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...

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leaping Ahead

On this special extra day we only get every four years, I wanted to take the time to thank all the "tens of readers" who have helped make this site grow continually over its four year history.  We are now "dozens of readers" I suppose, now that we reached a milestone of an average of more than 100 readers a day for the month of February!

Bringing mirth to everyone is my main goal, but the other goal is to alert everyone to our Annual Reunion and Golf Tournament. Remember, every single penny we make goes to the Scholarship Program to make the future of PSU Track every bit as good as the past.  Don't underestimate the power of the "little bit" that we do.

The Reunion and Golf Tournament are rapidly approaching and will occur on Friday, May 18 and Saturday May, 19.   Don't forget to set that weekend aside and book your special rate at the Hampton Inn on the left sidebar. That weekend is again an off week for the Team prior to the NCAA Championships.  In an unprecedented combination of forces, you'll get to meet the current coaches and team along with all of the alumni from 4 or more decades. The Alumni "Run" will again occur just prior to a team workout on Saturday morning.  Sign-ups and more information will be coming shortly, and you know you can get the scoop right here on the blog with the greatest combination of Track and Physics knowledge in the entire world.

Thanks for keeping the site alive.  Spread the word, bookmark the site for easy daily visits and don't forget to join the Facebook site also.  Download a convenient Alexa Toolbar  to quickly take you to either site and even our very own store.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

How Could Anyone Mistake Renaldo Nehemiah for Don Paige?

Not really!  It was an honest mistake. I confused two unrelated meets in my fetid Freshman mind. I was injured at the time because of a freak fencing accident.  No kidding either.  It was the worst injury of my running career, and I've had them all.  So when I "remembered" the big dual meet with the Villanova Wildcats, it was actually The ACC Champion Maryland Terrapins.  And it wasn't even a dual meet, it was a Tri-meet with the Pittsburgh Panthers too!  (Villanova did visit State College for the Penn State Open also, so I guess that's where I remember Don Paige, Mark Belger and Anthony Tufariello.)

That's Bob Snyder winning the 800 M race, with Mike Wyatt coming in second.  Bob also won the 1500 M just 45 minutes before the 800.  That's PSU Track Alum Golfer Bill Sheskey  in 5th place, but I'll bet he got 4th at the tape!

Renaldo Nehemiah dazzled the crowd in every race he won, but it wasn't enough to keep the more highly ranked Terrapins from losing a tight meet with the gritty Nittany Lions on the "home field" at the Westerly Parkway Junior High School!

It all came down to the pole vault in a light drizzle, and the Maryland vaulters couldn't come near their 17 ft. PR's. The PSU vaulter Bob Hottle, who topped out at his own PR of 15 feet, clinched the meet for the Lions.

Other notable events in the meet were:

  1. Larry Mangan winning the waterless steeplechase in 9:05, with Ray Krombel and Campbell Lovett coming in second and third.
  2. Paul Lankford was a double winner in the 100 M and Mile Relay.
  3. Gary Williky won the Discus and was second in the Shot Put.
  4. Coach Groves was quoted as saying "It was good to beat them."

Monday, February 27, 2012

Coming Signs of the Zombie Apocalypse*

* and by Zombie Apocalypse I don't necessarily mean actually zombies, but maybe, so keep your guard up.

  1. Haile Gebrselassie runs a 2:08.17 marathon in Japan after "fading badly" in the final mile and comes in fourth.
  2. The constant 4 years of campaigning by Democrats and Republicans will continue for another 4 years no matter the results of the next election.
  3. Our humble blog was again shut out of the Bloggies.  We need to lobby harder for a Track/Physics category or something.
  4. Five planets are visible in the night-time (duh, not the daytime!) sky.
  5. Every man, woman and child in America owes a gazillion dollars due to our Republican and Democratic Leaders. Good luck with that.
  6. St. Mary's College in California ADDED Division I Mens and Womens Outdoor Track to its Sports Program.
  7. The Tevatron Scientists announced it had narrowed the hiding place of the Higgs boson to one lowly corner of the Universe with its experiments prior to being dismantled for parts.
  8. Welsh pranksters somehow found a way to make direction signs for a half-marathon more confusing!

