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...

Thursday, September 29, 2011

10 Questions: Tyler McCandless

1. What song immediately brings back memories of Penn State?
There are two songs.  One of my first memories with Tim Johnson, Dennis Pollow, and John Mahoney was driving back from workouts in Tim's car and I'd always play the song by Kid Rock, "Bawitdaba" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OrNS2zbTZg). I'm sure we were all sick of the song but it brings back good memories.  The second song is by Kevin Rudolf, "I Made It" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_7baOCYg-Q&ob=av2n).  I listened to this song on warm-up and cool-down at the NCAA Championships after earning All-American in the 10,000m.The lyrics "I used to dream about, the life I'm living now, I know that there's no doubt, I made it, I made it." resonated in me how I spent years dreaming of becoming an All-American and never giving up that goal.  Achieving it in the amazing Penn State program with Coach Sullivan was very special and I'll always remember the journey, which the song really describes!

2. What was your favorite PSU Class? 
My favorite class was probably a TV Meteorology class I took as a fifth year senior. It was only one credit but we spent an hour each week in front of the green screen.  It led to a weekly job on PCN as a weather recapper for the show Weather World. Here was one of my last episodes...http://www.twitvid.com/6DGQE

3. What was your best PSU Track or XC Performance? 
That's a really tough question.  My 5th year of track I had a string of great 10ks - Stanford, Big 10s, NCAA 1st Round, NCAA Championships.  I'd say that probably the Stanford 10,000m was my best performance.  I planned to stay in the pack and get pulled to a fast time, but the pace slowed down so I took charge a little past half-way.  After leading over a mile I was passed with 1k to go.  I made another strong move with 500 to go and held the lead until the last 200.  It was one of those races that I just felt like I was in the zone and competing the whole time.  That race put me #6 All-Time at PSU, which I feel is an even greater honor than earning All-American because of the rich tradition in distance running Penn State has had for many decades.

4. What is your best Coach Groves memory?
My favorite Coach Groves memory was after college.  I was doing a session of 400m repeats solo on the track.  He sees me do a couple reps and comes over and says, "Hey.  After watching you run...you clearly need to take ballet lessons.  Who knows if it'll make you a better runner, but it can't hurt trying to pick up chicks!!!!"  I've heard that he's said this to numerous people before and after me, but I'll never forget the way he said it with such sincerity.

5. What is your best Coach Alford-Sullivan memory?
There's a lot of special moments with Coach Sullivan.  When we earned the trip to the 2008 NCAA Championships in cross country that was an unbelievable moment in time.  The passion the 7 seniors on that team had, as well as Kyle Dawson and Vince McNally was un-rivaled. It was satisfying because Penn State had not been to the national championships in 13 years and Coach Sullivan really wanted to get us to Terra Haute.  The second moment was after the NCAA 1st Round in Greensboro, North Carolina.  The temperatures were well into the 80s with nearly 100% humidity.  I had to finish in the top 12 to make the NCAA Championships.  I felt awful early in the race, but came out of it around 5k and put myself in the top 12.  With a mile to go the lead pack was down to 11 and I heard a coach say, "stay on your feet and you get to Eugene." Coach Sullivan had told me to keep thinking of Eugene going into the race.  One goal and a one track mind.  I finished 5th comfortably, jogged over to Coach Sullivan and gave her a terribly sweaty hug and said, "one more to All-American."  It was special because I was absolutely on a mission that year and that was the moment that really made it happen. 

6. What was your least favorite workout? 
Very tough question because I generally like hard workouts.  However, I pretty much despise running V02 max intervals.  Getting on the indoor track and ripping out repeat 800s was never my favorite.  My least favorite day was when I told Coach it was going to be pouring rain and 35F at noon and we should have morning practice for long run.  She didn't believe the weatherman and had 2pm practice.  Pouring rain and 36F greeted us for a 15 mile long run.  I was frustrated and went out the door rolling.  Vince McNally and I were clipping off 6:00 miles from the start.  Our only conversation was what we had for breakfast and Vince informed me had only had peanut butter...which he ate out of the jar with a spoon.  Coach probably doesn't know we crushed the long run...unless she reads this!

