Sign Up Now!

Sign up for the various activities of the 16th Annual Penn State Track and Field (and XC) Alumni activities now!

1. Whole package $175
2. Recent graduate rate (2011-2016) $125
3. Friday night reception $35
4. Saturday Awards Dinner $55
5. Those under 18 $10 for (Friday and Saturday)
6. Golf only $100 ($150 for golf and dinner Saturday)

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sport or Not a Sport?

  1. Any sport that has Communist Judges as the final rulers of place, regardless of what has just taken place.  Not a Sport.
  2. Any sport that has hair glitter as a near-requirement.  Not a Sport.
  3. Any sport where animals do the bulk of the work.  Not a Sport.
  4. Any sport where music is integral to the event.  Not a Sport.
  5. Any sport where a participants "personality" is immensely important to the outcome.  Not a Sport.
  6. Any sport where half the participants have prescriptions for medications only 1 or 2% of the normal population take.  Not a Sport.
  7. Any sport that is what others call a board-game. Not a Sport.
  8. Any sport using kids bikes. Not a Sport.
  9. Any sport using artistic ribbons Not a Sport.
  10. Any sport using playing cardsNot a Sport.
  11. Any sport normally performed in a bar, or which could be adequately performed while holding a beer.  Not a Sport.
  12. Any sport where being under 13 years-old is not a hindrance to performance.  Not a Sport.
  13. Any sport in which the most important feature is the skimpiness of the uniform.  Not a Sport.
  14. Any sport played in a kid's sand-box.  Not a Sport.
  15. Any sport most often played as a diversion from a Fourth of July picnic or a family reunion.  Not A Sport.

A More Refined Olympic/PSU Schedule!*

Times are East Coast USA times.


8/3 Friday  5:00:00 AM M Shot Put Qualification  Ryan Whiting (USA)
8/3 Friday  7:00:00 AM W 400 Metres Heats Shana Cox (Great Britain)
8/3 Friday  3:30:00 PM M Shot Put Final
8/4 Saturday  6:35:00 AM W 3000 Metres Steeplechase Heats Bridget Franek USA)
8/4 Saturday  3:05:00 PM W 400 Metres Semi-Final
8/5 Sunday  4:10:00 PM W 400 Metres Final
8/6 Monday  2:20:00 PM W 200 Metres Heats Kirsten Niewendam (Suriname)
8/6 Monday  4:05:00 PM W 3000 Metres Steeplechase Final
8/7 Tuesday  3:25:00 PM W 200 Metres Semi-Final
8/8 Wednesday  4:00:00 PM W 200 Metres Final
8/10 Friday  2:10:00 PM W 4x400 Metres Relay Heats Dominique Blake (Jamaica), Shana Cox (Great Britain)
8/11 Saturday  3:25:00 PM W 4x400 Metres Relay Final

*A service of the voluminous fact-checkers at your favorite Track and Field/Physics Blog!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Records Are Made to be Broken

An interactive graphic representation of the history of a few track and swimming events at the Olympic Games.  Linked from Slate Magazine (Yeah, I know!  What's up with that?)

Watch Bob Beamon outjump Carl Lewis over and over again!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

John Lucas's Olympic Streak Ends

With the recent diagnosis of Alzheimer's Dementia, Dr. John Lucas has relocated to Missouri, near his son.  I'm glad we had the opportunity at the 2011 Reunion to honor Coach Lucas and hear his top Olympic moments.


Coach Lucas has been to every Olympics Games since 1960, and holds the Olympic Order as the North American Olympic Historian.  His archives are now hosted at PSU.

He also had the opportunity to run on every Olympic track since 1960, ending when the Chinese authorities said "No" four years ago.  He even recently received his authorization to attend this years London Olympics.  Sadly, he can't go.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Wear the Ring: An Anonymous Submission



         Wear the ring.
A couple of years ago at an alumni team reception, I was talking with a teammate. It was the usual chit-chat, but we each noticed that we were wearing our
letterman rings. He said he never takes his off. I have a few times (when I
was delving into the guts of computer), but I wear it proudly each day. The ring
symbolizes the never ending bond that we have with each other, and with our
fellow athletes. It is a bond that no one can understand, unless you have been
one of us.