        9.  PSU soon begins Spring Football Practice without a Paterno for the first time since 1950.
      10.  You can actually spend $23.60 on a coffee at Starbucks!
      11.  Scientists have beaten Moore's Law by creating a transistor out of a single atom.
      12.  They are now making surgical scrubs with a low rise so that doctors and nurses can both attain the ultimate in plumber's crack!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Jumping High! But Can He Golf? A Musical Critique From a Noted Curmudgeon

Big News from the world of Music, and high jumping for that matter.  Former PSU High Jumper and Record Holder Paul Souza is bringing his Velveteen Playboys to State College for the first time!  They have been booked as the headline act on Friday night July 13 on the Old Main Lawn for the Arts Festival Weekend.

You are in for a treat if you haven't seen them yet.  The muscicians are tremendous and Paul is a great lead singer. WARNING: HARSH CRITIQUE OF TODAY'S MUSIC FROM A NOTED CURMUDGEON NEXT  It's refreshing to see actual talent making the big time in this era of techno-babble and no-talents dominating the music scene. Paul Souza and his Velveteen Playboys bring some of the old-time music both you and your parents will love into the modern era with flair and charisma.  Expect to be tapping your feet and smiling a lot when you see them. Four out of four stars, and I'm not joking....

 I only have two questions for Paul:
  1. Am I still on to play the cowbell for the act?
  2. And can you golf?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Women Dominate Distance Events at B1G (That's the new-fangled symbol I'll never get used to!)

The PSU Mens Team ended up in 6th Place at the Big Ten Championships, while the Women placed 3rd overall.  Bolstered by the distance exploits of Caitlin Lane, Kara Millhouse, Brooklynne Ridder and Rebekkah Simko, the distance events were thoroughly dominted by speedy Lady Lions. 

Here's the Women's Mile final:

And congrats to Frugal Uncle Joe for winning the Mens Mile Prediction!

Freshman in Name Only: PSU is 800 U

There was a time not that long before I went to college where Freshman were not allowed to compete with the Varsity team and were relegated to the Freshman team.  There was a time not that long before I went to college that a Freshman "came out of nowhere" to become one of the athletes that transitioned Penn State Track back into a national power in the sport.  There was a time not that long before I went to college that the nation took notice of the excellent coaching and educational opportunities at Penn State, and scores of talented student-athletes chose PSU over everyone else.

Maybe we are seeing that time repeating itself, but either way PSU is 800 U. The only single event where every distance represented by 800 U is included is the Distance Medley Relay, (400M, 800M, 1200M and 1600M for those not informed about my warped sense of distance).

Freshman are not supposed to be able to close like this, but maybe that was only in a time not long before before I went to college...

Friday, February 24, 2012

News From Down Under

Our very own Tasmanian transplant has been named to the Australian National  IAAF Indoor Track Championship Team in the 1500 M.  The championships are being held in Istanbul, Turkey this year on March 9-11. Congrats to Ryan Foster on such an achievement.  He has asked me to help promote his current employer The Kevin Dare Foundation, and I'm always eager to help!  Ryan plans on being with us for the 11th Annual Coach Harry Groves Golf Tourney and Reunion in May.

In other news from the Island Continent, 30 years after the incident, authorities are taking still another look at the case of "A dingo took my baby" case. This has played out many times before, with convictions, reversals, and retrials several times.  New episodes of wild dogs attacking kids have lent credence to the woman's unwavering tale from 1980.

