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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)

Friday, August 31, 2012

Wow

95:03:01
Video of their arrival at the track by Matt Groves. I wish I could have been there.  (Matt, I hope that's OK?)

Ryan Foster is an Animal!


As are each and every one of "The Boys".  As I write this, they are arriving at the track with a dozen or so miles to run for the 1,000 total and new World Record! (Take that LR.com trolls!)

Ryan Foster threw down a 4:29 mile for the 980th mile, somewhere near the Airport, I think, so it wasn't downhill.  That would be his 98th mile or so since it all began, just less than 4 days ago.  My hat is off to everyone involved in the whole ordeal.  I can't think of anything that will unite all of us as much as what they have done. I hope to contact each one at some point and have them answer 10 questions for the blog.

I'm pretty sure they have met all their goals, spiritually, financially and otherwise.

And remember guys, the keys to recovery are Ben Gay and Throwback Mountain Dew.  



What It's All About

Here's our group's Director of Fun Teddy Quinn sharing the road with his father finishing up the Life Back on Track Relay on the roads of Pennsylvania.  Another nice touch guys!  You are wearing me out...

Addendum: They keep up the surprises!  The runners will detour to run by the Dare family home in State College.  My respect grows...


And there was also a surprise appearance from The Keeper of the Cup Harry Smith who rode his bike with the team for a stretch near Hudson Ohio.  Also well done, Harry!

Through it all, I'm sure Kevin Dare is beaming like never before and has gathered quite a crowd extolling the virtues of Dear Old State.  If you have not already supported the effort, you can do so now!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

World Records and Bacon Burger Dogs

The "Boys" are on pace to break the world record for a 10 member 1,000 Mile Relay.  The Trolls and Haters finally showed up on a formerly good running web site to question just about everything about the whole endevour.  For the record, the record is recorded at the Publisher of Record, Guinness.

The record for the fastest 1,000 mile relay by a team of ten is 99 hr 3 min 27 sec. It was run by Willie Mtolo, Graham Meyer, Jan van Rooyen, Dimitri Grishine, Daniel Radebe, Pio Mpolokeng, Oliver Kandiero, Frans Moyo, Simon Mele and Philip Molefi (all South Africa) from Cape Town to Johannesburg, South Africa from 14-18 August 2002.
Trolls and PSU haters are less effective when Google can be used in milliseconds to prove them wrong.  Mirth will beat them every time its tried.

Comedian John Pinnette just sent me a photo guaranteed to offend PETA in three delicious ways. 






Yes, that's a turtle made from a hamburger, bacon and hot dogs!  Even Elvis would approve.  Which brings us full circle to another comedian and Penn Relays enthusiast Bill Cosby.







Wednesday, August 29, 2012

My Love For The Big Guys Grows


Here's Joe Kovacs hanging out in Europe with Double Gold-Medalist Tomas Majewski!  He kinda makes Joe look small, but I know better.  I once had the opportunity to be in the same room with Andre The Giant, who may be the only guy I ever met bigger than Tomas.  (Andre was in the middle of a few bottles of wine and a couple of chickens Before his rasslin match in Detroit.)

And The Boys amble onward at about 5:45 pace or so if my math is correct*, approaching the Indiana border before making it to Ohio (High in the middle and round on both ends!).  This is about the time they begin to wonder just what they got themselves into.  Give them a shout of encouragement via the wonder that is social media.  I'll bet they'll appreciate it.

*You all know the perils of that!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Remembering What's Important Isn't Easy


The 10 Heroes are currently "streaking" toward State College.  It gives me great pleasure to see PSU (and Lock Haven!) athletes who know what's important in life.  I'm not one to always recognize the good and right things today's youth happen to be doing.  In a cynical age, it's easy to fall prey to the constant stream of negativity coming from the 24-hour news cycle.

