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...

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Even More Goodness in My Inbox From Our Friends at William and Mary

Tim O'Dowd's photos of the Penn Relays Distance Medley Championship of America are next up on our blog with it all.  Tim is a former teammate of honorary PSU Track Alumni Golfer Brian Mount at Coach Groves' former school (and Steve Walsh's current team!).  And he took some great pics he doesn't mind sharing with his new Lion friends. Thanks, Tim.  They will be spread far and wide. And Steve Shisler's video of the event thrown in for good measure.

Monday, April 29, 2013

How To Hit A 500-Yard Drive Even If You're Not Paul Mundy

  1. First, wear tight, gaudy, low-cut European pants.
  2. Second, use a new-fangled driver and a state-of-the-art ball.
  3. Swing very hard   and,
  4. Aim for the paved cart path with curbs.

More Goodness from Penn Delivered To My Inbox This AM!

No comments necessary.*  I will also convert these to black and white for a neat slideshow comparing the 1985 and 2013 4 x 800 M Relay victories.** All photos by Tim O'Dowd.

*But of course I'll make one.  Notice a slightly worried look on Freshman Brannon Kidder's face at taking the baton and then the less worried look at the finish.  Pure gold.

**When my day job allows me enough time.

Robbie Creese

Za'Von Watkins

Casimir Loxsom

Brannon Kidder

The Finish

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Penn State University is 800 M University: For All Prospective Middle Distance Runners Out There

I keep saying this as it seems to tick off a rather belligerent detractor.  Who must be the only remaining one of his kind.  Let's all remember that "PSU is 800 U" is a celebration of all that many people have contributed to over many years and many races.  It doesn't detract from anything anyone else does.  In fact, it enhances every aspect of our Sport. There isn't a bit of braggadocio inherent in celebrating the phrase.  It is rather a hat-tip to all the hard work, coaching and sacrifice of many, many of us in the Penn State Track and Field Alumni (Golfing) community.  I think even this lowly 1:58 half-miler (that's 1:57.3 metric!) can claim to have contributed to the phrase.  Each and every one of us on the track and field can celebrate the phrase and enhance the future of PSU's Program.

This year's version of the wrist band and raffle t-shirts will celebrate this at the Alumni Reunion.  I will have a donation raffle putting challenge at the Friday night reception, the Alumni Run and the Awards Dinner on Saturday.  Make sure to try your hand at the most frustrating sport in the world even if you aren't golfing on the Big Boy's (and Girl's) Course on Saturday.

The Putting Challenge Rules will be*:
  1. Three 7-foot Putts for a $5 contribution to the Coach Harry Groves Scholarship Endowment.
  2. One in gets you this year's version of the Alumni Wrist Band. One per person.
  3. Two in gets you a "PSU is 800 U" t-shirt designed by Olympian Greg Fredericks. First come, first served.  I have 18 or so shirts in all sizes.  My day-job didn't give me the option of purchasing more! One per person.
  4. Three in gets you entered in a drawing for a gift certificate (to be determined!) You can try this as many times as you like. Anyone with ideas can get in touch with me about a suitable prize.  (Berkey Creamery, paid entry to next year's Reunion and Golf Tourney?) Also anyone wishing to make a donation to enhance the prizes can do so on the right sidebar of the blog.  The more the merrier.  All monies left over go to the Scholarship.
*Unless someone makes me change them!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Yeah, That's Right. PSU is 800 U

The Quartet of Robbie Creese, Brannon Kidder, Za'Von Watkins and Casimir Loxsom brought another wheel to Happy Valley with its victory in the 4 x 800 M Relay.  They missed the record from 1985, but scared it a little with their 7:14.14.
Victory Lap


That's three years in a row with 2 Wheels for the Penn State's Men team, and the good news for alumni golfers doesn't end there.

