20th Annual Penn State Track and Field/XC Reunion

And SAVE THE DATE! The Executive Committee meeting of the Officers of the Group convened and chose the dates for the 2022 Reunion and Coach Groves Golf Tournament. This will be the 20th anniversary of the formulation of this whole shebang, and you better SAVE THE DATE!! So set aside May 13th and 14th, 2022. (Each year will alternate between May and August) We will be going all out for this event and you won't want to miss it. Adult beverages, camaraderie with old and new friends, mediocre golf, AND LIVE MUSIC FROM PROFESSIONALS! Stay tuned...

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Another Accumulation of Various Ideas

I want to talk about our compiling of the PSU Track Alumni Records.  Some have speculated that I have been doing yeoman's work in compiling this.  I haven't.  These mostly come from the old PSU Track and Field Media Guides.  Coach Groves kept these kind of meticulous details on record in his peculiar scrawl we all loved.  The current listing I'm trying to authenticate is mostly from the 2003 or 2004 Media Guide forwarded to me from Larry Mangan.  (Again, Larry has been one of my biggest helpers in my desire to keep interest in the Reunions and Coach Groves Golf Tourney building.  I can't thank him enough.)

There have been some updates because of our efforts, which is really the point.  All the various permutations of records and statistics becomes really difficult when you don't have a starting point.  Hence, I have no clue about women's records, let alone the Indoor compilations separate from the outdoor.  Then there are obscure events to add into the mix...

Dave Masgay responded after seeing his listing in the pole vault.  He relates the nearly 17 foot mark he set was at the Decathlon Olympic Trials in 1992.  He tried 17 foot and pulled his hamstring, thus making the mark his last ever attempt at the pole vault.  (These kind of stories is what I'm really after!) 

My next quandary is what to do when reporting the Distance Records.  Several of the marks are from an alumnus never wanting mentioned on our site again, or by PSU in general.  I think I'll honor his wishes and just redact his name like the governement always does with anything threatening the higher-ups. Remember though, everyone is welcome at our site.  No exceptions.  This site is not about me.  It is about all of us.  (Well, sometimes it's about me, for which I apologize.  hee hee hee)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Penn State Track Alumni Records: Jumps Section

These are some pretty fine records.  In my rudimentary searches, I have not found anyone beating these in the past few years.  Please inform us if you know of any!

High Jump: 2.15 [7' 3/4"} Dave Kriz '96  [Flagstaff, Az.}1999
Long Jump: 7.89 (25' 10 3/4") GeorgeAudu '99 (Great Britain Olympic Trials) 2000·
Triple Jump: 16.22 (53' 7 3/4") Ricardo Hall 1995
PoleVault: 5.10 (16' 8 3/4") Dave Masgay '87 (U.S.Olympic Trials) 1992

My favorite photo of Dave Masgay.
See the Sprint records Here.

See the Middle Distance Records Here.

Monday, July 29, 2013

A Little Physics to Start the Week

Or:  The Physicist on Wall Street!

The answer to the headline "Why do Physicists gravitate toward  jobs in Finance?" can be summed up thusly:

  1. Smart People (especially at Math).
  2. Money.
  3. Combine liberally.
 And don't forget The Fritz Spence Project!

And a little knowledge today's politicians should learn:
“No government has the right to decide on the truth of scientific principles, nor to prescribe in any way the character of the questions investigated. Neither may a government determine the aesthetic value of artistic creations, nor limit the forms of literacy or artistic expression. Nor should it pronounce on the validity of economic, historic, religious, or philosophical doctrines. Instead it has a duty to its citizens to maintain the freedom, to let those citizens contribute to the further adventure and the development of the human race.”
Richard P. Feynman

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Top Finishes For PSU at B1G 10K!

Tyler McCandless finished third (first American?)  in 29:25 and Stephanie Pezz-Pezullo was first at the Second Annual B1G 10 K in Chicago this AM.  Both will appear on the B1G Network broadcast on the event at 8:00 PM tonight (7/27/13).