Wear the ring.

Penn State is going through a tough stretch, and it will get tougher. But now is
 not the time to throw in the towel, wring our hands and give in. I really like
this quote from “Rocky Balboa” when he’s talking to his son. It says a lot about
 what all Penn Stater’s need to take to heart:

“You stopped being you. You let people stick a finger in your face and tell you
you’re no good. And when things got hard, you started looking for something to
blame. Like a big shadow. Let me tell you something you already know. The world
ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t
care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there
permanently if you let it. You, me or nobody are gonna hit as hard as life, but
it ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about hard you can get hit and still keep
moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how
winning is done. You gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers
saying you ain’t what you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards
do that. And that ain’t you!”

Coach Groves taught us to be responsible men, to take responsibility for our
actions both good and bad. To be a man and not point the finger at others for
our shortcomings. Every Penn Stater needs to remember that.

Wear the ring.

The sanctions on the football team will eventually hurt every athletic team at
Penn State, including the track and cross country teams. As alumni, we need to
be sure that our support is unwavering, that our loyalty to the Penn State that
we know exists in all of us is not hidden or put on a shelf just because of what
 has happened. As Michael Mauti said the other day, one man didn’t build Penn
State, and one man will sure as hell not destroy it.

Wear the ring. 

Wear it proudly for who you are and for what you, and we, have
done as graduates of Penn State. Wear it not with arrogance, but with pride and
humility that we were fortunate enough to be part of something much greater,
much larger than ourselves. Wear it to signify our loyalty to our Coach, not a
reverence or deification, but an honest respect and admiration for a man, a team
 and a legacy that still exists.

Wear the ring.

Friday, July 27, 2012

I Only Have 14,107 Days To Go


My Running Streak continues, but then again, so does Mark Covert's!  He hasn't missed a day since before Aldrin and Armstrong allegedly walked on the moon.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Relaxed and Ready


Ryan Whiting looks ready to take on the world on the first day of Athletics competition at the London Olympics.

And let's not forget that Bridget Franek set two personal bests in the past several weeks, so she's ready too. (9:29 SC and 4:15(?) 1500 M)


Good luck to all 5 Nittany Lion-related athletes!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Schedule of PSU Olympian's First Appearance at the Games

Olympic Games Friday, August 3   Prelims and Finals for Ryan Whiting in the Shot Put. Prelims in the 200M for Kirsten Niewendam (Suriname) in the 200 M.  Prelims in the 400 M for Shana Cox, (Great Britain).
Qualifying rounds from Day 1 of Track & Field.
10:00am - 10:30am on NBC

More qualifying rounds from Day 1 of Track & Field.
11:30am - 12:00pm on NBC

A gold medal is on the line in the women's 10,000m final.
4:30pm - 5:00pm on NBC

Olympic Games Saturday, August 4  Prelims for
Bridget Franek in the 3000 M SC.
Qualifying-round action in Track & Field includes the men's 100m and 400m and women's pole vault.
11:15am - 11:45am on NBC

More qualifying-round action in Track & Field.
1:30pm - 2:00pm on NBC



Olympic Games Tuesday, August 7   Heats for 4 x 400 M Relay for  Dominique Blake (Jamaica) and Shana Cox (Great Britain)
Qualifying round in Track & Field, including the men's 110m hurdles and 200m, and the women's 5000m.
10:00am - 10:30am on NBC

More qualifying round in Track & Field, including the men's 110m hurdles and 200m, and the women's 5000m.
11:45am - 12:00pm on NBC

More qualifying rounds in Track & Field, including the men's 110m hurdles and 200m, and the women's 5000m.
12:30pm - 1:00pm on NBC

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Moment of Zen

* Stolen from Elaine LaFramboise Pino.

Unrelated Good News

  1. Penn State lead the nation in graduation rate of football players.  More importantly, the graduation rate of African-American athletes and White athletes show absolutely no difference. Not many institutions even come close.
  2. Hang in there for 20 more years and you may live foreverThe Singularity has long been a favorite thought exercise for me.
  3. Mike Pfaff has top billing in the movie Catch Me Now.

