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...

Saturday, August 31, 2013

I Hope Our Team Would Take This One Step Further

As the XC season is about to start, this item got lots of Press in the News:

There is hope for this world.

Actually, all 4 of them went into the store and found their items.  When they saw the store unattended, they put the money on the counter, complete with the appropriate taxes, waved at the surveillance cameras, and went on their way.

Good for them.  But the true test is when someone is in the same situation, alone, and without surveillance cameras. Because my parents and Penn State coaches instilled in me to always do the right thing. Fifty-three years of existence on this Earth have also taught me that nothing is more valuable than one's own conscience.  And I'll face the next world knowing at least that part of me will pass muster.

And I don't know what to say about this one!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Iconic Sports Moments

My father was at the game that highlighted Babe Ruth's final appearance in uniform in 1948, just before throat cancer claimed him.  He relates no one at the stadium could understand a word he said.

In a previous post, we learned that Greg Fredericks was in attendance at Wilt Chamberlain's 100 point night in Hershey PA.

The closest I have come to these was being at The Vet with my dad and brother when Pete Rose tied Stan Musial for the National League hit crown.  He was matched against the Astros Nolan Ryan that day and "The Express" struck him out 3 straight times after that, something Pete only had happen twice in his career.  The Baseball Strike started the next day, so Pete had to wait.

Does anyone else have another iconic moment?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Running In Paradise, Again!

I'm not talking about my daily jaunt on my Lifefitness 9500 treadmill watching the news OR HGTV (if my wife is also running on its neighboring Smooth Fitness beauty).

I'm talking about Hawaii, where Tyler McCandless will be defending his 2-year title at the Kauai Marathon this weekend!

Photo by Tyler McCandless.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Photos Smuggled Out of the Chesapeake Bay by a Renegade Crab Fisherman

The veracity of these photos cannot be verified by me or by Glenn Greenwald. Are they the first evidence of "Day on the Bay II"?

This one supposedly shows the Chesapeake Bay and the bow of The Yanomamo II.

Photo by O. Dawson.

This one may be a second ship of the Regatta named The Couch Potato.

A third ship, The Santa Maria,  may have been lost at Sea.

"A Three Hour Tour"

The return of "A Day on the Bay" with Captain Tim Backenstose is going forward without me.  Luckily, Group Founder and Keeper of the Beer Clark Haley and Director of Corporate Espionage Gary Black wlil be there to document things.  That is, unless they drown each other in the process!  There will also be members of other eras along for the tour and its aftermath.  Can't wait for photos and video!  Coach Groves stories are on the agenda.  But then again, aren't they always?

Artist's Conception.

Friday, August 23, 2013

More Vintage XC Pics From When We Still Were Going To The Moon

My minions have come through in a big way.  Here are some more pics from a XC Meet at Georgetown University circa 1970 or so.

Greg Fredericks.

Jimmy Allahand.

Greg Fredericks.

Charlie Maguire, Jimmy Allahand, (Gerth McKay), Dan Sapulski, John Fullmer and Bob Hillman.

Jimmy Miller (134) and Ralph Kissel.

John Fullmer.
Greg Fredericks.
I am also told that Coach Groves has some good stories about this meet.  (But then, Coach Groves has good stories about every meet.)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Optimism and Pessimsm* in an Uncertian Age

or "What Does This Have To Do With PSU Track/XC?

Most familiar with me know I'm not nearly the optimist I aspire to on this blog (sometimes with little success!).  I, in fact, can veer severely to the opposite side.  One thing that always drags me back is the wonderful experience I had as part of "The Team" at PSU.  Over the years I have learned that I vastly underestimated the intelligence and uniqueness of just about everyone else involved with the team.  It is truly inspiring to see the heights those affiliated with PSU Track in every era attain in so many divergent aspects of life.  Confidant, competitive, cerebral and compassionate all come to mind.  It gives me optimism for the future the world would otherwise steal from me.

It is with that optimism that I look forward to another year of great XC and Track.

*On the pessimistic side I will note I'm dismayed at the younger set's dependence on their cell phones and their continuance of the low-rise pants that just won't fit an out-of-shape type like me. But that's just splitting hairs.  Good luck, all of you.