Owen Dawson 3:59.74! Photo by Matt Groves.
  1. Owen Dawson became the first ever to run a sub-4 minute mile wearing a Penn State Track Alumni Singlet.  He will forever be enshrined as a barrier-breaker of the first order.  The latest batch of Singlets will be distributed at the Alumni Weekend in May.  Thanks to Le faucon d'orange for doing the hard work on getting that done.  One recipient will be Sam Masters who is a proud member of our group even before he graduates ends his eligibility. He is currently in the graduate Biomechanics Program.
  2. Second generation Nittany Lion Alex Shisler, son of one of the afore-mentioned record holders of the 4 x 800 M Relay record and an All-American, ran a 46.0 relay leg to shatter his PR.  Nothing can be finer in the whole world than hearing the "ooohs and ahhhs" in the closed end of Franklin Field when you are running a good relay leg.  Congrats.


It Looks Like the Younger Crowd Has Taken Over My Old Stomping Grounds

PSU Track Alumni (Golfers) take over Phbiladelphia
Those were the good ole days.  Philadelphia is a great town, especially during the Penn Relays.  These guys know that better than anyone.  Brings back some great memories.  But can PSU challenge the 4 x 800 M Relay record?  That is the question of the day!

7 - 11 - 17

Friday, April 26, 2013

First Wheel!

Distance Medley Relay Championship of America

Tim Johnson on the Penn Relays

Tim Johnson, second from left
All my dozens of readers know of my passion for all things to do with Penn State Track and especially the Penn Relays.  (and Coach Groves!)  I use the blunt instrument of inferior writing style and limited vocabulary and hope that repetition and a Walking Lion gif  on the left sidebar makes my passion apparent to everyone.  So it comes as a great relief when someone else shares those passions and has a vocabulary and writing quality that far exceeds mine.  And when the writer is a fellow PSU Track Alumni Golfer, the results are really appreciated.

Read Tim Johnson's Celebration of all that is Penn Relays and let a little honoring of Coach Groves waft over your good vibes.

"When you're at Penn Relays and you watch the runners come around the last bend...if your heart ain't pumpin' then you ain't got no soul." –Harry Groves, Former Penn State Track Coach.
Don't forget, we also have some tweeting coming from Matt Groves and some contributions from the many others attending the Carnival this weekend.

Penn Relays Distance Night!

 Thanks to Matt Groves for the permission to disseminate his tweets.  Or is that tweet his disseminations?  I'm not sure.

Photo by Ryan Foster

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Penn Relays is Efficiency at its Finest

Photo by Steve Shisler, Note the time!

noun, plural ef·fi·cien·cies.
1 .the state or quality of being efficient; competency in performance.
2 .accomplishment of or ability to accomplish a job with a minimum expenditure of time and effort: The assembly line increased industry's efficiency.
3. the ratio of the work done or energy developed by a machine, engine, etc., to the energy supplied to it, usually expressed as a percentage.
4. The Penn Relays.

I added that last one.  Somehow, Dictionary.com forgot to include that.  Nothing explains the word better than having a 4 x 400 M relay scheduled every 5 minutes and running ahead of schedule at a facility from the Middle Ages.
The Track Office (probably our own Energizer Lion?) put together a great series of  daily guides to PSU's footprint at the greatest Carnival on Earth.  I'm printing them out and keeping them on hand to keep up with all of the results.

 The closest I will come to Penn Relays today is the Jamaican Jerk style Slim Jim I had at breakfast!  (And you can all lecture me about my diet when you come to the Alumni Reunion and Golf Tournament.)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Happy Birthday Coach Groves!

Today is Coach Groves' birthday, which will be spent at Franklin Field watching the Penn Relays. Which may be exactly what he would consider the best birthday present of all.

And since Coach Groves won't be live-tweeting the event we have to settle for the next best thing.  That would be his son Matt Groves!  As a member of 800 U I can't wait to see what he brings us.  There are others who will share some of the flavor of the greatest Carnival in the world (sorry Rio!).