Tyler McCandless and Stephanie Pezz-Pezullo with the Nittany Lion.  The guy puking at the finish line was just a fortuitous bonus!

Photo by Tyler McCandless.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Let's Celebrate a World Record by One of Our Own!

We're a little late with this one, but what the heck.

In addition to the World Record Horace Ashenfelter set at the 1952 Olympics in the Steeplechase, we have another World Record Holder in our ranks.  Thanks to our great friend from the Oregon Ducks and the West Coast, Dan Martinez, we have these great photos and stats of the 1978 AIAW 5000 M Championships.

Kathy Mills gapped the field by 35 meters in the first lap and never let up!
  • 400 M - 67.1
  • 1 Mile - 4:48.3
  • 2 Mile - 9:55.6 (5:07.3)
  • 3 Mile - 15:03.9 (5:08.3)
  • 5000 M - 15:35.5   Collegiate Record, American Record, World Record!
Photo by Bill Killian.
 Also in the race and finishing 7th was Kris Bankes in 16:12.0, the 10th fastest American all-time at the time.

Photo by Bill Killian.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

King George Likes His Chicken Spicy

There was a monumental explosion of Blog Memes yesterday at the announcement of the name of the third in line to the British Throne.

George Alexander Louis

Goerge is the first name of Jason Alexander's (real name Jay Scott Greenspan) character on Seinfeld, whose adopted middle name happens to be Louis.

Which reminds me of one of my favorite episodes involving Kung Pao Chicken...

A meal fit for a King.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Mike Pfaff is Filming the Lead in a Wicked Pissah of a Movie Neah Fenway Pahk*

*or, "Don't Mess With a PSU Distance Runner!"

Here's a short film that Mike both wrote and directed promoting the upcoming film Lazarus Rising, in which he is the lead actor.  He just began filming in Boston on Monday.  The only thing I know about movie filming is that they always have a good caterer on site.  I'm sure there is one wicked pissah of a potty plattah theah! (Guide to speaking in Boston Heyah)

Be sure to share the video with everybody and also "like" the film on the movie website Heyah.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Velveteen Playboys Rock Chicago*

Paul Souza and Robert Douglas Day Rock 20,000 in Chicago
As part of his tour of America, Paul Souza took his Velveteen Playboys from Boston to Indianapolis to Chicago for the Rock and Roll Marathon Series performance in front of 20,000 energetic fans.

Robert Douglas Day's saxophone exploits even made my daughter switch from the clarinet to the sax recently.  If you get the chance to see them (there are everywhere this year) I certainly recommend checking them out.

*My first headline was the politically incorrect "More Than Just Gangs are Slaying Chicago!" Thank goodness no one saw that...

Sunday, July 21, 2013

PSU Alumni Records: Sprint Edition

What's New is Old again.  I don't think any of these records have been broken, but that's why we're doing the posts on records to begin with.  If you know of any changes, let us know in the comments, via email dfbaskwill(AT)cs(DOT)com or by shouting loudly in a crowd while wearing an Alumni Singlet!

100 M:  Barney Ewell  10.1  1948 Olympic Trials.
200 M:  Mike Sands  20.5  1976.
400 M:  Mike Sands  46.01  1976 AAU.
110 M HH:  Mike Shine  13.80  1979.
400 M IH:  Mike Shine  49.30  1979.

Barney Ewell,  Gold and Silver Medalist.

Silver Medalist Mike Shine.
See the previous listing of Middle Distance Records Here.

Friday, July 19, 2013

These Student-Athletes Are Smarter Than I Am

 These athletes deserve attention for attaining a GPA above 3.7!