Cross Country Season Is Here!

Some splendid archive black and white beauties from the vault of Group Friend Walt Chadwick:

Greg Fredericks in the lead.
Charlie Maguire close behind.
I have numerous minions out trying to identify Alums on several other photos that have come my way.  Hope to bring them soon. Anyone with info on the location of this meet can chime in!

Blog minions.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Waiting Patiently For XC Season: Why Didn't They Tell Us? 2 Great Food Tips and Even Another Kung Pao Recipe

Wow.  I could have used this fact for the past 35 years of Chinese Food eating.  This is especially good for the lazy among us. (raises hand.)

Chinese Food Take-Out Boxes are made to be unfolded into a plate!

And can be folded back up for leftovers!
Those paper cups for ketchup can be opened up for better dunking!

Pay attention Gary!

And don't forget, Kung Pao is the world's greatest food.  Here's another recipe to make a good version at home.
That's really chicken!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Sometimes the Simple Things are Best

My post on the NVTC Marathon in 1978 brought this photo of the 6th place award in the 1976 NVTC Marathon from Bill KvashayThe best prizes are the ones you still have from more than 30 years ago! Somehow he didn't run the 1978 edition the rest of us were forced to run.  I figure he either ran a different marathon or was "luckily" injured!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Quality World Championships for PSU Track Alumni (Golfers)* and a Brief Lesson in Physics.

*The golf is always optional, but highly recommended.

Three PSU Track Alumni ventured to the rainbow-averse Moscow IAAF World Championships, coming away with a Silver Medal, a Bronze Medal and an appearance in the Semi-Finals.  Not a bad performance overall.
  • Ryan Whiting (USA) - Shot Put
  • Shana Cox (Great Britain) - 4x400 Relay
  • Aleesha Barber (Trinidad) - 100M Hurdles               
Shana Cox, Great Britain.  Photo from IAAF.

And here is a brief video that will teach you more about Physics than all of high school ever did!

BBC Science Club - Physics from Asa Lucander on Vimeo.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Silver Medal Still Gleams Brightly

Adopted PSU Track and Field Alumni Golfer Ryan Whiting made no bones about wanting to win the World Championships this year.  He certainly put the work in at PSU's wonderful facilities, as anyone who followed him can attest.  Ryan came in second in the Shot Put at the IAFF World Championships yesterday.  I congratulate him on this great achievement with a little bit of perspective relying on Metaphysics. 

This will be the greatest motivator ever to make him even better than he already is.  It will focus him like nothing else ever has.  It will make him even more thankful for his family and friends, something he shows no lack of already!  In other words, I think this will push Ryan to heights (distances!) he otherwise would never have attained.  I hope the PSU Track Alumni (Golfing) family plays a part in all of that.

And don't forget Ryan, You are already invited to join us on the links at the next Coach Harry Groves Golf Tournament in May 2014!

Warm Ups in Russia, although it looks like Wrigley Field in this photo.

Compare this 1,500 pounds (3 x 500 pounds) of lifting with my PR of 120 pounds x 1! And I'll bet Ryan can beat me in a 5K right now too!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Can a Marathon Help an 800M/Miler?

In our recent discussions in the comment section of another post, the question came up "How does a marathon help an 800M/Miler?"  As B. Obama has stated, this is "above my pay grade" and I won't deign to answer definitively.  I will add, however, that I suspect the answer is "yes" it does, but  I'll let others chime in via the comments.

Coach Groves obviously thought so in 1978, as all those with their primary distance specialty being a mile or over had to run the entire Nittany Valley Track Club Marathon in February, just after the bulk of the indoor season was over.  The Half-Milers had to run 15 miles, which probably ticked them off enough as it was.

I think we had some pretty good performances from just about everybody after that, and I don't remember any serious injuries or illnesses from it.