Follow Matt Groves on Twitter @Groves10287

Our Laundry Officer noted that Casimir Loxsom is listed as one of the People to Watch from the Philadelphia Inquirer Daily News.  I would be thrilled to be on any list that includes Bill Cosby.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Einstein Right Again and Who Had the Better Mustache?

Before Physicists had the fancy instruments and "Big Bang Theory" street cred, they had to actually come up with ideas and test them in their minds.  Problems arose when theories couldn't be tested and seemed out of whack with "reality".  So it was when Albert Einstein put forth some ideas on Quantum Physics.  There was no end to challenges to his brave and strange ideas.  Albert always pointed out that it only takes one person to shoot down any of his ideas. And not many have been shot down.

So it is with Spooky Quantum Entanglement.  For some reason I don't understand, the theory means that

individual entangled particles don't exist in a particular state until they are measured, and that, once measured, the particles could somehow communicate their state to each other at a rate faster than the speed of light which seemed to violate Einstein's theory of relativity. (Recent research suggests the entangled particles interact at a speed that's 10,000 times faster than the speed of light.)
Now with the advent of the aforementioned fancy instruments, the theory has been confirmed again, eliminating a key loophole.

Einstein scores again.

And check out tonight's TV Show about the Rescue of Jessica McClure from the well in 1987 on Nat Geo at 6:30PM to compare Dave Felice's 1980's mustache to the 1970's version of Greg Fredericks. Vote on the sidebar for your Best Mustache.

Monday, April 22, 2013

No Backpacks at Penn Relays

Which probably means that all my Special Agents on the ground at Franklin Field will be using cell phones to bring us pictures and video snippets.  But that's OK.  It's a different world out there now.  Besides, my kids used to think color didn't exist in "the olden times" when I used to run fast* because all my pictures are in black and white.  Cell phone photos are still better than almost all of the cameras we used to use back in those ancient times anyway.

My hope is that I'll have several people sending me some things and one live-tweeting the whole extravaganza.  More on that later.  I've put in a special request for some PG-rated shots of the lavatory facilities for men (particularly the one under the stands at the Finish Line area) just to prove to some inquiring women that I'm not making that up.  I also hope to get some reviews of food during the Carnival and maybe even some video of drum playing and Jamaican tomfoolery.

And, Oh yeah, some great track exploits...

It's Penn Relays Week!
* Fast being a quite relative term!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Another Week of 800's and More

Mt. Sac Relays are a good warm up for Penn!

1. Casimir Loxsom   1:46.77
2. Brannon Kidder    1:47.23
3. Ricky West           1:48.49
4. Ryan Brennan       1:49.32
5. Za'Von Watkins    1:50.18

And Sam Masters broke 14:00 in the 5000 M as the first Nittany Lion to do it since Steve Brown in 1989. (13:57.33)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

It's Penn Relays Week! Coach Groves' Birthday Too!

Chris Mills to Randy Moore, 1985.
Randy Moore at 400 M with Miles Irish trailing.
Funny how a 1:45.5 leg reduced Miles Irish to a distant shadow!
Greg Fredericks, circa 1972.

Greg Fredericks, circa 1972.
All photos are courtesy of Walt Chadwick, our great friend and historian.  Visit his web site for more vintage photos.  There are more coming from our incredible sources!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Back to Mirth! Our Performance of the Year 2012 Winner Responds!

Bridget Franek just spent a few weeks at altitude in Arizona prior to the meat of her track season.  She returned to Oregon to find the Prize Pack she received as winner. Having already set an American record in the 2000 M Steeplechase in 2013, I'm confident she will have a tremendous season.  Bridget has talent, drive, intelligence and a great sense of humor.  Certainly a wonderful representative of our Group.  She promises to attend our event at some time in the future when her schedule allows. And as Official Herder of Cats, you know I'll keep at it!

Bridget Franek sports her "PSU is 800 U" Performance Jacket
Bridget promises to taunt her Oregon friends with several of her "800 U" items, just as I intended.  It's all in good fun. 800 U by no means demeans other institutions.  We hope the moniker actually makes the entire Universe of Track and Field better.  What could be better than that?