And yet here are 10 "youts" putting their athletic prowess to a very difficult test, but still recognizing that this endevour is about more than themselves.  To begin the whole ordeal, they placed a single rose at the site of Kevin Dare's accident 10 years ago at the University of Minnesota indoor vaulting pit.  I actually teared up seeing the photo, and I never knew Kevin except as part of our Track Alumni extended family.  Well done guys!  I'm proud to say I was one of the first to donate to the cause (in the name of all of us at the blog), and I urge everyone else out there to donate also.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Ten Warriors, Two Shirts

Actually, your donations won't go toward shirts for the other eight, they will go toward the Life Back on Track Scholarship.  That will go to a deserving student each year who has lost Track and Field as an outlet due to severe injury or illness.  That's a rather great idea, whoever came up with it.

The 1,000 Mile Relay is a daunting task, but each of the ten is smiling in the face of it.  I can only compare my experience with the 24-Hour Relay back in 1977, and this seems a little more troublesome.  The logistics alone probably drove Ryan Foster insane (he'll recover!) and made him rue the day that Notre Dame alum Luke Watson dreamed up the idea. (We absolutely never hold the Notre Dame thing against Luke!)

The attempt at the World Record starts today, so good luck to all.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

More Streaking Topics to Drive You Nuts

Fellow Pennsylvanian, World Championships Marathon Bronze Medalist and Olympian (12th at Barcelona) Steve Spence just ran a 4:52.9 mile in Shippensburg, his alma mater.  That would normally be a big deal for a 50 year-old, but it's even better than that.  It's Steve's 37th year in a row with a sub 5 minute mile!  Quite a streak, Steve.  A hat-tip for you from your PSU friends...

And here's a way to keep a running streak alive when you are a frequent traveler.  The Airport Run happens to be the worst of all runs, but sometimes it's necessary.

And as a political bonus, can anyone tell me who this quite-in-shape young man is?




Thursday, August 23, 2012

Update on Penn State's Greatest Steeplechasers

With the Olympics over, and the European Circuit winding down, Bridget Franek found time to update her blog.  It's worth reading for all of us fans!


And on the Men's side, our favorite ex-boxer Horace Ashenfelter III was inducted into the National Distance Running Hall of Fame.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Another Submission From Mr. Anonymous: What Retired Track People Do With All Their Time

Working people frequently ask retired people what they do to make their days interesting. Well, for example, the other day, Sue, my wife and I went into town and visited a shop. 

When we came out, there was a cop writing out a parking ticket. We went up to him and I said, 'Come on, man, how about giving a senior citizen a break?' He ignored us and continued writing the ticket. I called him an “a**hole”. He glared at me and started writing another ticket for having worn-out tires.
So Kate called him a “sh*t head”. He finished the second ticket and put it on the windshield with the first. Then he started writing more tickets. This went on for about 20 minutes. The more we abused him, the more tickets he wrote. 

Just then our bus arrived, and we got on it and went home.
 
We always look for cars with political stickers we do not agree with. We try to have a little fun each day now that we're retired. It's important at our age.

An Alarming Admission

I've got nothing today.  No Track, no Cross Country, no Physics, no Golf and not even any personal stories to tell.  I've got nothing!

So this is your chance.  Send something my way for today's post.  I'm desperate.

I'll even include a cute kitten to get you in the mood.*


Finally!  A Submission!!  I guess I'm not alone in not having anything.  Our Superiors in Congress have exactly the same thing!  Thank you to a Mr. Anonymous for the entry in today's Blog.  I had not thought of oblique political commentary in this precarious time.  Shame on me...


* Remember though, cats have a natural parasite in their digestive system that can burrow into your brain and cause people to commit suicide.  That, and kittens grow up to be adult cats. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

It's Report Day! And Should I Be Worried?

Today is the day that the current PSU Cross Country teams report for duty.  I remember those days like they were yesterday.  That first day wearing the scratchy blues and greys.  Seeing the ridiculous facial hair that had sprouted on so many of us over the summer.  Hearing the well-intended insults and ribbing that meant you were back in the fold.  It really does seem like just yesterday.  I hope each and every team member appreciates just how special these times are.  Here's their schedules.

In other news, the Rock and Roll Half Marathon in Providence attracted some PSU talent on two fronts:

  1. Stephanie Pezzullo won the Women's Division in 1:15:17.
  2. Paul Souza and his Velveteen Playboys provided the Rock and Roll.  They rocked the crowd so well that they now have an open invitation to other Rock and Roll events. 