Catch Me Now Trailer from Alexandra Manea on Vimeo.

    4.  Penn State Track and Field and Cross Country (and Our Group) stand ready to do what is necessary to make Penn State the Institution that can again claim the "Success with Honor" mantle.
Coach Beth Alford-Sullivan's Statement on today's NCAA sanctions:

To All  Penn State Track and Field/Cross Country Team Members, Alumni, Fans, and Friends –


The results of today’s NCAA sanctions on the Penn State football program and Penn State University have a significant impact on the university and athletic department.  Although, these may be interpreted as harsh and severe, one must remember the issues that have brought us to this point.  After lengthy departmental meetings today, I am confident in Penn State’s ability to turn the page and move forward. Support for our program of track and field and cross country will be maintained at the high level we know to keep us competitive within the Big Ten and NCAA.  This was demonstrated to the coaches through President Emmert and the Penn State athletic and university leadership.

I am confident that in lieu of these penalties, positive change and great success will be achieved.

All of us must interpret and digest the events of the last eight months, but as a unit, we must choose to move forward in a positive and productive manner.  I ask from each of you to stay the course and believe our best is yet to come.  I have been and continue to be honored to serve at this fine institution and this amazing athletic department and this outstanding track and field/cross country program.

We Are … And We Will.


Beth Alford-Sullivan
Director and Head Coach
Penn State Men’s and Women’s
Track and Field/Cross Country


Jess Riden
Director of Operations
Track and Field/Cross Country
Penn State University
147 Bryce Jordan Center

Monday, July 23, 2012

Oops! Olympic Fail

"Why do you have the Chinese symbol for 'soup' tattooed on your buttocks?"
-Sheldon Cooper to Penny on The Big Bang Theory.



Two Foons and a Spork: My Attempt at Cheering Up Nittany Nation

Let's try to take our minds off the NCAA mess and think about the things in life that are really important. Like whether to call that camping implement a Spork or a Foon! I have several of both, so I guess I'm as good of an expert on the topic as any you'll find. It seems like they are exactly the same thing, like tomato and to-mah-to, so to speak.


Here's part of my collection.

  1. The spork on the left is an "official" Star Trek limited-edition spork used in the cafeteria of the USS Enterprise. This is made of titanium, the nerd of metals.
  2. In the center is a "Kung Foon", a combination of chopsticks and a foon.  This is handy if you need a long utensil to stir a pouch of freeze-dried camping food. This is also made of titanium.
  3. This is a telescoping plastic foon. I keep it in my car for emergencies.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Don't Believe Everything You Read


For years it has been promulgated by the British Press that there was a very personal hatred between British middle-distance greats Steve Ovett and Sebastian Coe. There's even a movie about the whole thing. Not only did they each beat the other in their competitor's favorite distance, but they also took world records away from each other. One from a privileged background and the other from the hardscrabble British underclass.  It does make for a great story, even if a lot of it is hogwash.

Steve Ovett recently commented for the first time about how he really feels about SebCoe.


Here's a nice video of "the perfect performance".

Here's a great video of the 1980 Olympic 800 M Final:


Saturday, July 21, 2012

There's a Seinfeld Episode For Nearly Every Situation

Uromycytisis Poisoning. (alternate spelling Uromysitisis)  (definition Here) It seems it has spread to London and Congress.  Make sure to pick up your other yellow awareness ribbon* at the next Golf Outing to help make people aware.



Together, we can beat this scourge.


*Not affiliated with any real disease.  Awareness Ribbon Colors Meanings Here.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Golden Putter Brings Record to Holder!

Horace the Golden Putter is the prize for the longest putt on the 18th Green at the Coach Harry Groves Golf Tournament every year.  The winner gets the use of the gilded implement for the whole year.*

This year Dennis Hendershot was the (lucky?) recipient.  He is the father of PSU's vertical specialist Jon Hendershot.  Dennis happens to be left-handed, a situation I had never expected when I purchased the beauty.  Hence, Dennis thought he would never actually get to use it.**

BUT, then he had something miraculous happen!