Matthew Fischer, Men's Cross Country/Track/Field
Thomas Luff, Men's Cross Country/Track/Field
Leigha Anderson, Women's Cross Country/Track/Field
Rachel Casciano, Women's Cross Country
Kalyn Fisher, Women's Cross Country/Track/Field
Emily Giannotti, Women's Cross Country/Track/Field
Lindsey Graybill, Women's Cross Country/Track/Field
Danielle Kocjancic, Women's Cross Country
Kathleen Rodden, Women's Cross Country/Track/Field
Colleen Shannon, Women's Cross Country/Track/Field
David Patzer, Men's Track/Field
Megan Boyer, Women's Track/Field
Olivia Mangan, Women's Track/Field

And these 4 athletes happened to attain a 4.0!

Megan Boyer, Women's Track/Field, Jr., Human Development & Family Studies,      Millersburg, Pa.
Rachel Casciano, Women's Cross Country, So., Communications, Wyomissing, Pa.
Kalyn Fisher, Women's Cross Country/Track/Field, Jr., Childhood/Early Adolescent Education, Lewisburg, Pa.
Kathleen Rodden, Women's Cross Country/Track/Field, So., Health/Human Development, Ardmore, Pa.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Harrisburg Mile Dominated By PSU Track Alumni Golfers, Again

Matt Groves sandwiched by Fullers. (Kevin and Brian) First, fourth and third!.
The lack of an Alumni Singlet is glaring, but Matt redeems himself with the display of a six-pack!

Beth Shisler, 2nd Place.
The range of this woman is nothing short of amazing. From 200 M to Marathon!

Bob Hudson directed me to the release of the award winners with actual photos of Alumni Singlets on PennLive.com.  Thanks, Bob.

Photo from PennLive.com

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

My Post Didn't Even Last Ten Hours!

The  800 M Record for Penn State Track Alumni has been posted since this morning, but already it is wrong.  Story of my life.  I joked to Casimir earlier today that I hope this would happen.

So, as Emily Litella would say...

Never Mind!

The "Official" PSU Track Alumni Records List: Middle Distance Section

Working with Track Records creates only slightly less statistical and categorical conundrums than working with MLB statistics.  There's always another category or variable that can be added, making it a full-time job for the most compulsive and obsessive among us.

Should we include only graduates?  Should we considers those without degrees from PSU who are still enrolled in Graduate School?  Do Indoor records count, or do they deserve a second listing?  How about conversions from yards to meters?  How about PEDs affecting any marks?

My answer to all of these is, "I don't know." (Hint: any doctor who allows themselves to utter that phrase in your presence is worthy of being your doctor.)

I have been aided and abetted in starting the list by, in order of appearance: Matt Groves (whose father kept a list that was published every year until his retirement), Artie Gilkes, Larry Mangan and some anonymous character lurking around the site.  I have expressed to each of them some thoughts and expressed my thanks for helping. Please give me input and corrections at any time.  Other Idiot Officers can attest to my occasional difficulty with facts.

We will start with the simple MENS OUTDOOR MIDDLE DISTANCE ALUMNI RECORDS (because it's what I'm used to and the simplest so far).

800 M:   Casimir Loxsom1:45.98  2013 (and this will probably go down in the next few weeks by Cas himself!)  I told Matt that I'm sure Randy Moore was close, and I was right! 1:46.04 1987.
Addendum: Now 1:45.75! by Cas Loxsom with more to come.

1500 M Larry Mangan:  3:38.44 1982. I don't think anyone has beaten this one in the years since.
Addendum from Tim Johnson: A Tie!  Matt Lincoln 3:38.44 2009.  This internet sourcing works!

Larry Mangan in Holland, 1984.

Mile:  Larry Mangan:  3:56.9  1984.  My hope is that Larry will expound upon these races via the comments.  I'd like to know more since I had already entered my hermit-phase by then!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

"Let's Put Together a PSU Track Alumni Records List"

Matt Groves came up with this idea last night.  But since I was already asleep at 8:30PM I responded to it this AM. (Thanks Matt, I don't have enough to do already!) I agree it's a good idea, but realize it will be an arduous task, fraught with mistakes and errors.  In other words, right down my alley.