It's "Put Up or Shut Up" time for the 1,000 Mile Relay.  Not for the runners, but for everyone who has not donated yet.  To paraphrase Carl Spackler, "Let's give them a little for their effort."



And is someone trying to tell me something? 


Just days after volunteering to become "Captain Tim's" Third Mate on the Penn State Track Alumni Golf Chesapeake 3-Hour Tour, someone anonymously sent me these two news items!



Sunday, August 19, 2012

Can It Get Any Better Than This?



Our Olympic Insiders are Jim "Frit" and  Linda Cooper. 

The most rewarding thing about my efforts to unite all of PSU Track and Cross-Country, is not only making new friends, but reuniting with "old" friends.  I had not seen Frit or Linda for about 30 years when they came to last year's Alumni Reunion.  Little did they realize at the time that now I'll hound them to golf with us next!  (Remember everyone, even non-golfers have found themselves on the Coach Groves Memorial Cup.) I can't thank him enough for getting us some photos from London, complete with thoughts and memories we never could have gotten otherwise.  And we must also thank Le faucon d'orange for arranging to get Frit his Alumni Singlet in time.  We also attempted to get a Singlet to Bridget Franek while there, and we will still get it to her sometime soon.  Without further ado, here's the Cooper's thoughts on the 2012 London Olympics:

Can It Get Any Better Than This?

Bedlam, not the Queen, reigned in the Olympic Stadium as Mo Farah took the lead with 400 meters to go in the 10K. The predominantly British crowd, already whipped into a frenzy from their earlier gold medals in the heptathlon and long jump, emitted a roar to bring their man home that would have knocked down the blue-stone blocks of Stonehenge. My voice was part of that roar as Galen Rupp, instead of being chewed up and spit out the back of the pack, steadily passed one competitor after another to get his silver medal. As Mo and Galen crossed the finish line, everyone in the stadium was screaming, laughing, crying, or hugging someone. I found myself somehow doing all four simultaneously (hugging my wife, in case you were wondering). Could this trip get any better? It could, and it did.

Our trip of a lifetime began innocuously enough three years ago with a $100 deposit to secure two spots on the Track and Field News 2012 Olympic tour. After adding a considerable sum to that initial $100, we were guaranteed a hotel room and tickets to every evening session of track and field. Determined to immerse ourselves as much in British history as Olympic events and fortified by a substantial (i.e. free) breakfast, we departed the hotel each morning to visit a cathedral, museum, or gallery. Then, we rested our sore feet while we had an early dinner and a pint at whichever nearby pub looked most inviting. From there it was on to Olympic Park for that evening’s track and field session. Finally, we would return to our hotel about midnight with our sore feet matched by sore hands and throats from all the clapping and cheering in response to the athletic achievements we had witnessed. This daily routine necessitated cramming many and varied types of clothing into our backpack to accommodate the changeable British weather, not to mention the essential items for spectating, such as our tickets, snacks, and binoculars.

You’ve no doubt already seen and read more than you want about these Olympics, so I will just provide you with a series of reflections on the city and the track and field events that made this trip worth every penny it cost us.

London
·       There was a warm, happy atmosphere throughout the city, generated by the ever-present volunteers who remained cheerful and smiling throughout the entire two weeks and helped us successfully navigate the London Underground.
·       It was wonderful to be able to strike up a conversation with the Brit standing next to you in the queue or on the street. They would always inquire sincerely if we were having a good time or what we thought of the opening ceremonies.
·       We were amazed at the vast collection of cultural artifacts the British have squirrelled away in their museums, but proudly share with visitors. By the end of the trip we felt like we could ace a final exam in Western Civilization 101.
·       Incredulously, the BBC’s coverage was more country-centric than NBC’s. We didn’t find out that the U.S. women had won the soccer gold medal until two days after it had happened.
·       The marathon races were a fine example of the British sense of sportsmanship. There were huge crowds lining the entire marathon course (even in the rain during the women’s race) that cheered for every competitor and didn’t leave until the last runner had passed.
·       To our surprise, we found ourselves caught up in the Brits’ partisan enthusiasm for their athletes and cheered wildly for Andy Murray as we watched the men’s tennis gold medal match on one of the outdoor big screen TVs. 