He was finishing his greatest round ever***, and was able to "turn the other cheek" as it were and use the putter to sink the penultimate gimmee to seal his personal record!


* Except for Jeff Sanden who actually held the Golden Putter for 15 total seconds.  Sorry, Jeff.
** See above.
*** Details available only for donations of $100 or more on the right side bar! (Your secret is safe with me, Dennis!)

Harrisburg Mile Loaded With Group Members Both "Old" and "New"

The Annual Harrisburg Mile was held recently and, of course, our intrepid Fuller Family was there for all the action.  This year the race was won by Ryan Blood, the son of Rick Blood a fellow high school runner friend of mine from back in the day.  Ryan has also been recruited to join the 1,000 Mile Relay World Record Attempt next month.  Welcome to the Lion Family!  Can you golf?





Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Few Unsolicited Mini-Rants

  1. You can't get a drink with a single flavor nowadays.  Everything has to have at least 2 flavors.  Most often something normal paired with acai-berry or pomegranate. Good luck finding grape juice if you are in a hurry. Acai-berry and pomegranate must taste horrible on their own.
  2. All today's cooking shows have to have severe time constraints, billionaire chefs, and someone must be either eliminated or killed at the end of the show.  Whatever happened to shows like "The Cajun Chef" who wore dungarees, cooked, told stupid stories and made your mouth water?
  3. What happened to the time when you could buy things at a store with actual money and just take it home?  Now you must supply all your personal information, pay by electronic means and either have it shipped to you or pick it up later.
  4. I'm seemingly the only person on Earth without tattoos, piercings or jewelry and yet all the others keep telling me about expressing their individuality.
  5. I have run a lot of miles in my life but it keeps coming back to me that my grandmother used to say, "But you're still here?"   And then she would feed me because I was too skinny!
  6. Supermarkets are 10 times larger than they used to be, but people only buy 1/10 as much stuff each trip and there is only 1 skinny door to let people in and out.  There are also no windows anymore.  The same principles must apply to both casinos and supermarkets.
  7. All foods must be paired with guacamole today.  Avacados are the pomegranate of solid foods.

Getting Prepared For the Olympics

In my case that involves making sure my Cable bill is paid and that my chair is in working order.  But several Penn Staters, including  our adopted Big Man have a little more to do.  My appreciation for Ryan Whiting has grown consistently since he came to Happy Valley, and it has been elevated even more since I saw this posted on Facebook.


Ryan is sending this singlet from his indoor victory at the Indoor IAAF Championships and his "number" from the recent Olympic Trials to a young boy fighting leukemia.  I salute you Ryan!

And my daughters' favorite PSU distance runner Bridget Franek is in rainy England preparing for her Steeplechase race.  Her recent personal record of under 9:30 shows she is ready.  Good luck Bridget!  Here's a recent article from the CDT highlighting Bridget's career.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Nature Attacks!

First it was my Bear Story.  Then it was Ryan Foster's CSI Story.  But now it seems all of Mother Nature is after us.

  • Woman gets rabies from a Deer kick.

  • Beaver attacks swimmers! Possibly rabid!

And last and least, I have my first ever case of poison ivy from being forced off the road during my Colyer Lake Run by a crazed youth joyriding with his father's car!  Leaves of three, give the finger to he.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Harold Abrahams, Olympic Gold (and Sub-4 Timer!)

Harold Abrahams was the timer at Roger Bannister's Sub-4 Mile.  Harold was the runner depicted in the movie "Chariots of Fire" who used the Italian professional coach, Sam Mussibini.  He was victorious in the 1924 London Olympic 100 M.





He subsequently was a commentator for the BBC and a noted Olympic historian, in addition to timing that memorable race.


Happy Valley Rituals

Each of us has our quirky rituals we must do or see whenever we return to State College for whatever reason.  Some have been ingrained in us since childhood let alone our college days.

Many travel directly to the Berkey Creamery for a cone and end their trip with a purchase of a couple of half gallons with dry ice for the ride home.  Others simply must have a Diner Sticky at some point during the trip.  My own family has a few really quirky habits that you probably never heard of.