Matt means we should compile a list of all the best marks for a post-graduate Penn State Track and Field athlete in each event recognized by the IAAF.

He opines that Cas Loxsom's recent 1:45.98 must be the 800 M record, but I'm not so sure?

 Watch more video of KBC Night of Athletics (Heusden) 2013 on flotrack.org

I opined that James Carney has the 10000 M record with 27:43.  I think that's right, but won't look it up so that I can...

Have Everyone Join Us in a Crowd-Sourced List!

Respond with any you may know in the comments, in an email, via carrier pigeon or by yelling from the mountaintops.  I figure this will be an ongoing enterprise each of us can do a little bit toward.

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Dorm Rooms Haven't Changed Much Since 1975*

Dropped my kid off at Penn State Track Camp yesterday for her first ever taste of college life.  She gets to experience several days in the same East Halls I bivouacked in for my Freshman Year.  She is actually in the same group of buildings both my wife and I spent 1977/1978 in.

Luckily, we encountered her roommate when we dropped her off.  Small world when it turned out her dad was on the State College track team in 1974. I'm pretty sure Jess Riden and the Camp Staff will take good care of her.  When I saw the one dorm room with an air conditioner I wondered who that special person was.  Turns out it's Jess, so I don't feel so bad.  Good luck with the kids, Jess. Wish I had the week off to just watch the action.

*My first ever view of a PSU dorm was in 1975 when my brother moved into Geary Hall.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Update on Fritz Spence

People from all over, including members of the Penn State Track and Field Alumni Golfers group have stepped up big time for the Coach Fritz Spence Project.

Fritz has started his initial treatments.  Let's hope the worst part of it is being holed-up in Hershey!

Participate in any way you can.  Even just a prayer may be the most powerful thing in the world.

Coach Spence is still a way better golfer than I.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Penn State Track Alumni Rabbits Are Everywhere

When the Fuller family vacations at the DelMarVa Shore, they take their Alumni Singlets with them and put them to good use.  Like first and third place in a local 5K, garnering local press and spreading the word of the soon-to-be largest Track Alumni Group in the world.

Kevin and Brian Fuller "down the shore"
Now, Matt Lincoln can be added to the mix of "rabbits" in the Track Alumni Golfing Universe.  He helped Nate Brannen eclipse the Canadian record in the 2K last week in York College of Canada.  He actually uses the word "pacing" instead of "rabbiting", so I hope I'm not slighting him in any way.  If I am, I'll send him a gift certificate for some Tim Horton's goodies as amends!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Help Out One of Our Own

I had the pleasure of getting to know Coach Fritz Spence on the golf course this year.  I was looking forward to him coaching my daughter next week at PSU's Track Camp, trying to make her into the decathlete I could never be.  But at this time he is back in Hershey's Medical Center with a recurrence of his Leukemia, 5 years following his successful bone marrow transplant.

I can't tell you how sad I feel about this.  My hope is that my dozens of readers will respond with whatever means they have to make things better.  A simple prayer goes a long way.  Positive vibes, a card or even a monetary contribution can also help.

Cards and good wishes to:  
Coach Fritz Spence
3186 Shellers Bend
State College, PA 16801

Monetary Contributions to:

Coach Spence is a better golfer than I.
Let's show Coach Spence what it means to be a PSU Track Alumni Golfer.

I Was Told There Would Be No Math On This Blog

I briefly alluded to a big donation made before the recent Track Alumni Reunion and Coach Groves Golf Tourney.   Although the person wishes to remain Anonymous, I have pieced together enough to out him right here on the blog.
  1. The first clue is that I have heard he/she reads the blog at least occasionally. That makes him/her pretty cool.
  2. The second clue was the actual amount of the donation.  It was $26,385.00.  This was pointed out to me as representing the marathon distance in dollars.  Sort of.  A pretty cool way to give a donation, don't you think?
So I have concluded that Anonymous is actually the one and only Joe Cool!  It all makes sense now.  The amount represents dropping a dollar about every 1.75 yards during an entire marathon! 