Olympic Track and Field
·       Being able to watch every lap, jump, or throw of every event, unfiltered and without commentary was sublime.
·       At times there were so many events occurring simultaneously that if you blinked, you missed a critical jump or throw.
·       Despite mass quantities of beer consumed by spectators in the stadium, there was no profanity or other ugliness.
·       After the 10K, we watched Galen Rupp and Alberto Salazar engage in an affectionate, joyful discussion of the race. This was something we would never have seen on TV.
·       Fortuitously, the night of the women’s steeplechase final, our seats were in row 1 at the top of the backstretch. We cheered as loud as we could for Bridget Franek on each lap. 


·       Usain Bolt is aptly named. He is a human conduit of excitement and electricity that actually made your skin tingle as soon as he entered the stadium.
·       We felt a great sense of satisfaction watching competitors like Allyson Felix, Sanya Richards-Ross, and Jenn Suhr overcome setbacks and disappointments to finally win Olympic gold medals.
·       It was a relief to watch two high hurdles finals that did not include someone crashing to the ground in the last 10 meters.
·       It was thrilling to see the flawless baton passes in both U.S. 4x100 relays, and witness the world and national records set in those races.
·       Another big thrill was being present at the greatest 800 meters ever run as David Rudisha took the lead at 150 meters and stormed around the track to set the world record, pulling everyone else in the race to incredible performances as well.
·       The tour included a luncheon featuring a number of current and former Olympians as special guests. We were able to chat with Nick Symmonds, Leo Manzano, and Billy Mills, but the crowds around Jenn Suhr and Dawn Harper were too big so we just took photos. I also made a huge faux pas when I mistook Jesse Williams for Trey Hardee and asked him a question about the decathlon. Fortunately, he was very gracious, saying that many others have made the same gaffe.
·       It was a marvel to find that the person sitting next to you at breakfast was just as much of a track nut as you, and therefore willing to discuss the women’s discus final in minute detail.

So by the numbers, this trip was a spectacular success as we saw three world records, 29 U.S. medals, and 2000 years of British history in 12 days! However, it was the range of emotions we experienced from actually being there that made this the trip of a lifetime: disbelief and dismay as Morgan Uceny fell in the 1500, disbelief and joy as Galen Rupp medaled in the 10K, and awe at the power of Shakespeare’s words delivered by accomplished British actors in the Globe Theater. I still get chills down my spine when I recall the emotional moments of our trip, and I expect that I always will.

Check out more photos from Jim and Linda Cooper on the slide show on the left sidebar.

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Best Part of the Olympic Closing Ceremonies*








* Maybe only for old codgers like me.

Our Olympic Insider is Preparing to Reveal Himself!

Exclusive: Word has leaked that negotiations are nearing an end between the Blog hierarchy and an Olympic Insider on a deal that will bring the Olympic Experience to the rest of us rabble.  Full immunity from prosecution and access to the vast blog slush-fund (a few old editions of Track and Field News and a selection of wrist bands) has been offered.  A counter-offer is expected shortly. Stay tuned to be digitally transferred to London without having to endure the Spice Girls!



In other news, Bridget Franek rebounded for a fine victory in the USA dominated DecaNations meet in France with a victory in the 3000 M SC with a 9:38.48.  Ryan Whiting is also on the track at the Diamond League Meet in Stockholm.  All while Cross Country Practice has commenced across the nation...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Ten Elvis Facts*

    1. Elvis Presley died 35 years ago today.  He really did.
    2. His nickname for his manhood was Little Elvis.
    3.  The famous black hair was dyed — the real color was brown.
    4.  He played only five concerts outside the US, on a three-day tour to Canada in 1957.
    5. Elvis bought his mansion Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1957 with his very first $100,000.
    6.   One of his pilots had the real name Milo High.
    7.   His 1973 Aloha from Hawaii concert was the first to be broadcast live by satellite. It was seen by a billion people.
    8. He loved Fool’s Gold Loaf, a hollow loaf filled with a jar of peanut butter, a jar of grape jelly and a pound of bacon. It had 42,000 calories.
    9.  His last meal was four scoops of ice cream and six chocolate chip cookies.
    10.  In 1977 there were 170 Elvis impersonators. By 2002 there were 85,000. At that rate of growth, by 2019 a third of the world’s population will be Elvis impersonators. 