And here's a great report of an Australian woman who turned the tables on the "Nigerian Prince Scam" and conned the cons out of some serious coinage.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Big Ten Indoor Track Championship Contest with Random Science Nuggets Thrown In

One of the most unpredictable events at the Big Ten Indoor Championships is the Mens Mile.  In the spirit of Bring Back the Mile, let's try to predict  the winning time of the mile finals.  Remember, some years it is quite pedestrian as teams jockey for points while trying to save fresh athletes for other events. The range of winning times over the years is quite large.  Throw your best guess into the Comments below!

And who knew that those in charge of some of the most important experiments at the world's largest supercoillider were also those scheduled to appear on such great TV shows as "The Jerry Springer Show" and "Swamp People".  You know, the ones with IQ's that match their number of teeth or remaining fingers!  It turns out that the brainiacs who came up with the "faster than light neutrinos" were using a clock with loose wires! Einstein was heard to chuckle.

And who knew that Physicists were just like your frugle Uncle Joe?  Both know a bargain when they see one, so why pay for spare parts when they are just lying around?  Ron Moore assures me he took nothing, but wouldn't mind a dipole magnet he could use as a bench.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Surely You're Uncertain About the Certainty of That Uncertainty

And don't call me Shirley.

There are just several days left before the Big Ten Indoor Championships.  Both teams travel to the same venue for the first time in the history of the event, as Nebraska hosts the entire conference in a Midwestern hootenanny.  I expect some great fireworks again this year.  So let's wrap our minds around a little Physics to get ready.

Apparently, in an effort to further confuse laggards of the field like me, they've thrown some question into the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, first discussed in the 20's.  Just when you get the hang of something a Physicist throws a Whoopie Cushion under it and gets us all flustered.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

PSU is 800 U: The Ohio Connection

"High in the middle and round on both ends."
-Tom Rapp.
And by  800 U, I mean every distance from 400 M through 1 mile, of course!  I thought you all knew that?

Following the post on the "Football Connection" reflected in the latest middle distance recuiting class, I have become aware of another Connection, this time from the State to our west, and even one high school in particular.  There must be something in the water in Lancaster, Ohio!

 I ran with a few Ohio milers in my day.  Each of them a fine 4:0x runner, tantalizingly close to the "barrier" we all know and love.  Barrier buster Larry Mangan arrived at PSU from high school and went from the fastest high school miler in PA to the second fastest person in his dorm room with Tom Rapp having better credentials from that other state.  Tom has gone on to become a very successful high school coach in the far reaches of the enchanted land of Ohio.

The high school credentials of Alan Scharsu were among the best all-time, and he went on to spearhead some of the best teams PSU has ever had.  I once saw him run a 4:0x mile in 9 degrees on a track that was seemingly 20 laps to the mile.  Tough little hombre.

But Lancaster, Ohio has given PSU a trio of worthy middle distance stars.  Leading the pack was John Zishka, another 4:0x miler who gave the PSU teams he was on incredible depth.  John is again in Lancaster, where he is helping to coach his daughter.

Next from Lancaster was our beloved Founder Clark Haley.  Still another 4:0x miler, Clark succombed to the pressure and ran distances longer than a mile , even becoming # 1 man on the Cross Country team.  The kind of runner Coach Groves loved best. Although I'm not sure I've ever seen Clark drink water....

Now, the Lancaster, Ohio connection is back.  Next year's class of athletes includes Brannon Kidder.  Brannon's credentials include bests of 1:51 at 800 M and 4:06 in the Mile.  He should fit right in with Coach Sullivan's and Coach Gondak's middle distance contingent.

I'm looking forward to more PSU is 800 U!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Get a Jump on Things

Why don't you take after Hanif Johnson and get a jump on things (or a hop, skip and a jump!) and reserve your room for the 11th Annual Coach Harry Groves Golf Outing and Reunion!  A block of rooms at the Hampton Inn has been reserved again at the great rate of $95/night.  These are on a first come/first served basis.  The rate will be in effect until 4/20 or until they are all gone. Call 814-231-1590 and be sure to use the code PST to ensure the best rate.  The Idiot Officers of our group really want to see you there!