That's (26 miles * 1760y/mile) + 385y/$26,385.00 = 1.749 yards/$  (Check my math!)
Artist's Conception.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Inside the Numbers: Learfield Sports Director's Cup

Especially noteworthy were the combined 263.5 points earned by the cross country and track squads, directed by head coach Beth Alford-Sullivan.
1. men’s indoor track and field 67.5
2. women’s cross country 61.5
3. men’s outdoor track and field 61.5
4. women’s outdoor track and field 44
5. men’s cross country 29

Congratulations to the Coaching Staff, the Athletes and everyone who supports them.

24% of Penn State's Points came from our Universe.

Monday, July 8, 2013

A 4 x 800 M Relay That Took 329 Years Plus 14 Minutes and 24 Seconds

You all know how much I like the 4 x 800 M Relay.  Well, hats off to the Canadian foursome of Ray Wardle, Bill Thompson, Ed Whitlock and Earl Fee.  They are 80, 82, 83 and 84 years old, in that order. 

Their time of 14:24 beat the old record by more than a minute and a half. I'm making them honorary members of our group.

We Just Keep Getting Better and Better

I was just alerted to a remarkable coincidence.

 Just came across this website. Meghan Vogel is my daughter. She signed her letter of intent to run cross country and track at Penn State back in February. Our family is looking forward to Meghan continuing her running career as a Nittany Lion. We are...

Last year I made two people honorary members of our group.  With not a bit of regret, I now rescind one of those honorary memberships.

But only because Meghan Vogel is now a full-fledged, honest-to-goodness member of our group!

The Ohio native has signed on with the Nittany Lions to continue her running career.  We welcome her with open paws.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Penn State Track Alumni Golfers Can Do Almost Anything

Steve and Beth Shisler at the Eastern Masters USATF Meet
When you consider that Beth Shisler is running 400 M times not far off what she was running while in college*, you must agree that her Coach Steve Shisler must be doing something right.  Also consider that both ran a marathon last year.  That's a really good range of talent.  I am delighted to be able to call them both friends.  And it's only through the idea of a PSU Track Alumni golf tourney dreamed up by Clark Haley back in 2002.

I really think Beth can do almost anything.  Except maybe lift a refrigerator.  But never fear, Ryan Whiting is in town for any contingencies.  Apparently, it's part of shot put training or something.

I don't think it was just the box either!

My daughter will be attending the PSU Track and Field Camp next week to learn multi-events.  My dream of doing the decathlon died in 1977, but with the advent of women entering the event in the next few years, maybe Anne can substitute for me!  Maybe even learn a tip or two from Ryan for what would be her worst event?

*I never divulge the age of women.  It's a rule that never fails to garner thanks. 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Since When Did This Blog Become a Social Calendar?

Well, in an effort to unite all of Penn State Track and Field from before Curt Stone to after Cas Loxsom, I have met a lot of people.  Which has always been against my very hermit-like nature. But I muddle on, to the best of my humble abilities.  This year I got to golf with another recent graduate I have much in common with. (Except for the hermitty thing!)  I would be very much like Tim Johnson if:
  1. I was better looking.
  2. I was a little smarter.
  3. I had better writing ability.
  4. I had better golfing ability.
  5. I could run a little faster.
Tim announced his engagement to Colleen Shannon.  This  combination of PSU Track Alumni Golfers is even a little bit like my own nuptials 25 years ago.  (Hint for Tim and Colleen: It goes verry, very quickly!)

Congrats to both of you from this old curmudgeon and "dozens" of his readers (Sixty daily at this point.)

Thursday, July 4, 2013

PSU-Affiliated Big Men Impress the Swiss

Adopted Shot Putter Ryan Whiting won the Laussane Diamond League event with a heave of 21.88 M or 71 ' 9.5 ".  That extends his lead in the overall standings and sets the Meet Record.  Joe Kovacs placed 6th with 20.02 M.  I think he only threw once and may be saving more for the World University Games on Sunday.