    * Most from The Sun.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Olympic Bronze for PSU Track

I was erroneously pointed in the wrong direction when I queried the intertubes with the question "Do you receive a medal at the Olympics as a member of the Relay Pool but don't perform on the track?"  It turns out you do!  And that means Dominique Blake is a Bronze Medalist!  Congratulations are in order, as I'm sure she worked just as hard as every member of the Prelim and Final runners on the Jamaican 4 x 400 Relay squad.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

On Toenails, Global Warming and the Bastardization of Science

The photo shows a Weather Station that is in the best group used in the Official NOAA data documenting Global Warming. Other Groups have more problems than this.

In 25 years of unscientific scrutiny I have always observed that there is a noticeable increase in the growth of toenails in the summer as compared to the winter.  That's not quite Rocket Surgery, but it is none-the-less true. So when I have so unscientifically observed in the past few weeks that toenails have grown way more than usual this year, it got me to thinking of more important matters.  Is this Global Warming rearing its ugly head?  Does this portend disaster for all of us?  Is it still safe to wear your running shorts 2 days in a row without washing them?  (Forget that last one, but I would love a definitive answer to that.)

Most of you know that I am a skeptic on the matter of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming.  That is to say that I do not believe that man is responsible for the assured fiery destruction of the Earth any time soon.  That isn't to say that the Earth has not warmed.  My extensive perusal of both sides of the issue lead me to believe that the problem is overstated by three times by those who monetarily and politically benefit from sowing panic among those of us with wallets and votes. And one third of the catastrophe may well have far reaching benefits for humanity.

The Climate is such a complex system, I find it hard to believe that even the smartest of us could construct a method of predicting it a year from now, let alone decades from now.  The climate models bear that out.  None are even remotely good at predicting future events, although there are quite a few that uncannily predict the past.  Chaos kind of works like that.

So when I saw the recent pronouncements from "experts" that absolutely say recent weather extremes in the USA are absolute proof of Global Warming, and vice versa I presume, then I figured I might as well add my toenail observations to the mix.  I wonder if Michael Mann would pay me anything for my toenail-ring measurements?

Einstein once observed, when confronted with a letter from 100 Russian Physicists that disputed his Theory of Relativity, that if only one was right, it was all that was needed.  We know who won that battle, as the recent discovery of the Higgs boson seemed to validate Albert and drove a stake into the consensus of the 100.

But I could be wrong.  I hope to hear thoughts from others, maybe even including the Meteorology Majors and Physicists in our group. Although I'm warmed to know that cost estimates show that if we spend $77 Trillion, we could forestall 0.1 degree of warming.  Coming up with $77 Trillion may just be a problem, however.

Time is Running Out to Support the Ten Intrepid Runners!*

The final list of the 10 runners vying to break the 1,000 mile relay record is out:  The time is now to throw some support their way.  This honors the memory of Kevin Dare and helps support the Life Back on Track Scholarship, so you'll feel good giving them a little of your hard-earned money, and thus shielding that amount from scrutiny by the IRS.

Here's the Hooters classic song Blood From a Stone about the IRS from East Rutherford NJ in 1986:





And Again from the Borgata in Atlantic City in 2008:





* And time is running out on their preparations!




Monday, August 13, 2012

The Penn State Track Alumni Universe is Vast and Varied

With the Olympics out of the way, we can again concentrate on more mundane things!  And there is no lack of things going on in the expanding Universe that is PSU Track Alumni (Golf).

  • Two actors have been active as of late.  Steve Black finished taping of another role as Father of the Bride in ID Discovery Channel's series "Happily Never After".  And Mike Pfaff has been very active lately winning awards and filming a myriad of movies.  Check up with him via his newsletter at http://mikepfaff.mailerlite.com/e3k3l0.
  • The real Kenyan and Ethiopian Distance Runners apparently weren't in London, they were in Chambersburg, PA!  Ryan Foster and Kara Millhouse joined them for the Tom Ausherman 5 Miler.