Monday Blues/Founder News

Asleep on the Bench (from 2006).  Mondays are hard...

But on the good side of things, we did get word from Founder and Keeper of the Beer Clark Haley on the upcoming 11th Annual Coach Harry Groves Golf Outing and Reunion:

Hello Everyone,
I just wanted to send a friendly reminder to everyone that yes, we are still on this year and
that we are exactly three months away.  I'm not sure if any of you have heard, but last fall Harry, Dave, and I had a meeting with Beth and members of the NLC to discuss this year's event.  Beth wants to expand this gathering to include the current athletes and the women (she obviously would have more success at this than I, or any of us for that matter) and has invited the NLC to coordinate the planning. That planning will include a happy hour gathering on Friday night (proposed site, Nittany Lion Inn - Cash Bar), Golf on Saturday morning with other "family"events being planned that afternoon, and a buffet dinner at the indoor track facility on Saturday night.  Sunday, a possible photo op at the Nittany Lion Shrine...

  The NLC through, the Track Program, is to release some type of flyer naming the events and costs in the upcoming days.
The golf outing remains intact - the name of the event WILL NEVER CHANGE and the fun will continue.
Hope this memo finds you all well, and hope to see you in May !

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sign the Petition to Save Millersville Mens Track and Cross Country

If you are so inclined, sign the petition to let the powers-that-be know that keeping Womens Track and Cross Country while eliminating the Mens Programs is the wrong way to achieve fiscal responsibility.  News Story Here.

Warning: Video contains the s-word.

Five Sigmas is a Steep Hill to Climb*

Physicists decided fairly recently that 5 Sigmas (5 standard deviations, or roughly 1 in 1 million.) of certainty are needed to make a "discovery".  Which makes it certain that no matter what the evidence acquired at the Tevatron in past years won't be enough to claim the finding of the particle that gives mass to the Universe.  The Higgs particle will become the sole find of Europe's Supercollider, most likely in early 2013.

But the continued work on past experiments at the Tevatron will soon have an airing of something "interesting".  Which means that they will have probably detected the Higgs last year to within at least 3 Sigmas (possibly 4?), which would have been accepted by Physicists early in the last Century.

I'm calling it a European Conspiracy.  They stole the Higgs!

*None of this will be confirmed by anyone with real knowledge of Physics.  It's the conjecture of a "B" student of the discipline.  I'm a better golfer and writer than I am a Physicist!  But you did learn something about Sigmas.  Now get out for your run!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

'Chust Do It* (and Throw One on the Barbie for Ryan Foster)

*As the Amish would say, if they ran in orange shoes! (And they do!)

Ryan Foster returned to form today in his home country at the Sydney Track Classic.  His 1500M time of 3:40.39 is the equivalent of a 3:57.8  mile according to the IAAF scoring tables.  Following his recent virus infection, his upside is now quite favorable.  Full speed ahead, Ryan.

And if you are like me, there just isn't enough time in the day to get much done for yourself.  That means time for running is certainly at a premium.  Hench the treadmill comes into play.  It can be a great time saver and go-to workout during times of inclement weather. Despite not even counting treadmill miles prior to 1993, most of my miles are now done in front of a TV in my treadmill room. But does it compare to the old-fashioned outside run?

The verdict is, of course, mixed.  But in my mind, doing it is better than not doing it every time.  So 'chust do it.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Running Silent

Swiss scientists are thinking about launching some "janitor" satellites to help clean up the growing amount of junk orbiting our planet.  Which makes me think back to a great movie from 1972 called Silent Running.  The movie was about the Earth's plants being put on spaceships to preserve them for the future because the Earth could no longer support them.  It starred Bruce Dern, a long time runner who once ran for the University of Pennsylvania in the 1950's.