7. What is your most embarrassing moment while attending Penn State? 
Most embarrassing moment would probably be actually after leaving Penn State.  This past summer I came back to PA and did two races in New York.  I flew into PA and my parents let me borrow a car, which I drove to Penn State.  I was staying in the dorms during the Penn State Track and Field High School Camp and went to drive my car on the 2nd to last day at 9pm and couldn't find the keys.  Absolutely no idea where they got to.  My parents had to drive half-way out to Penn State and Kara Milhouse let me borrow her car to drive halfway in the early morning hours to get the keys so I could drive to my race the following day.  I called it "pulling a Mahoney" because Mahoney would forget anything it was possible to lose.  Quite embarrassing to lose your parent's car keys at college though!

8. If you were going to massively cheat on your diet, what food would you choose?
Does beer count as a food?  If so it would probably be the Apricot Wheat at Otto's Pub and Brewery.  If beer doesn't count, then dark chocolate covered almonds would probably be it.

9. Has the transition to Colorado been as easy as you seem to have made it?
Yeah, it's been relatively easy for me. I've struggled initially with a new coach but have found that my coach Brad Hudson and I really work together. Fellow Penn State alum James Carney took me under his wings when I first moved out and really helped the transition.  I also adapted well to the altitude and workouts progressed better than expected.  I really enjoy road racing and it's a ton of fun, which makes competing much easier when you really love what you do.

10. Any chance of seeing you golf at next year’s Reunion?
I'd really love to.  If it's possible in my racing schedule I'd love to come to the Reunion.  I miss Penn State a lot because I had the best four years there and met so many great Penn Staters.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Found! Mark Hawkins and the PSU Track Alumni Singlet Photo! Best One Yet.

No comments necessary! (except you need orange shoes.)

Check-Ins From Our Expanding World

We've had many people check in with us recently, and I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge some of them.  Our world is getting bigger and bigger as we attempt to garner the interest of all 1,500 living members of the Penn State Track and Field and Cross Country universe.  That's second only to the living members of the Football Team.  So it is easily in our grasp to attain our goal of the largest and most active track alumni group in the world.

First up is the beautiful set of twins Ian McCann happens to be friends with.  Dog Friends are the best friends anyone could ask for.  Ian likely won't be able to attend our Reunion in May 2012, but sends his regards to Coach Groves and adds his dogs to our Dog Slide Show on the right sidebar.  Remember, I'm always looking for more dogs.  (The occasional cat and chicken has also made the grade.)  I failed to find out the dogs' names, but I will update them when available.  Update:  The dogs are Gizmo and Gnomes Welcome to the wonderful, wacky world of PSU Track Alumni Golf!

We also had a check-in from our friends at William and Mary.  State College native and WaM Track alum Brian Mount posed with fellow podiatrist and WaM Track alum Ira Meyers before the recent Rock-N-Roll Half Marathon in Philly.  That's them on the "Rocky" steps.  I'll attempt to get Brian to return for next year's golf outing and bring some WaM alums with him to join Coach Steve Walsh in attempting to get their name on the Harry Groves Memorial Cup.  I'm pretty sure it pleases Coach Groves immensely when William and Mary remembers him fondly.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Excellence is Our Middle Name

First up is visual confirmation that Mark Hawkins did in fact wear the PSU Trackl Alumni Singlet in his scintillating 5K run at the Great Race in Pittsburgh last weekend.  His 17:19 finish impresses everyone except him as he strives for even more.  (The answer may be orange shoes, Mark, orange shoes!)