    1   1/21   Abiyo Endale          418 M 28 24:05 24:06  4:50 
    2   2/21   Mikael Testaye        419 M 26 24:09 24:10  4:50 
    3   1/15   Eyobalenu Woldeseio     3 M 30 24:12 24:12  4:51 
    4   3/21   Demesse Tefera          8 M 29 24:16 24:17  4:52 
    5   2/15   Tatiku Aboset         343 M 30 24:19 24:19  4:52 
    6   4/21   Will Christian        161 M 29 24:22 24:23  4:53 
    7   5/21   Boniface Biwott       302 M 26 25:50 25:51  5:10 
    8   1/9    Ryan Foster             6 M 23 26:07 26:08  5:14 
    9   2/9    Kevin Brandon         341 M 22 26:11 26:12  5:15 
   10   6/21   Eshetu Tilahun        345 M 27 26:24 26:25  5:17 
   11   3/9    Tim Wertner           272 M 23 26:54 26:54  5:23 
   12   1/11   Kara Millhouse          4 F 22 27:09 27:09  5:26 
 
  •  Tyler McCandless ran the Falmouth Road Race.
     Here he is about 1:30 into this video. 
     
     

Sunday, August 12, 2012

PSU's Top Olympic Finish 2012


I think a 5th place finish at the Olympics deserves a little break from the usual training diet, and I'm always up for a McDonalds repast.  Two sodas also gets around any new laws the British may have copied after Mayor Bloomberg in NYC against anything above 16 ounces.

Congrats to Shana Cox on her fifth place finish in the 4 x 400 Relay for the home country!  Her lead-off split in the Finals was 52.8, with a clean hand-off.  It was one of the only events I actually watched live. 

I hope to get answers to 10 Questions from all the PSU-affiliated athletes at the Games.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Nautical Nuts to Possibly Reunite: Which Renowned Aquatic Leader is Most Like Our "Captain Tim"?


It looks like there will soon be a repeat of the "Three Hour Tour" of the Chesapeake Bay with our fearless "Captain Tim".  Details are still being ironed out, but I'm already taking Dramamine IV just in case.

Our next Poll question will be, "Which of these Infamous Leaders does Tim Backenstose most closely resemble?"

The choices will be:

  1. Jonas Grumby - "The Skipper" - Captain of the S. S. Minnow out of Hawaii, we are all familiar with his prowess on the seas.
  2. William Bligh - Captain of the HMS Bounty prior to a notorious mutiny.  Captain Bligh was a noted authoritarian leader who championed a rather brutal form of governance.
  3. Edward Teach - "Blackbeard" - Privateer Captain of the Queen Anne's Revenge.  Scoured the Caribbean, leading his men without the use of force or murder. 
  4. Phillip Francis Queeg - Fictional Captain of the U. S. S. Caine and subject of the Caine Mutiny. Prone to outbursts of irrational behavior, some still believe he was actually the victim and not the perpetrator of the Caine's downfall.
  5. Merrill Stubing - Captain of the Pacific Princess "The Love Boat" for over 10 seasons of incredible TV drama.

Friday, August 10, 2012

I Was Once Young and Foolish

Ah, those were the days.  Once you reached the third year at medical school, everything was pass/fail and you could relax a bit.  I was able to increase my running to nearly 50 miles a week, (quit laughing everybody, I really did!).  I also started going to the live shows of a new Philadelphia area band who had been Cyndi Lauper's band when she hit it big.  Cyndi is now a hockey mom from Boston and I'm semi-retired and on a Streak (of sorts).  But the Hooters are still going!  I saw many a late night show at the Tower Theatre, the Chestnut Cabaret, and Ardmore.  One show went all night and the sun was coming up on Mother's Day when we left.  Another show on South Street was so crowded and great that we lost one of our group in the melee.  He ended up in the Hospital with a busted jaw and doesn't remember any of it.  Six weeks of his jaw wired shut, drinking nothing but milkshakes and Kung Pao sauce through a straw left him in the best shape of his life. A lean running animal.  Ah, those were the days...