 I went to the University of Pennsylvania, which was probably a big mistake. But my coach was an excellent decathlete Olympian and the guy who was really an influence of me was ... He was terrific. In those days freshmen could not compete in varsity meets. I did well in track my freshman year, although I didn't run any faster as a freshman in college than I did as a senior in high school. This bothered me. And I trained hard. I did everything right. Interval training, I ran tremendous interval workouts that were extraordinary things: 10 quarters in 62 seconds with just a quarter-mile jog. People said, "My god, he was the miler." I was in love with the half-mile. It was a metaphor of life for me: everyone stays together for the first half and then you make your mark and go away.

... Those indoor relay meets, like the Boston Games, the Philadelphia Inquirer Games, the Washington Post Games, you know you go and run in these relay meets, put on by newspapers, we had a good two-mile relay team. And I ran in them. And in both meets, the people were chanting at me, "Go Elvis go." And I held my own. Then, after holding my own, the Monday after the second meet, Ken Daugherty, the coach, comes up to me and he says to me, "I want you to go home, and when you come to practice tomorrow, I want you to cut the sideburns off because you're not going to run for this college lookin' like that. We're a team here and you're trying to be some kind of an individual." And I said, "You're kidding me." He said, "No." And he said, "I have the school's backing on this." And I said, "I'm outta here." And I never saw him again. I left college that day.

In Silent Running, when the decision is made to destroy the spaceships and all the plants to save money, Bruce steals his ship and goes rogue.  I think he even has a scene in the film where he goes for a run amongst the plants.  His only companions on the ship are three robots Huey, Dewey and Louie (soon only two) who are the janitors programmed to run the ship and clean up the messes.  Funny how real life is finally catching up to 1972!

Here's another movie with Bruce Dern about the Dipsea Race.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Remember The Titan Runners

A great tradition has been renewed with the next splendid class of PSU recruits to the Cross Country and Track teams.  That's over and above the PSU is 800 U solidification evident in the class.

Recruit Zavon Watkins leaps into the breach of distance runners/football stars, (Yeah, I said distance runners and football stars!) leftover from the days of Jeff Adkins and Rick Garcia.  I had the pleasure to run with (well, behind!) Jeff and Rick.

Jeff's post-college running exploits have been covered here before, so check them out here! He also won the West Virginia High School Football State Title and the West Virginia State High School Cross Country Title on back-to-back days before matriculating at PSU. He was a top member of 3 NCAA Top 4 teams while achieving his degree.

Rick Garcia also played quarterback on a rather good team in suburban Washington DC!
Now Zavon brings his own Pigskin resume to PSU's middle distance corps next year.

Silly Stuff To Think About Prior to the Big Ten Indoor Championships

That's George Patton peeing in the Rhine River after his military march across France.  He put it this way:

"I drove to the Rhine River and went across on the pontoon bridge. I stopped in the middle to take a p*ss and then picked up some dirt on the far side in emulation of William the Conqueror." General George S. Patton, March 1945

But did you know that George Patton was an Olympian and a fairly good cross country runner?

Not only was George S. Patton a badass general who strangled Hitler with his own belt (If I remember my history correctly and I think I do.) he was a bona fide Olympic athlete. And not just any athlete, but a pentathlete. That means he competed in five different events in one race. Take that, you pansy Triathletes. During the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, Patton finished fifth overall in the Pentathlon. He placed 20th in shooting, 7th out of 37 in the 300 Meter freestyle swimming, 4th in fencing, 6th in the cross-country steeplechase, and 3rd in the 5 Kilometer footrace. That means that he shot some guns, jumped in the water, swam faster than a bunch of Eurotrash, got out of the water, fought a dude with a sword, jumped on a horse and did some tricks before running a 5K. He then kept running all the way to Berlin where, as I said, he strangled Hitler with his own belt. Now that’s an Olympian. And that’s why, for badassery on the field of battle and on the field of play, General George S. Patton is number one on this list.
And if you are recovering from injury and want to train at a distance running altitude enclave, there are few places as fine as Kunming, China.  That's where my adopted Chinese daughter is from.  It's a place where the women are tall, beautiful and extremely intelligent.  It's also at more than 8,000 feet altitude with a temperature that varies between 40 degrees and 80 degrees year-round.  Just south of the culinary home of Kung Pao Chicken, the Yunnan Province is also quite fond of spicy delicasies.