Dr. Robert Hillman presented a talk on Speech Pathology as part of the PSU Distinguished Speakers Series on campus last weekend.  Dr. Hillman is a PSU Track/XC alum, former captain and roommate of Olympian Greg Fredericks back in Coach Groves' early tenure.  Whenever Greg has respect for someone, I, for one, take notice.  Greg has told me that chances of getting Dr. Hillman to come to the golf outing are low, as he is as dedicated to his work as anyone any of us knows.  I salute him, and still invite him to our reunion in May 2012, where I will personally put out the red carpet.  Dr. Hillman presents the finest example of the character building influence that PSU Track/XC instills in all of us.  Here's a little bit about Dr. Hillman's work...

Robert E. Hillman ’74, ’75 SPA

Robert E. Hillman, research director of the Center for Laryngeal Surgery and Voice Rehabilitation at Massachusetts General Hospital, is widely recognized as one of the foremost clinical voice scientists in the world. His research has produced new tech­nologies, including an ambulatory monitoring and biofeedback system for treating voice disorders (featured on the National Geographic Channel show "The Incredible Human Machine") and the first voice neural prosthesis for laryngectomy patients (featured in Newsweek magazine). He currently is helping to lead a large multi-insti­tutional research effort to develop bio-implants that will restore voice and speech to patients whose vocal cords are damaged by trauma or disease.

Hillman also serves as an associate professor of surgery and health sciences and technology at Harvard-MIT and a professor of communication sciences and disorders and associate provost for research at Massachusetts General Hospi­tal Institute of Health Professions. He has won numerous professional awards for his research publications and accomplishments, is a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and is one of only six speech pathologists inducted into the American Laryngological Association. He received Penn State's Alumni Fellow Award in 2008 and will be awarded the Honors of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, that organization's highest award, at its annual meeting later this year.
Hillman received bachelor's and master's degrees in speech pathology and audiology from Penn State. While there, he was co-captain of the cross-country team and the re­cipient of the 1974 Ernest B. McCoy Award for the outstanding senior scholar-athlete. He also received a doctoral degree in speech science from Purdue University.

*Please excuse the formatting problems.  Blog engineers are busy trying to resolve the problem.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Two Lows and a High

First up on the downer front is the coming demise of the Tevatron in Batavia Illinois on Friday.  The Big Red Button will be pushed ending several decades worth of quantum experiments .  Scientists are scattering across the world as the particles cease to be smashed into each other in the 4 mile ring.  Our very own Ron Moore will continue his scientific exploits on a much smaller collider in the medical field in Beantown.  Good luck Ron.

Next on the downer front, at least among us out-of-shape hobby joggers, is the death of the inventor of the Doritos snack chip.  Rest in neon orange pieces...

And just to keep a little mirth in the blog, I include more incredible PSU Track Alumni racing news.  Mark Hawkins raced a PR in the Great Race 5K in Pittsburgh last week in a blazing 17:19!  I include the old photo of Mark sporting the Alumni singlet until a new one is found...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

This Blog is Half Fuller

Not sure who actually took the photo, but it adds to the number of times I've had to mention one or more Fuller Bros, on the site!  (Fuller Bros. sounds like a great name for a company.)  Brian Fuller followed up his superb showing at the Rock-N-Roll Half Marathon in Philadelphia last week with a stroll down 5th Avenue in NY in 4:12!  The range is impressive, but the singularly scintillating selection of the Alumni Singlet adds just the right touch to be posted prominently on our humble blog.  Everyone note the orange shoes, another key element of PSU alumni excellence apparently.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Particles Get Faster as Women Get Slower*

In its infinite wisdom, the IAAF has ruled retroactively that women's records cannot be made in mixed races with men.  It has stricken the records of any mixed races, making the women's marathon record 5 minutes slower in the process.  Will it next rule that men's records cannot be set in mixed competition also?  Will my 1980 PR in the mile be stricken from the books?  (A pitiful 4:18 on PSU's track at an all-comer's meet while weaving through men, women, children and dogs if I remember correctly.)

At the same time. busy CERN scientists are reluctant to report that a particle has been observed to consistently travel at above the speed of light.  Since this is like kicking Einstein in the groin, they are asking others to replicate their experiments before trumpeting them.  I'll bet Albert wouldn't be too put off though.  I'll bet he was treated worse in elementary school than that!