Here's The Hooters Live at the Tower Theatre in 1985:



And at the Borgata in Atlantic City in 2008:



They will be at the Stone Balloon in Dewey Beach Delaware some time soon!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Welcome New Coaches to Happy Valley

The Penn State Track and Field team has 2 new coaches with the hires of Patrick Ebel and Kevin Kelly.  Of course, my first question to them is, "Can you golf?"  (Remember, I really can't!)



Patrick Ebel is coming from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, where he built a Division III powerhouse.  He will become the new Throws Coach, something I know nothing about but enjoy all the same. The Univ. of Wisconsin system is really quite extraordinary.  I spent a month at a hospital in LaCrosse during my school years, where Patrick was an undergrad.  During my January stint there the temperature never rose above 10 degrees Fahrenheit.*  One run I took was at 23 degrees below zero.  I ran across the Mississippi River into Iowa just to say I had been there. To my horror at learning it, Patrick started at LaCrosse after my month-long stay was complete!  I'm old and tired, old and tired...



Kevin Kelly is coming from Rutgers and will become the new Horizontal and Vertical Jumps Coach.  I also know nothing much about them either, other than high jumpers seem to be very good at making music. Rutgers was the scene of my greatest achievement for PSU Track, third place in the Coach's Conference 10000 M Run in 1980, the only year of existence of the conference dreamed up by Joe Paterno.  My third place effort garnered 6 points for the Champion Nittany Lions and a rebuke from Coach Groves for not getting first or second!**  Kevin was an All-American decathlete while at Kutztown University, an event near and dear to my heart.  I've never known a decathlete who couldn't golf...

* I'm not making that up.  And some day I'll tell the story of the burning headless body that greeted me on my way from the airport to the hospital..

** Actually Coach Groves told me I was a part of the female anatomy after falling off the leaders pace with 2 laps remaining.  In retrospect, he was 100% correct.  I should have won.  It was the same scenario I had at States in High School and I failed to take advantage.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

PSU Olympic Results

Dominique Blake is still in Jamaica's pool for the 4 x 400 M Relay, but the other PSU-affiliated athletes are done with their individual competitions.

  1. Kirsten Niewendam from Suriname (PSU Sophomore) was 8th in her heat of the 200 M with a 24.07.
  2. Ryan Whiting was 9th in the Finals of the Shot Put with a 20.64.
  3. Shana Cox of Great Britain qualified for the semi-final round of the 400M with a 52.01.  She finished 7th in the semi-finals with a 52.58. She remains in the Relay Pool.
  4. Bridget Franek became the first PSU woman to qualify for an Olympic Final with a 9:29.86 in the opening round.  She placed 14th in the world with a 9:45.51 in the finals.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Errata: A Bunch of Stuff Cluttering My Desk I Need to Get Rid Of

  1. A nice article about Coach Lucas. Missing his first Olympics since 1960.
  2. This year's cauldron lighting was a big disappointment to me at least.  And I'm not alone.
  3. Penn State Does not make the list of 7 Schools where Streaking is an Organized Sport!
  4. Athletes are being expelled from the Olympics for less-than-best efforts.  (Although the 1500 M runner's appeal was granted after he tanked an 800 M prelim race.)  The badminton teams did not fare as well.  I'm most concerned by the glimpse of the equipment bags at the very end of the video.  Who knew that you need a tractor-trailer to haul your badminton equipment?
  5. Bridget Franek answered 5 1/2 Questions for WomenTalk Sports.  I hope to get her to answer our usual 10 Questions for the blog at some point, but I won't bug her now.
 And some more!
  1. A Geographer shows us how to negotiate Penn State's Library stacks.
  2. Don't do the crime if you can't handle the food!  10 Revolting Foods Made in Prison.
  3. 100 Simpson's Quotes in order of importance.
Thanks to everyone for your submissions!  Thank goodness my desk is cleared now.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Back From the Beach!

Just 2 1/2 days at the Beach and look at all I missed.  Haven't had much time to watch the Olympics, but I have tried to catch up on the results. Congrats to Bridget Franek for making the final of the 3000 M Steeplechase.  She became the first Penn State female athlete to make a Track and Field final in history.  I'm sure she's disappointed, but I'll gladly point out she's 14th in the World.