And here's a photo of the real Adidas Spiders!

Suede goodness, in a color reminiscent of vomit!  These guys molded to the shape of your foot with wear and sometimes actually fused to your foot in a parasitic fashion.  Those were the days!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Millersville Eliminates Mens Indoor/Outdoor Track and Cross Country

The Women's Programs will continue.  It's a familiar story and a very sad one indeed.  It will be happening more and more in the near future.  We all know the causes...

Just yesterday my daughter said to me "Look at how many more womens teams than mens teams there are at X University." with X being the latest brochure of colleges looking to entice her into giving $50,000/year to attend.

There will no more Cinderella Stories like James Carney's trek from Millersville to PSU to Professional stardom.  "Don't get me started!  And get off of my lawn!"

The Year of the Quark

"Cap'n, I don't think there's any more power to give!"
-Montgomery Scott, USS Enterprise

The powers-that-be in Switzerland at CERN have decided to ramp up the power in the final quest to uncover the Higgs boson.  That is despite the fact that it has probably already been found!   It's like discovering the 999,995th gold coin known to be on the Titanic before announcing that the Titanic had been found.  The first 900,000 might have been enough of a hint, except for those persistent, pesky Particle Physicists!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A True WORLD Record: And The Real Cat Agenda

Seven Marathons in five days on all Seven Continents!  Richard Donovan from Ireland is one determined dude. He finished in Sydney and commented that it was difficult.  Ya think?  He relates the jet lag, travel time and wide swings in temperature were the worst parts.  And oh yeah, the seven marathons might have been a little trouble.

I had a professor at Pod. School who ran in the first "Official" Antarctica Marathon back in the 70's, which was mostly on ice and a rather flat, boring affair. They even had a little paved roadway in the 5-loop course.  The event has really taken off in recent years due to the advertisement by the "All 7 Continent Marathon Crowd" (There are well over 300 members now.) Here's One, and if that isn't enough here's a more extreme one.

And I had a good response to my post on cats.  Turns out that their agenda is way more sinister than we all thought.  They are taking over our brains!!!!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Things I've Learned From Cats

1. Just give them time. Humans always give up eventually.

2. Let them think they own you. It helps to keep them cleaning out our litter boxes.

3. The proper number of litter boxes = Number of cats + 1.

4.  Even if you like what you're being fed, act finiky anyway.  They kind of respect that.

5.  Sprint outside once in a while when they open a door.  Just to see if they still care.

6.  There is no place in the entire house we can't get to with a little craziness and/or some catnip.

7.  Jump into any new bag or box immediately.  They expect that from us.

8.  Purr once in a while even if you don't mean it.  Keeps the men from turning on us.

9.  Never, ever let them know that we understand their language completely.  It will ruin the fun.

10.  Act like you don't care about the pet mice or birds.  Eventually they'll let their guard down.

Alumni Are Active All Around

1.  Tyler McCandless won the Iwaki Sunshine Marathon in Japan over the weekend.  Tough conditions and a challenging course, just like the Japanese like them. Get a glimpse of his finish in this video.