*Women aren't actually slower.  In fact, they are much, much faster in my opinion.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Brian Fuller Rocks the Alumni Singlet in Philadelphia

When my day job allows, I plan on working on having another sale of Penn State Track Alumni Singlets originally brought to us by Dennis Pollow.  Since he has left State College, Dennis can't do the legwork on the next batch, for which there has been some clamoring.  I haven't decided on who I'm going to ask to help make arrangements.  If there are any volunteers in State College, let me know.  (Don't all rush to the internet at once guys...)

Brian Fuller, despite being gainfully employed full time, enjoyed a great run at the Philadelphia Half-Marathon this weekend.  His 1:07:10 is "a great time in a great city" as we always said when we lived there.  Tyler McCandless bounced back from his Hawaiian Marathon victory with a spirited 1:04:57 after just several weeks.  He says his secret is living good, but I found that not to work in the past, so there must be something else!  I don't think he sported an alumni singlet however.  We can't afford the professional fees involved with that!

Remember, fellow PSU Track alum (redacted) set the American Record at this race in the early 80's, so I suppose PSU is starting to develop a reputation at this race.  High Jumper Paul Souza and his Velveteen Playboys were slated to perform at last year's finish line (it's a Rock N Roll Race!), but had to cancel at the last minute.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Van Cortlandt Park

Cross Country Season cannot be complete without at least thinking about one of the most storied venues there is.  Not many courses have been as stable for as long as Van Cortlandt Park in NYC's The Bronx.  It combines easy access from NYC, New Jersey and Connecticut with actual trees and running paths suitable for a Championship Course.

I never got to run there, and I'll bet many PSU runners much better than I haven't either, as ICAAAA participation has come and gone over the years.  Those who have run there have respect for the course and reverence for the records.  The names of the "Hall of Fame" runners there is a Who's Who of American Running History.

I would love to hear some stories of Van Cortlandt  and maybe some comparisons to other great Cross Country courses.  Here's a photo tour of the famed 2.5 mile course. Did any of you ever run there?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Old Time Goodness Keeps Popping Up

I included these two top-notch photos not just because they show Greg Fredericks again, but because they show two great running venues And they show Greg again.  Seems people keep sending me photos of him.  Nobody has any photos of me...

Everyone recognizes the bricks of Franklin Field, but does anyone know the other venue in the cross country photo?  I may even dig up a prize again, since anonymous hasn't come forward to claim his Group t-shirt yet. I have run at Franklin Field, but never laced up the spikes at the other venue.  submit your entry in the comments below.

Even older on the time scale is this great way for all of us desk jockeys to get back in shape prior to the 11th Annual Coach Harry Groves Golf Tourney.   The best part is, I have apparently been wasting my time with the 10 minute miles I have been laboring over on my very expensive Health Club Style Treadmill. Apparently, I could spend less than 10 dollars and as little as 6 minutes a day for the equivalent of 2 miles of running daily.  Three minutes a mile!  The other 7 were all a communist plot or something...

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sickness, Malaise and, Oh Yeah, Cross Country

I was hit by a nasty bug early in the week, making this the most unimpressive period of time for the blog in quite awhile.  Although some may say the whole thing is unimpressive.  Whatever.  I managed to attend my daughter's first ever cross country race on Tuesday and was already feeling horrible.  Everything went downhill from there.  The meet was a quad-dual meet and was followed by another quad-duel meet on Thursday which I didn't make.  That's six duel meets in 48 hours for those keeping track.  They swept 4 of the meets and placed the first 4 in the two others, so her team is poised to repeat as State Champions.

Penn State teams had the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Meet today before heading off to the Roy Griak Invitational and Notre Dame in the coming weeks.   I'll report on those meets well after Jess has already informed you of the salient points, which is my usual literary style!  And that's before lower respiratory symptoms intervene and the subsequent OTC drugs muddle my already muddled brain.