  1. I always have a celebratory bag of Middleswarth BBQ Potato Chips, and sometimes several.  It is my greatest vice nowadays, so I consider myself lucky.  The rest of the family usually has their own bag too.
  2. We travel to Bellfonte to feed the ducks, trout and carp at Tallyrand Park.  They also have a Chinese Buffet there that is quite good with a DQ right next door.  Not a bad combo.
  3. When I go to the Arts Festival, I always buy a little trinket to remember it.  This year I was intrigued by the wood items made from the PSU Elm trees damaged in the 1995 and 1996 storms.  But as the rockers "started" at $2200, I settled for a Shaker Box for dispensing stamps.  Pretty cool anyway.

And this time I found a different brand of potato chips which were introduced to me by Mark Haywood.  These aren't available at too many places but they sure are delicious.


What are some of your Happy Valley indulgences?

Monday, July 16, 2012

"Hair, Nature's Greatest Miracle!" -Homer J. Simpson.


Paul Souza at the All Sports Museum with a "before" photo of himself.  Also seen are Greg Fredericks and next year's PSU Track Alumni Golfer invitee, Mike Sands.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

My Attempt at Being A Music Critic


My musical knowledge is about the same as most politician's knowledge of anything.  Practically nil.  But I know it when I see it!

Paul Souza and the Velveteen Playboys came to State College as the headline band for the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.  They played before a large crowd seated on the Old Main lawn on a glorious evening, with a set-up that was nearly perfect.  Watching them set-up, it struck me as to how hard all of that has to be.  And the actual show has to be a workout for Paul that far surpasses any workout in his high-jumping days!




There were many Penn State Track and Field Alumni Golfers in the crowd.  Our family was joined by Larry Mangan, Bob Hudson, Tom Kleban, Coach Sullivan, Jess Riden and  others I didn't get to talk to because it was waaaaay past my bedtime. I had to leave soon after the show was over so as to not turn into a pumpkin.

My official photographer and videographer was my daughter Anne.  She took hundreds of photos and numerous videos.  I took some too, but almost none of them came out.  Anyone paying attention to this blog knows my visual arts acumen corresponds to my auditory arts acumen.

I saw Paul on College Avenue the next afternoon and he seemed to be having a good time.  I'm sure he was inundated with advice as to attending our Reunion next year!


Here's a little snippet of the action, with a solo from The Playboy's saxophonist Robert Gay and then an introduction of lead singer Paul Souza.  I think this constitutes Fair Use!  Be sure to visit their web site and purchase their CD or DVD (I have 2 of each!).

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Colyer Lake Loop Conquered After 29 Years!

A monumental effort was applied as I put on my blues and greys (really) and headed out to tackle the mountain run at Colyer Lake.

The last time I had run there was 1983 when I took a podiatry school classmate to the Brown Football game.  He was duly impressed with the beauty of the run, as well as the length!

Before any of you get impressed, I merely ran a mile and a half portion of it out and back.  Not much.  But I didn't see you there either!

Paul Souza Welcomed Home

The Velveteen Playboys rolled into Happy Valley and were welcomed  by a large contingent of PSU Track Alumni Golfers.

The show kept me up waaaaay past my normal  bedtime,  but I have nary a complaint!  The band is better than any  I have followed, including my days in the early 80s following the Hooters.  They made it big and I have no doubt the Playboys will too.

Every band member is top-notch, with a saxophonist that makes you practically weep with joy.  And in front of it all is our very own crooner Paul Souza belting out every type of tune you can imagine.

I'll have photos and videos galore when I make it back to the real world on Sunday.

Friday, July 13, 2012

I Never Saw So Many Sad People!

I'm here safely ensconced at a campsite at Seven Mountains, and even here the mood is morose.

Buck up everybody!  Never before have you had more power to do good for your alma mater.  Just do the right thing when you get the opportunity and PSU will become stronger than it ever has been.

I'm soon heading down town soon for the Arts Festival, winding up at Old Main Lawn to see Paul Souza and the Velveteen Playboys at 10 PM.  I hope he realizes I'm never up that late!


Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Note of Hope


It's exactly 2 hours before the Freeh Report will be posted online.  I fully expect there to be horrible news that will rock those Nittany Lions still clinging to naive presumptions of the infallibility of those in charge of things at our beloved institution.