Here's the photos I promised from the most horrible race I have ever run.*


*The Sea Isle City Beach Run actually started out as a half-marathon before switching to a 10-miler twenty-some years ago.  The race starts on the narrow Promenade (a boardwalk if it was actually made of boards!) and heads north for 1/2 mile or so until spilling out onto the sand heading north.  The first hair-pin turn-around is at the 2 1/2 mile mark.  This is when you realize that the wind is actually against you both ways.  You then retrace your steps to pass the starting line at the 5-mile mark.  There's another 1/2 mile or so on the Promenade until you again cross the quicksand to the Beach for the rest of the run.  By the time you turn around at the 7 1/2 mile mark, you've given up all hope of seeing your loved ones again.  Or if you are really in shape, you just give up on a 10 mile PR.  It's not happening here.  The final 2 1/2 miles is spent dodging sand castles, ankle-fracturing holes dug by toddlers, oblivious sun-bathers, and beach jetties that sometime surprise you with 5 foot-drops on the far side.

Huzzahs for the PSU domination this year!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Sea Isle City 10 Mile Beach Run Victory For PSU Track Alum (Golfer)

Tyler McCandless used the most miserable race on Earth as a final warm up for his assault on Falmouth next Sunday.  I also saw a couple of Dawsons among the crowd.  Kyle Dawson placed second behind Tyler's 54:39. Kevin McDonnell was third and Nick Scarpello was 6th for complete Group domination.  If you think that's slow, you've never run Sea Isle! I saw Owen taking a separate run during the race, just as I did to keep the streak alive!  I also had the pleasure of meeting Tyler's parents who will be taking good care of him prior to the Falmouth race.   My wife finished her 19th in a row, and both kids ran their first!

All in all, it was still worth missing the Olympics.  (Way to go Bridget!)

Friday, August 3, 2012

Worthy of an Olympic Medal!

Here's some examples of Mike Shine's photo submissions to a Fair I came across on Facebook.  They are worth an Olympic Medal in my book.  Just check any I've placed on the blog in the past and you'll see what I mean..  Check the others Here. and Here.



Next up I'm going to try to get a photo of Tyler McCandless at the Sea Isle City 10-Mile Beach Run.  It's Barb's 19th in a row.  Here's Tyler winning the 2007 race back in the day when I actually ran it too!


Thursday, August 2, 2012

What Other Penn State Track Alumni Golfers Are Up To This Summer

Brian Fuller (and probably all 30 or so Fullers in our Group!) is preparing for the 1,000 Mile Relay to benefit the Kevin Dare Back On Track Scholarship.  Let's get behind all 10 of them.  And Teddy Quinn makes 11!



Blake Eaton continues training in Happy Valley despite the lack of a PSU Track Alumni Singlet!  Efforts are underway to get him one.  I should also let him know that we have hats available at our very own Store too.  But I'm afraid he'll pound me to a pulp if I tell him that anyone buying that hat he's wearing gets a free bowl of soup.



Jon Hendershot traveled to Chicago for some studio work on his new album.  What is it with these PSU high-jumpers and musical talent?  And that's Megan Anderson showing him around Chicago.



Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Eliminating Political Differences With a Sandwich: A Mirthful Divergence From Anything Important


This is a home-made version of a Chick-Fil-A sandwich. One of Earth's greatest inventions.  Now that the food scientists at Serious Eats Food Lab* have broken down the item to its quarks to figure out how to make one at home, all of us can again be on the same page.**

Those on both sides of issues that have nothing to do with Southern Fried goodness can again begin to focus on other issues on which to hate each other. Chicken sandwiches are not evil.  People who sell chicken sandwiches are not evil, no matter how they feel about scores of things. People who eat chicken sandwiches are not evil.***


Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

This covers all Americans, including owners of Chicken Sandwich establishments AND those wishing to boycott the same establishments.  Just like the Founders wanted it.

* They previously formulated a home-made version of an In-and-Out Double Double Animal-style hamburger I have not gotten around to making yet.


** Possibly excluding vegans, vegetarians and those opposed to fried foods.  I apologize to each of those groups.

*** PETA may have differing views. But I never count them.  Sorry.
 
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