Addendum:  Bridget's first race was really a workout!
 Hasay ran the 5,000 at less than full throttle. So did Franek, the Olympic steeplechaser, who was in the race as a workout.
 Hasay’s goal was to run a time that would safely qualify for the NCAA regional in the event. Her 16:01.54 clocking should accomplish that. She and Franek worked together, and ran side by side down the home straight.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Heartbreak Beyond Heartbreak (Hill)

by Campbell Lovett 

Thirty-four years ago – and about that many pounds lighter than now – I ran a few marathons. To run a marathon was an effort to prove something to yourself. Could you train hard enough? Could you endure long enough? Could you focus intentionally enough? Fortunately, this was accomplished with others who were working through similar questions while seeking to prove something to themselves; that close camaraderie made it worth the effort.
The marathons I ran were at the tail-end of the “loneliness of the long distance runner” era. Therefore, while many people gathered at the start and finish of races, the scattered pedestrians on the course looked at us askance as we competed with cars along roadways still open for use.
The Boston Marathon was always different. Though I never ran Boston, I did hear from runners who were amazed not only at the informality of the race – hundreds of unregistered runners regularly jumped in to compete and to complete the course – but also at the carnival atmosphere along the entirety of the route. Selecting a running shirt was crucial because that was how the thousands of cheering fans identified you, yelling out whatever was printed on your jersey. Now, many run not only to prove something to themselves, but also for a cause, a cure, or a memory. Thus, the names of charities and lost loved ones, printed on racing singlets, are evoked along the way as well.
My son, who went to Boston College, loved the festival atmosphere. Not only were public schools cancelled for the state’s Patriots’ Day holiday, but private schools closed as well since the festivities would far outdraw the lecture de jour. Boston College is located at the top of “Heartbreak Hill.” Heartbreak Hill is a long series of ascents where if you are going to prove something to yourself it will probably have to happen there. Students at BC congregate at the edge of campus to watch the leaders crest the hill and then cheer for classmates who are following far behind. There is an initial hush as the lead pack of runners go by, who, because their form is so ultra-efficient and their pace so fast, look like a group of friends riding by in a convertible. Following this moment of awe, the raucous cheers break out for the common man – and since 1972 the common woman.
The Boston Marathon bombing is so shocking because it was obviously done by someone who wanted to prove something not to himself, but to others. Could he display to the world his repressed rage? Could he divert attention to his cause? Could he maim and kill the innocent for some misguided agenda? That is what makes this act of terrorism so terrifying: a sick person seeking to prove something to others by targeting people who are simply trying to prove something to themselves - or do something for others. It is jarring.
Ninety minutes before the bombs detonated, I was concluding a presentation about Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan. That recent immersion into Luke’s narrative shaped my viewing of the bombing’s aftermath. The one who fell into the hands of robbers was everywhere. The assaulted and bloodied were scattered by the side of the road, in this case, Boylston Street. Instead of people passing by on the other side, however, it was quite the opposite. Spectators and emergency medical personnel waded into the grisly scene and treated the wounded with exquisite care. Those pictures of the Good Bostonians are powerful: police helping up an elderly runner blown to the ground by the explosion; runners pressing shirts into wounds to staunch the bleeding; spectators cradling the injured as they await triage. No one is passing by on the other side – they are all in the thick of it: merciful, scared, compassionate, anxious. The runners’ camaraderie expanded exponentially by all of this goodness in the face of evil.
The beauty of Jesus’ story is that we soon forget the brutality of the robbers due to the caring example of the Good Samaritan. It will be difficult for us to forget the butchery of a bomber on a festive day. But while the investigation continues, perhaps by keeping the image of those kindly ones before us we will know better how to respond in the face of terror: as neighbors who do justice, love kindness, and run humbly with our God.

Medicine Really Hasn't Changed Much

Or, Can You Believe Another Book Review!