But I have a different take on things.  I see this as the day that each and every one of us in the PSU Track and Field Alumni Golfer Universe has the greatest chance to make a difference in this world. This is Day 1 in a new epoch.  Some of the finest people I have ever met are among us. (And there are many more to meet if our efforts are rewarded.)

Take a moment today, away from the revelations of heinous actions by individuals at PSU, and remember the many glorious things you have seen and done at Dear Ole State.  The solution to the problems Lion Nation faces is within you.

Addendum:  Good News isn't hard to find.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Olympic "Insider" Arranged

My day job will again prevent me from traveling to the 2012 London Olympic Games, but that won't prevent our humble blog from bringing you  photos, stories and maybe even video!  Arrangements have been made with a fellow Penn State Track and Field Alumni (Golfer) to supply exclusive content, even including Singlet Photos!  Our Group's plan for total world domination, (actually just our quest to be the largest and most active track alumni group in the world!) will continue apace.

To Be Revealed!

Anyone else attending the Games can contribute also.  The more the merrier.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What I Did on Summer Vacation, by "Little" Joe Kovacs*


*The post where I risk getting beat to a pulp at some point in the future, when Joe returns from a rather successful trip to Europe!


Dear Teacher,


I really had a fun summer.  I started it by just missing making the Olympic Team!  But I made some friends who took me on a trip to Europe, where everybody speaks crazy languages and pretends not to know English.  I got to heave a heavy metal ball really far, and people applauded me wherever I went.  Even some girls kept looking at me funny.  I am blushing just thinking about it. 


I liked it so much that I plan on getting even better at it, so next time I can make the Olympic Team.  I hear the women really go crazy for you then!

"Little" Joe Kovacs.
Congrats, Joe.  That is some mighty fine performances to cap off your college career.


1,000 Mile Relay Rapidly Approaching

I'll bet Ryan Foster regrets his "great idea" about now!  Just kidding Ryan, I know your heart is in the right place.  The 10 runners are gearing up for the attempt to break the record for a 1,000 mile relay.  They are putting in the miles during this East Coast hot spell.  I think Ryan is running the most miles/week he has ever done, and has even resorted to "doubles", if my spies are correct!

I sent in a humble donation to the effort in the name of our whole group, but you should send one in too.  The Life Back on Track Scholarship is a great idea.  They recently gave out their very first scholarship to a worthy student whose track season was taken away by lymphoma.  She plans on a dual major to become a pharmacist.

You Can Go Home Again!


Seeing that Paul Souza hasn't been at one place for very long in quite a while, coming to Penn State will seem like coming home to him.  He brings his Velveteen Playboys to Happy Valley for the first time ever this weekend.  He will be appearing at the Main Band Shell (I think at Old Main?) at 10:00PM on Friday night at the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.

This intrepid reporter will be there to bring some of it to you!  I have even purchased my daughter a new camera to help capture some still images and videos of the festivities.  Although this blog won't quite be up to the standards of The Rolling Stone, I'll make sure to elevate my game a little to do it all justice.

I may even try to drag Paul out for a jog at some point, if he would be able to go slow enough to keep up with me.  It's funny, as a high jumper back in the day, I don't remember him ever actually running anywhere but on the apron!

This is one of my favorites:

Monday, July 9, 2012

Galen Rupp Breaks Prefontaine's 40 Year-Old Record But Can Only Tie 60 Year-Old Record of PSU Great!

Galen Rupp won the 10000 M and 5000M at the recent Olympic Trials to lead the distance corps of American men to the 2012 London Olympics.  His 5000 M time of 13:22.67 eclipsed the mark set by Steve Prefontaine in the 1972 Trials.  But there was one record Rupp could only tie, and that one was held by PSU's very own Curt Stone.  Curt was the last person to win both races at the Trials prior to his 6th place finish at the 1952 London (oops, Stockholm!)* Olympics not at Wembley Stadium.  Remember, Curt was the astute team member who convinced Horace Ashenfelter III to join the Track team!



* error of my ways pointed out by new blog fact-checker Matt Groves!
 
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