The Streak was perpetuated, against all medical advice, despite fever, anorexia, dehydration, dolar and outright crabiness.  I'll be back in shape soon enough and I'm looking forward to a great season.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Random Thoughts From a Curmudgeon

  1. Will there ever be a Reality Show that is scripted less than The Simpsons? (or more real for that matter.)
  2. Will someone, someday get into a car, begin driving and not start getting on the phone?  (I was hit from behind at 30 mph by a texter in 2007 and have been flinching ever since.)
  3. What am I doing wrong?  I waited an hour in my Ford after my daughter's first ever High School Cross Country Race(!) to take her home when I noticed the girl's race winner get into a BMW and drive off (ON HER CELL PHONE THE WHOLE TIME!).  Sorry to scream there.  Thank goodness that's off my chest...
  4. Are Mondays getting worse for the rest of you too?  Or is it just me?
  5. Does any Sports Team Owners tank games just to win their Fantasy League?  Or how else do you explain the Orioles?
  6.  I just can't make myself  Tweet, even though I know it would enhance the exposure of the web site and attract additional attendees to the Reunion.
  7. Homework seems to have quadrupled since I went to school. Or I missed quite a lot...
  8. Anyone who is nice to you, but rude to the help is a very bad person. (As is anyone who consistently sends food back to the kitchen.)
  9. I've been a Phillies fan since 1964, and I don't remember this many people being with me for almost that whole time...
  10. Does it bother any of you, like it does me, that PSU is the most expensive State School in the nation?
  11. Electronic Medical Records will end up being a huge disaster.  Trust me, I'm almost a doctor...

Monday, September 12, 2011

More Charlie Maguire (With Coach Groves, Coach Lucas and Greg Fredericks) A Prize Contest Too!

Not sure what year this was, but Greg Fredericks sent me this great pic of 4 PSU Greats, (including him in the 4, which he would be too humble to do himself!)  Notice Coach Lucas and the tremendous shape he was in.  He probably represents PSU's longest duration in-shape Track and Field Field figure of all time.  Sort of the Al Oerter of PSU! Since Al apparently made it to the CDT Mile Track Meet and I somehow missed him along with Dick Buerkle. Coach Lucas told me he has run more than 160,000 miles in his day, starting in the early 1950's.  Coach Groves comes in a close second to that.  Just ask us distance runners how in-shape Coach Groves was in 1979, when he trounced many of us in the Nittany Valley Marathon. (All distance runners had to run the marathon that year, and the 800 men had to run 15 miles, an alien concept today I'm sure.) I had to hustle in to beat him and Liz Berry (2:44 or so!) that year but I had a plausible excuse, pneumonia 3 weeks prior.  I helped 3 milers run their first ever run over 15 miles that day and all three beat me at the marathon distance.  My advice to start slow and taper off was a big help to each of them. (Actually just the start slow part, we picked it up after each 5 mile segment until I crashed after the 20 mile mark.  The rest kept going!)  There is a prize from the Group Store for the first correct answer to the question "Who were the three Milers Dave Baskwill paced to their first Marathon experience in 1979?" Answers must be in the form of a comment at the end of this post.

Charlie Maguire is seen standing on the right, in front of Greg in the photo which was taken on the annual Whipple's Dam Run.  I've had a lot of feedback from people on the posts about Charlie.  We all wish he was still with us.  RIP

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Musical Interlude Before the Meat of the Cross Country Season

"Rocked it with Rick Springfield last night! Sold 30 CD's and all the rest of our merchandise! A huge ground swell is happening! We're on a roll! Thanks to all our friends and fans for your support! We love you!"

-PSU High Jump Record Holder, Paul Souza referring to his Velveteen Playboys' burgeoning superstardom.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Cat (er, Lion!) is Out of the Bag!