There are many new medicines since the early 70's.  There are many new surgical techniques since the early 70's.  There is ever newer technologies since the early 70's.  But medicine really hasn't changed much from the early 70's.

The reason for that is that the only two requisites for the whole medical thing still remains the Doctor and the Patient.  Doctors are just as learned, cocky (and late) as they ever were.  Patients are just as unlearned, alarmed (and impatient) as they have ever been.  The formula is as old as time.

For those somewhat in the medical field, The House of God (A satiric name for a "best" hospital) remains the best encapsulation of this world put into text format.  I recommend it highly to everyone and it remains my favorite book of all time.  In it, the Fat Man schools the newby intern on the inviolable rules of medicine with his own Laws of the House of God.  Here they are with a little explanation for some of it from "almost a doctor".

Laws of the House of God

  1. GOMERS DON'T DIE. (Gomers are "Get Out of My Emergency Room") These people will always outlive all of us despite being sicker than any of us.
  2. GOMERS GO TO GROUND If hospitalized, Gomers will always fall and create more problems for doctors who don't actively avoid them.  If the doctor is lucky, the fall will result in a fracture and the patient can be "turfed" to orthopedics.  Good for all except orthopedists.
  4. THE PATIENT IS THE ONE WITH THE DISEASE. Obvious, but the number one rule doctors forget.
  5. PLACEMENT COMES FIRST. If you can "turf" the patient somewhere else, by all means do it.
  7. AGE + BUN = LASIX DOSE. I'm told this will always work but isn't in any textbooks.
  8. THEY CAN ALWAYS HURT YOU MORE. So true, so true.
  9. THE ONLY GOOD ADMISSION IS A DEAD ADMISSION. A "turf" to Pathology is the easiest of all.
  10. IF YOU DON'T TAKE A TEMPERATURE, YOU CAN'T FIND A FEVER. Don't do unnecessary tests unless you are willing to accept the consequences.
  11. SHOW ME A BMS (Best Medical Student, a student at the Best Medical School) WHO ONLY TRIPLES MY WORK AND I WILL KISS HIS FEET. Brains don"t make a good doctor.
  13. THE DELIVERY OF GOOD MEDICAL CARE IS TO DO AS MUCH NOTHING AS POSSIBLE.  Time is often the best medicine.  Cheaper too.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Coach Gondak Gets Some Deserved Press

We've been touting John since we first met him at one of our Pre-Reunion Golf Tournaments and realized he was "one of us" and a darn good golfer besides.  Turns out he's a pretty good coach too! Thanks to the soon-to-be co-Administrator of the blog for this item.

Penn State track and field: Associate coach John Gondak leads star runners

I"m just a little dismayed that he spent a few years at Georgia Tech and never made it to The Varsity (And Here.)  It seems all of his runs passed right by the largest Drive-In in the world but he never went in!  I spent 1 month there and all of my runs were to the Varsity.  

Maybe that's why John is 1/2 my size?  I'll put some top men on that question and get back to you. Top. Men.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

F&$# You Terrorists

I just broke one of the only iron-clad rules of the blog.  I swore.  I swore with the F-word right in the headline.  And I mean it.

When the horrible, horrible part of the world visited the Boston Marathon yesterday, I turned off the electronic world as much as I could.  I knew there would be misinformation, speculation, commentary and ridiculousness beyond the pale.

I'm heartened to see that the Security and Police in Boston were top-notch, as was the Medical response.  We really are ready for these kinds of things.  Good to know. The Boston Police Chief is the most impressive off-the-cuff speaker I've seen in a while.

I'm also heartened to see that the 78 year-old man I saw in the only video I watched actually finished the race after seemingly getting blown up right before the finish.

You go, Bill Iffrig, you go.
There are many more of us than there are of the terrorists. They can all go to Hell. The rest of us will get to the other finish line in our own good time.

Monday, April 15, 2013

A World I No Longer Recognize

RIP Boston Marathon Victims

Patriot's Day Means Boston Marathon!