2.  Fawn Dorr placed third in the Millrose Games 400 M with a season best.

Watch more videos on Flotrack

3. Ryan Whiting won the Shot Put at the USATF Meet at Arkansas to take the lead in the overall Championship Point Race.

4. Group Friend Walt Chadwick supplied a great photo (by Jeff Johnson) for a LetsRun Memorial of Nike's third-ever employee Geoff Hollister. I bought many pairs of running shoes out of the trunk of a car, just as Geoff originally marketed the original Nike's from Blue Ribbon Sports. RIP

5. Ryan Foster will lace up the spikes representing Tasmania (and PSU Alumni!) against Craig Mottram in the 1500 M at the Sydney Classic

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Old Spikes Stir Memories on Facebook

Paula Froke brought the topic up on our Facebook Site.  (Why not sign up?  You know you want to!) She couldn't remember the name of them at the time.  Brian Boyer, Official Physicist showed everyone he's not just a brainiac and good looking, but a memory whiz besides.  He knew they were called Titans.

Chief Laundry and Morale Officer Larry Mangan fondly remembers the Spiders we both sported in those glorious years.  Puke Green Suede beauties they were.  At least until Don Ziter tore mine up (along with taking off my big toenail!) in a cross country race on the Blue Course.  The hole and blood marks persist until this day.

Googling Adidas Spiders only landed me some Ebay versions of the new-fangled ones for sale by enterprising Britons. Somehow they took away the beauty of them by removing the suede and making them neon green.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


Congrats Robbie Creese!  And yeah, everybody, it counts!

Watch more video of 2012 Flotrack Husky Classic on flotrack.org

Additional Mile News: Zavon Watkins of Liverpool NY wins the Boys Mile at the Millrose Games at the Armory in 4:13.83 . Zavon has committed to PSU for next year.

And does anyone know the record for number of men running sub-4 on the same day? There were 8 at Millrose, several at the Tyson Invitational and 2 at the Husky Classic. I'm sure there were others across the nation. The Mile is back!

Friday, February 10, 2012


There are 3 different indoor meets this weekend for the Nittany Lions.  There's nothing quite like choices in life.

It's been nearly 4 years since I started the blog to bring awareness to the Annual Coach Harry Groves Golf Tournament and Reunion.  Things have changed some over that time, but the goals are still the same.  I've made hundreds of acquaintances and dozens of friends in that time, and only 3 enemies.  I consider that somewhat of a miracle, and always look to doing even better in the future.  Thanks for your viewership, anonymous comments or just general lurking!

Today's contest  is to name both of the cars good friend Phil Passen got to choose from on his recent foray to Dubai.  He's looking sharp with either one!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Should Records Count On 300 M Indoor Tracks?

I personally believe they shouldn't, although I sure would have loved to run on one back in the day.  And you can bet I would count my PR on it if I happened to run one.  My problem with it is how it shuts out otherwise equivalent (or better?) performances run on 200M Tracks, banked or unbanked.  Despite the hassles, a conversion factor should be adopted in Div I like in the other Divisions, although I will not volunteer to come up with one.  The arguments and death threats one would encounter from obsessives and others would be more than anyone could tolerate. That is even before introducing the lack of curbs, exact placement of cones and every other way of compounding the problem. It seems fairly simple to me; a larger track gives a distinct advantage. Luckily, qualifying can occur only on tracks limited to 300 M indoors now, so we won't see any 400 M tracks any time soon.

What are your opinions of the matter?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

"Bring Back the Mile" Gaining Steam!

"America's Distance" is now on the front burner of a lot of Track and Field fans.  There is now a petition to make the distance a staple of State High School Championships again.

Which gives me this opportunity to bring you a chronological listing of all Americans to break the 4:00 barrier for the first time!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I'm Never Going to Argue With Someone Wanting to Play Through Again

As we prepare for the 11th Annual Coach Harry Groves Golf Tournament, we must keep in mind the rules of our tournament.  Other than the Marquess of Queensbury Rules* decorum and chivalry rule the day with our group. Unlike the fight that broke out between these two groups when someone decided to argue about slow play.

Does anyone know any of these Cross Country Hooligans fighting on the Blue course?

* Rule #13 -- Any disputes of the rules shall be judged by Coach Groves or a representative of the group appointed by Coach Groves. Those disputing the rules shall be belittled and impugned by the whole group and shall forfeit all rights and privileges bestowed by The Keeper of the Beer.

