsh (he can really smack the ball) these guys could have easily won the tourney if they could only figure out this year's sanctioned cheating.  These four guys bought 4 12-inch strings for $100 (thanks for the donation to the scholarship funds!) and ended up not using them!  With their one-stroke loss to Clark Haley et al, if they had used 2 of them they would have been champions.  Either way, it was great having these repeat golfers.  I have enjoyed meeting them and spreading the mirth to a new generation of our group.  It's really what all of this is about.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I'm Back and Need a Shower

I'm back from my vacation in beautiful West Virginia.  The enchanted land without internet access and with 17th Century living conditions cannot be over-estimated. (In actual fact, we had a good time at a fully furnished campground that had limited internet capabilities.)  In the mean-time I have squandered our internet rankings and viewership of our humble blog has dwindled to 2008 levels. Three years to climb the mountain and 6 days to fall back down...

In order to bring things back to an appropriate level, I am re-introducing The Blog Ten Questions.  All those who declined to respond before caused me to completely forget about what was one of our best features.  I'll be bringing it back with a very special invitee soon.  Stay tuned.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Nittany Lions Love Canada, West Virginia Meh

Casimir Loxsom and Ryan Foster both continued their excellent seasons at the Victoria International Track Meet, eh.  A 1:46 800 and a 3:41 1500 were great times coming just days after their PR's at the respective distances.  Donuts and Tim Horton's coffee must be right down their alley.  I'll bet curling isn't in their itinerary yet!  It's harder than shuffleboard but you get the advantage of carrying a broom.  All beverages are kept cool, in addition.

The vacation in "almost heaven" continues, with its limited internet capabilities and living conditions.  The family did get to tour a haunted house  where John Wilkes Booth once stayed.  The youngest among us was sufficiently scared, despite being the impetus to go in the first place.  Next we are having lunch near Burkettsville MD, of Blair Witch fame.

I'm still working on the July 4th post featuring my favorite historical figure, Benjamin Franklin.  It will be late.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

West Virginia Internet Sucks

While on vacation in West Virginia, I have encountered  20th Century technology and 18th Century living conditions.  I am sorry for the lack of posts lately, especially with recent PR's from Cas Loxsom and Ryan Foster in The Great White North.  Cas will be traveling to China to represent the USA at the World University Games.  And I'll soon  be detailing my great Philadelphia/Benjamin Franklin Tour to honor Independence Day.  It will be late, but it is totally free!*

*excluding meals and travel expenses.
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