I never ran Boston.  I worked the Medical Tent one year and was a spectator for the 100th Anniversary Race.  Beef stew, Boston Billy, the Eliot Lounge, Boylston Street...

Via the comments, give me some Beantown Marathon recollections.  Who has the best time among my dozens of readers?  Who has the best story? 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

April Means Penn Relays, And Other Notes From Early Season Track

Steve Shisler to Chris Mills, 1985

  1. I still haven't been to a track meet with the temperature above freezing.  I missed the one where my daughter Anne placed in the 200 M.  Yeah, the 200 M!
  2. This is the 28th Anniversary of "The Race" (7:11.17 4 x 800 at Penn).  Read some memories of those times Here, Here, Here and Here.
  3. The current 800 M men stepped up in distance en masse at the Bison Invitational.  The results were rather good!  
      1 Creese, Robby       3:41.32 (3:58.8)*
      2 Kidder, Brannon     3:42.07 (3:59.6)*
      3 Corkedale, Tyler    3:45.93 (4:03.7)*
      4 West, Ricky         3:46.33 (4:04.2)*
      5 Dawson, Owen        3:47.20 (4:05.2)*
     11 Fischer, Matt       3:49.36 (4:07.5)*
     12 Masters, Sam        3:49.40 (4:07.6)*
     17 Watkins, Za'Von     3:50.05 (4:08.2)*
    *Mile equivalent according to 2012 IAAF Scoring Tables 
  4. PSU was 2nd in both the Men's and Women's competition at LSU's Battle of the BayouBrian Leap won the College long jump (23' 8.75") and triple jump (50' 2.5") competitions.  Leap, jump, get it?  I'm sure he's never heard that before!    Mahogany Jones won the 100 M (11.55) in a very good field.
  5. I have sent the entry in for my Alumni Weekend and Coach Groves Golf Tournament.  Have you?
  6. I will have the complete set of 1985 4 x 800 M Penn Relays (the longest running record at Penn!) photos for all to see.  They belong to Steve Shisler and I have failed to deliver them several times already.  I'm an idiot, I know.


Saturday, April 13, 2013

What Do You Do When You Blow Out Your Elbow Throwing a Javelin?

Become the 2 Time World (Golfing) Long-Drive Champion! 

Carl Wolter's schedule hasn't allowed him to golf with us at the Coach Groves Golf Tournament and PSU Track Alumni Reunion yet, but we'll entice him one of these years!

Friday, April 12, 2013

A Really Cool Photo

This photo is in the Track and Field section of the All Sports Museum on campus.*  It shows PSU's first Sub-4 Miler and most importantly, the soon-to-be Co-Administrator of The Blog With It All!  More on that later.  Now back to the picture...

That's Nittany Mountain in the background, which is probably why the photo was taken from the low angle with Larry in the foreground.  As I just learned via Larry, the runner in second place with the Oregon USA jersey is Jere Van Dyk.  He was an Olympic Trials 1500 M Finalist in 1972.  He later was captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan and wrote the book Captive about the whole ordeal. I'll be reading it soon so the blog can have its 4th "book review".

But that's not all that's great about the photo.  In the background of the photo is my future wife Barb watching the action on the track!  It kind of freaks me out a little, but I'm pretty sure it's her.  I was wrong about seeing my mom in the earlier photo, but I'm pretty sure about this one.  Barb was at the meet, so there is that.

* Wrong again.  Another shot from this race is in the museum. Another  blog fact checker has been sacked.  Applications are being accepted.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Coach Groves Turns His Thoughts to the Reunion and Golf

The 12th Annual Coach Harry R. Groves Golf Tournament is upcoming on Coach Groves' busy schedule this Spring. It will coincide with the 2nd Annual Penn State Track and Field/Cross Country Reunion on May 17 and 18, 2013. This will follow his birthday and his 68th Penn Relay appearance.  Last week he was honored at William and Mary as the Founder of the Colonial Relays.