Trio of Track Alumni (Golfers) Light Up a Firecracker

The Firecracker 4K in Happy Valley that is.

Ryan Foster 12:23
Kara (Millhouse) Foster 13:33
Matt Groves 13:41

Ryan and Kara. Photo by Matt Groves.

Vacation at a Campground Means...

  1. Being in a horrendous traffic jam at least once.
  2. Spending more than $4 for a soft drink at least once.
  3. Not showering nearly enough.
  4. Listening to the rowdies at night and wondering whether you should start drinking again.
  5. Running in unfamiliar territory and not knowing how far or how slow you are going.
  6. "Free" hotcakes for breakfast every day you end up "paying for" later.
  7. Difficulty with internet connections. (Or is it just me?)
  8. Not sleeping nearly enough while everyone tells you that you are sleeping way too much.
  9. Dodging the bozos with golf carts for the 100 meter walk that then steal the shower right in front of you.
  10. The guy with the golf cart that befouls the shower so horrendously that you will never shower again. Again.
  11. The guy lighting fireworks in front of the "No Fireworks" sign.
  12. 2-day-old Washington Post newspapers. You know, back when The USA was still backing the Muslim Brotherhood. In public statements, on the front page. Without shame.
  13. Meeting many new dogs of a million different sizes and shapes.  Happy that pit bulls are seemingly going out of style for all except the hardened among us.
  14. Always being just a bit too hot or a bit too cold all the time.
  15. Difficulty avoiding the throngs visiting the historic sites you don't want to visit.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Life After 50 Doesn't Need To Be a Hurdle

Dave Zeiters still has it.  And I'm not just talking about his PSU smarts!  I mean his mad hurdling skills after all these years.  Here's Dave skimming the barriers at the recent Florida Sunshine Games. Here on vacation in WV the only event like that I've seen is the roadkill cooking contest. Contestants must first retrieve the varmints from the roadway by dodging pick-up truck traffic.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A PR For Loxsom. Actually 2 of Them! (Maybe 3?)

At the Harry Jerome Track Classic in Vancouver yesterday, Duane Solomon made a stab at the outdoor 600 M world record.  He just missed with his 1:13.28, the third fastest all time.  In a game second place, Casimir Loxsom went out hard for the first 200 M (22.x!), set a PR at the 400 M mark (46.x), and held on for his 600 M PR in 1:14.84

.Watch more video of Harry Jerome International Track Classic 2013 (NTL #4) on flotrack.org

Monday, July 1, 2013

West Virginia Isn't the Place to Be

From what I can see, Canada is on the list for sure.  In addition to Matt Lincoln and Casimir Loxsom heading to Vancouver for the Harry Jerome Track Classic on Canada Day (Monday July 1), Mac Fleet worked out with Cas yesterday and took this picture:

Cas Loxsom lacing them up. Photo by Mac Fleet.
Maybe Kansas is near the top of the list too.  Here's Tyler McCandless, posing with Coach John Lucas's favorite Olympic athlete, Billy Mills.  Tyler won the Double Road Race in Overland this weekend.  That's a 10K and then a 5K.  Tyler's time of 30:16/14:57 is the new World Best in the event.

Billy Mills with Tyler McCandless.
Or maybe the place to be is Istanbul!  Here's Phil Passen with his wife Priscilla at the bridge between Europe and Asia.  Priscilla is from South America, so that's 4 Continents in one photo, so to speak. Phil's travels often leave ME exhausted!

Phil Passen and his wife Priscilla.

Meanwhile I'm enjoying the 1/2G* (as apposed to 3G or 4G) internet service of beautiful West Virginia.  I started this post yesterday, but it's just getting done now....

*I deem the internet service in WV "C" service, which is 1/2 of "G" or thereabouts.
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