Jess Riden, (don't call her Jenn or ask her any questions about parking for the Penn Relays!) has released the first notification of next year's groundbreaking combination of Penn State Track and Field Alumni Golf and the Penn State Track and Field and Cross Country ProgramsThe First Annual Alumni Weekend will be coincide with the 11th Annual Coach Harry Groves Golf Tournament.  Jess will be on the front lines of advertising and sign-ups, leaving Founder Clark Haley and Keeper of the Cup Harry Smith to perfect the actual tournament to ever increasing prominence.  And I'll keep doing whatever the heck it is I do.  Although it seems to be having an effect I had only dreamed of.  Be sure to keep the date free.  Don't worry about family conflicts, as family aren't only invited, but when you get down to it Family happens to be our most important asset.  Fifty years have taught me the simple fact that everything comes down to friends and family.  The friends you have and make from PSU Track Alumni will be your best friends and by extension, Family.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

PSU Athletes Dominate in Paradise (and also Kauai!)

Everyone's opinion of Paradise varies.  I never think of a tropical island when thinking of paradise.  I tend more to think of mountain vistas, something like the overlook at the Bear Meadows/Switchback Loop, (believe it or not!).  Very few would think of Lock Haven University as paradise, but then again it is a sort of paradise for cross country runners.  A beautiful mountain setting with ravenous fans ain't all bad!

The PSU squads had a good opening and winning meet at the Dolan Duels at Lock Haven over the weekend, with Caitlin Lane and Kyle Dawson taking wins in both races.  This earned them Big Ten honors as athlete's-of-the-week.  They now have a week off for additional training before the season gets into full gear.

I've never been to Oregon, but plenty of runners classify it as paradise, and who am I to argue?  Bridget Franek, just back from the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, will recommence her pro career in Oregon.  Getting paid to run seems like paradise to me.

And what most people feel is paradise happens to be Hawaii, and PSU Alumni (Golfer) Tyler McCandless has that covered too!  He won the Kauai Marathon in record time over the weekend. Not bad for a day's work.  Sure beats my day job!  With our new friend (and Director of the Honolulu Marathon) Jonathan Cross, maybe we can score Tyler an invite to the big island (or is that not the big island?).

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Physicists Can Do Nearly Everything!

Except maybe find the Higg's Boson (aka The god Particle).  The inability to find the Higg's may be fueling ever increasing subsidies to the scientists, so maybe that's a good thing.  Here's several articles dealing with the search:

When Physicists turned their gaze toward the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming debate, it's funny what they are finding.  The big glowing yellow ball at the center of the Solar System may just in fact have something to do with Climate Change!!  Scientists at CERN aren't allowed to speculate on the meaning of their findings, but that won't stop others like me.

And just when I thought that String Theory was dead, nerds of the highest order gather in huge numbers to resurrect the beast!

But the best thing of all is when Particle Physicists discover something all of us can use!  The slowest thing that exists on earth is a woman in a buffet line (according to John Pinnette).  The second slowest thing is everyone ahead of you in line to board an airplane.  That is where a Particle Physicist from our beloved Fermilab comes in.  He has figured out the fastest way for airlines to board their planes.  It's twice as fast as the current method (which is incidentally slower than random boarding procedures!).  Making our lives better, atom by atom!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Remembering Charlie Maguire II

We got a big response to our initial post remembering Charlie Maguire, so I figured I would go back to the well for one more time.  Of all the PSU duo's to have run for PSU, Charlie and Greg Fredericks probably logged the most miles together.  They ran together for 3 years as undergrads and kept it up through intense training for many years afterward. 

Greg emailed another remembrance of the "tough guy" from the days of yore:

We ran the CDT mile in combination with the local summer meets here in the late 70's.  Charlies idea with collaboration with his wife Andi, Peter and myself.  The effort was to give Centre County it's first sub 4 minute mile, still a feat in those days.  We brought in guys and financed it with t-shirt sales.  I believe we did it for 3 years.  Got about 5,000 people out to an August track and field meet.  Not a misprint.... 5,000.  Even had Al Oerter the discuss champ one year.