Coach Groves, Roger"Gunny" Roll (left) and Coach Stephen Walsh (right)
Batons used during the Relays

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

I Haven't Changed At All In 36 Years!

Photo by Dr. David Litrenta

There aren't many photos of me from that era.  It wasn't my style.  This one was taken by a patient of mine and presented to me today as partial payment for the visit.   I think that may be my mom in the background, although I may be wrong on that.  Maybe my sister will help me out on that one.  The other shadow was my best friend Dan Spangler who I cropped out of the photo because none of you would have been able to pick me out if I kept him in it.  By the looks of things, this was right before Districts of my Senior year.  I had just run a lead-off 2:01 Half and 4:27 Mile.  My Coach wouldn't let me run the 2 Mile or the 880 Y that day, so I think that accounts for the smile.

Zoom in on the socks to see the "peds", complete with the little ball in the back, my preferred footwear at the time.

"Scrappy" Runs in the Family

The Nittany Lions have a legacy at shortstop for the Baseball team.  Taylor Skerpon is the son of Don Skerpon, PSU pole vaulter from the late 70's and early 80's.  Taylor patterns his game after Dustin Pedroia, thus making him an old-fashioned, scrappy, do-it-right kind of player.  I would have used Pete Rose for that if I could actually play the game well enough to graduate from Little League. But my baseball game is equal to my golf game, so that was out the window.  And Pete had issues none of us knew about at the time.

Those who know Don, know the scrappy nature of his athletic prowess also. I often talk about my inability to even carry his 16 ft. pole vault pole down the runway. But  not many know that he was called on to be the fourth man on the Shuttle Hurdle Relay at the Penn Relays.  Having Paul Lankford depending on you as a teammate and competing against Renaldo Nehemiah may seem a tough thing to do, but Don did it with enough skill to even get Coach Groves to smile.

Monday, April 8, 2013

We Need Your Help!

We need a big showing at our upcoming Track Alumni Reunion in order to out-do the Lacrosse team's participation rate!

PSU Lacrosse Alumni, 100th Anniversary.
Get your entry in for the Reunion and Golf Tournament Now! And bring a friend!

And Sam Masters needs a little help from some speedy alums also:

Hello, Alumni,

If you are between the ages 18 and 40, and can run 6:00/mile for 15 minutes, a colleague of mine is offering $30 for 90 minutes of your time.

He is a fellow PhD student in the lab that I work in (biomechanics) and is doing a study on ankle moment arms and economy. His name is Herman van Werkhoven. He needs 13 more participants. Not only do you get $30, but you are contributing to the underlying science of distance running.

E-mail Herman van Werkhoven (hxv114@psu.edu) or myself (sem361@psu.edu) if you are interested. Thank you!

It's a shame I'm over 40 y.o. or I'd love to put in a 6:00 mile for him!  hee hee hee

Lions and Tigers and One Bear

The Women Lions won the Crimson Tide Invitational in Tuscaloosa and the Men placed third. The Missouri Tigers were there too. Our man in the field Larry Mangan found some time before the Javelin competition to bring us a delightful photo of Paul "Bear" Bryant's bust with a little added PSU Track Alumni Wrist Band!  Yeah, you heard that right, Larry Mangan watched the javelin competition where his daughter Olivia Mangan threw a PR.

Paul "Bear" Bryant gets a dose of PSU Track Alumni goodness.

I'm more interested in finding out how the barbeque was in a place I've never been!

Owly Images

In other news, Tyler McCandless traveled to the nation's capital for the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, where he was the first American in a PR 49:01.

Tyler McCandless, 8th Place Cherry Blossom 10 Miles 49:01
Addendum:  From Tyler himself, I learned of several other Lion Alums taking over Washington DC!

Patrick Murphy , and Scott Munro ran 54:20 and 54:26 respectively. Chris Pruitt in 53:32!  Stephanie- Pezz Pezzullo was 9th American in the US Championships too!!

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