Monday, December 24, 2012

A Mutual Admiration Society

I don't think that either of us knew it at the time, but Larry Mangan and I were extreme admirers of fellow Nittany Lion Greg Fredericks throughout our careers.  I even set the goal of running for PSU because of Greg's exploits.

So at this special time of year, it is important to point out to everyone the special nature of our mutual admiration of Penn State's most worthy alum.

Larry dug up another great photo of Greg at the 1972 NCAA 5000 M finals, where he placed 2nd to Steve Prefontaine. It's already been picked up by the Track Office and others, but I'll post it again just for completeness.  He was also second the year before in the NCAA 3 mile to, you guessed it, Steve Prefontaine!  Not too shabby a place to be, may I add.

That's 40 years ago, and yet Greg's marks in that 5000 M (13:34.0) and another 10000 M race that year are still the Penn State records (28:08).

But running isn't Greg's only strong point.  Greg is also a great person in every other way.  Coach Groves has called him "the finest person he has ever met".  I am pleased to be able to call him a friend, and I'm very happy that he's helped out our group in a myriad of ways.

There's no better way to wish everyone a Merry Christmas than with Walt Chadwick's masterpiece of photo manipulation!

Larry adds some perspective from the 1980 Olympic Trials:

 I remember watching the 1980 Oly Trials 10K and cheering Greg on throughout the race.  He didn’t go out with the leaders, but stayed within striking distance.  Then with about 5 laps to go, he started reeling them in.  When he passed Salazar to move into second with 2 laps left, I was going crazy.  That whole winter/spring period Greg was a regular Monday (10x400) and Wednesday (no specific recall of the Wednesday torture) workout attendee – by attendee I mean taking his share of the workload and ensuring that the recovery was unmercifully short.  It’s no coincidence that ’80 was my best year. 

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