Most Interesting Week of Indoor Season

The PSU squads split into three this week and scatter across the country, quite literally,  The middle distance and distance stars head all the way to the oversized track at Washington.  

The other disciplines will split even further, with some heading to the Tyson Invitational in Arkansas and others heading to the Akron Invitational.

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Non-Physics Science Post: or All Men Secretly Want a Pet Monkey

They have finally gotten around to creating Chimeric Monkeys.  That is, monkeys with more than 2 parents.  At PSU in the initial stages of the Chimera Age, we worked with mice chimeras, some with as many as 4 parents (8 grandparents).  I even had one as a pet for 2 years after college.  He was a beauty, with 4 different coat colors in a very nice checkerboard covering his body. He lived a long and healthy life, jogging every day until the very end.  Something tells me human chimeras will have a little harder time of it.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


When Robbie Creese opened his 2012 season with a Collegiate Record in the 1,000 M (2:19.6), everyone was wondering how he would back it up.  And back it up he has, with a couple of nearly as spectacular efforts at other distances, all three being large PRs, (I refuse to use the politically correct and more accurate PB!).

According to the IAAF Scoring Tables, the 1,000 M record was worth a whooping 1149 points.  More surprising to me was that each of his next 2 major efforts in the 800 M (1:48.6) and Mile (4:00.6) are each worth the same 1121 points.  To have the lowest point total in any race as a Freshaman of 1121, is an accomplishment few Nittany Lions could have mustered???

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Coach Groves' Top Team?

Finally, I hunted down the photo of the 1979 Penn State Mens Cross Country Team.  Coach Groves called this team his finest, and their third place effort in the NCAA Championships garnered them a lower point total than any other team under his tuteledge.

The top scorers on the team were, in no particular order, Alan Scharsu, Rick Garcia, Jeff Adkins, Larry Mangan, Tom Rapp and John Ziegler.  The rest were all great "Seventh Man" on the team.

Former "7th Man" Mark Hawkins again bettered his Over-50 PR at the Sykes-Sabock Challenge NVTC Open Mile with a 5:12.52! 

Friday, February 3, 2012

A Number of Updates With Two Hours of Silliness

First, a few topics for the nerds out there (like me!).

  1. The Tevatron is still kicking! 
  2. Here's the original Star Wars, redone in 15 second pieces of fan submitted crowdsourcing.  Enjoy!  Beware, video is over 2 hours long.
And now for some track related stuff:

     3.  The Sykes-Sabock Challenge at PSU's Indoor Complex this weekend will include a few Ability Athletics competitions as a joint venture between Penn State and the US Army and US Navy.

     4.  Robbie Creese got a mention in Sports Illustrated's Faces in the Crowd this week.

     5.  A school actually added Mens Track (back)  to its program recently.  Way to go Bradley University!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

(Shot) Putting On The Ritz

For the second straight year, Ryan Whiting, PSU's adopted shot putter via Arizona State, surpassed the rest of the field in Madison Square Garden to take victory in a special event.  He'll have to be made the favorite one of these years!

Also at the event was Mark "The Hammer" Heckel as an official for the event and Paul "Velveteen Playboy" Souza.

Ryan neared the 70 foot barrier and looked more comfortable in the circle than any of the four in the early season competition.  Maybe Mark can let me know if there are differences in the indoor and outdoor circles?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Group Grows Even Faster

A few of the Alumni made it to the Track to be recognized by Coach Sullivan, Coach Groves and Coach Lucas during a break in the action at the Penn State National this past weekend.  Joining in on the fun and formally announcing his application to the group was John McGraw with a splendid 5:22 Mile on Friday night.  We are hard at work trying to get him an Alumni Singlet and possibly some orange shoes for his next race.  John just recently returned to State College as a researcher and we'll be seeing a lot more of him!  That's John with the light blue shirt in Artie Gilkes' pic.
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