It was a great promotion and fun time for our beloved sport. 
I remember Larry Mangan, Mike Wyatt and Bob Snyder running those races with Greg and Sydney Maree, although I never even got a stinking t-shirt.  I'm going to ask Greg to make a design for a new t-shirt for the Group Store, "I saw a 4-Minute Mile and I and didn't even get a stinking t-shirt".  What other runners were in those races?

The photo is from the Second Annual Arts Festival 10-Miler.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Remembering Charlie Maguire

In a recent discussion of the "good ole days"on Let'sRun.com and Facebook , the name of Charlie Maguire came up.  This stirred up some comments from several people on how tough a runner Charlie was.  In the Black/Baskwill family, we have always said that the three toughest runners we have ever seen were, Seb Coe, Alberto Juantarena, and Charlie Maguire.  We weren't kidding either.

My best Charlie story occurred at an indoor meet at Cornell in 1980.  It was a secondary meet that a bunch of us were sent to.  I ended up in the slow heat of the 2-mile, while Charlie and Frit Cooper were in the fast heat.  I didn't even know that Charlie was seriously training at the time, but I guess he was as his performance opened my eyes.  Although he was a bit heavier than while an undergrad, he still started out hard, with Frit hanging on for dear life.  The laps accumulated, and both were on sub-nine minute pace throughout.  In his usual style, Charlie simply willed his way to a low 8:50-something performance, and dragged Frit to a substantial PR (PB for the younger among my tens of readers!) and a sub-nine minute two-mile.  I remember congratulating Charlie on a great run, which he characteristically shrugged off.  I was forever a fan after that.  He was also the head of the MBA program at PSU while my brother got his first of many Master's degrees.

Larry Mangan also remembers the toughness  of PSU's 1973 6-Mile NCAA Champion.  As Freshmen in 1977, both Larry and I laced up our green suede Adidas Spiders with Charlie in the Penn State Open on the White Course. It was all a blur to me as this was my 3rd race for PSU even before my 18th birthday.   Larry remembers:

 I vividly remember the first Penn State Open I competed in as a frosh for two reasons 1) I went out with the leaders for the first half mile (dumb freshman move) and got my mug on the front page of the Harrier and 2) because I unsuccessfully battled Charlie tooth and nail for the last 2 miles.

Charlie must have been 25 or so and I remember thinking “who is this old guy” because no matter what I tried, I couldn’t shake him.  It was the old white course and I remember climbing the Park Ave hill to the crest then turning right down 322 parallel to the Nittany Lion Inn and Rec Hall.  Now I’m pretty sure that I had faster 400, 800 and 1500 speed than Charlie, but I just could not shake him, nor could I pass him back after he went by me.  Between hating 5 mile races (compared to 3 miles in HS) and losing to an “old guy”, that day caused me great concern about how well I would be able to do at PSU!!!  I never had the chance to talk with him about that race, but I’m pretty sure he was thinking there was no way he would lose to a skinny freshman from Pittsburgh that day!!!
All I remember about the finish of the White Course was trying to avoid killing myself on the tree roots the entire length of the Rec Hall/322 side.  Mike Wyatt can attest to my ankle's aversion to that menace!

Through the interest about Charlie, our group has made a new friend all the way from paradise, otherwise known as Honolulu.  Jonathan Cross was a member of the early 70's Michigan distance runners and witnessed Charlie's exploits numerous times. Jonathan is now the race director of the Honolulu Marathon.  He especially remembers that NCAA 6-Mile Championship race in Baton Rouge.  The conditions were hot and humid and Charlie flogged his competitors with an early aggressive pace.  Ex-Group Laureate (redacted) scrounged up this video of the finish of that race:

Charlie's time of 28:19.3 led the pack amid those brutal hot and humid conditions. And here's a photo of that early 70's squad from Michigan. 

That's Jonathan just to the left of the two-man "pyramid".  Headbands, short shorts and long hair are surely missed by us old-timers!
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