Was Coach Groves Brilliant or a Dunce? (about the mandatory marathon only!)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Stephen Walsh Setting Records Upon Records

I think Steve Walsh must have learned something from Coach Groves in his 4 years in Happy Valley.  His recent Coach of the Year Award in Track and Field for the Colonial Athletic Conference was his third in the same sports year, a record.  He also became the first coach to win Mens and Womens Awards in the same season.  Congrats to a great runner, a fine golfer, and obviously a heck of a coach!

CAC Freshman of the Year Bob Smutsky and 3-time Coach of the Year Stephen Walsh.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

PSU is Relay U and a Return to a Happy Valley Marathon!

The newest Track and Field News is out and proclaims what we all knew all along.

Penn State is Relay U!

With first place in both the 4 x 800 and the Distance Medley, the PSU Men scored 34 total points (10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1) and (5-4-3-2-1 for the shuttle hurdles).
  • #1 4 x 800  =  10 points
  • #4 4 x Mile =  7 points
  • #4 Sprint Medley  =  7 points
  • #1 Distance Medley  =  10 points
Second Place was a tie with St. Augustine and Texas A & M with  28 points.
Fourth Place was a tie with Florida and Oregon with 25 points.

And my heart skipped a beat when I got the news that the Marathon will be returning to Happy Valley this year for the first time since 1984.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Penn State Track Alumni Golfers Continue To Rule The Sand and Have "Friends" EveryWhere

Here's Kyle Dawson winning the Sea Isle City Beach Run on Saturday.

Kyle Dawson dominating the Island!
And Matt Groves sends us word of Will Nowicki's victory at the River to Sea Relay with his fellow Pascack Valley High School Alumni Team.

And here's Phil Passen bringing his PSU XC tee to the "Friends" apartment in Manhattan.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Penn State Track Alumni Golfers Still Rule the Sand

At the Beach, not the bunker!

With Tyler McCandless not here to defend his title, Kyle Dawson stepped up to win the Sea Isle City Beach Run with a spectacular performance.  The conditions were decent on the weather front, but the newly dredged sand made it quite a challenge in the southern leg of the 10 mile tour of the beach.  I have not seen anyone in as good shape at the end of this particular race in 20 years.

Kyle had strategically placed members of our group for verbal support at several places along the course and didn't fail to delight any of them.  The photos I took seem to be stuck on my balky phone and I'll get around to posting them when I can.

Friend of the group Bill Kehner completed his 36th race in a row, followed with my wife's 20th straight effort.  Those 20 years have come despite fractures, surgery, childbirth and even worse health events.  It seems nothing can stop her!  The Great Bile also made the run from Manhattan for a return to the event after a 2-year layoff. Both Barb and our William and Mary connection Brian Mount beat last year's time by more than a minute.  All in all, a pretty good day.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Sea Isle City Beach Run 2013

Barb's 20th in a row!  Hope to see some Penn Staters there.

2012 Results!!!

Place    Runner           City/Town,State    Time  
   1.Tyler Mccandless     Boulder,CO         54:39.23   
   2.Kyle Dawson          State College,PA   54:55.37   

Thursday, August 8, 2013

From Red Square to the Flemington Diner

A Call for Masters XC Runners!

Steve Shisler has put a call out to join a Masters XC team for this year's USTAF Championships in Flemington NJ on Saturday October 20.  Top notch talent is already on board with Nick Kello and Mark Hawkins already on board with Steve. Let's put PSU Alumni on top where we belong! I had some pleasant childhood memories at the Flemington Diner which has been resurrected.

And here's Coach Sullivan ready to lead the troops into the IAAF World Championships in Russia.

Coach Sullivan in Red Square.

Submission Increase: I Can't Keep the Fullers Straight

Artie Gilkes, our Director of Youth Development, sent me the link to the Running Times article featuring a great photo of Kevin (Brian!)Fuller leading the pack in another race.  He's wearing his Alumni Singlet with his trademark red shorts.  At least I think it's Kevin and not Mark or Brian (Kevin).  Heck, I can never keep them straight.  They always seem to be together.  Which delights this curmudgeon as much as anything on Earth!

There has also been a bunch of submissions and comments about our post on the Distance Alumni Records.  I will be putting together another post trying to compile all the records at even the non-standard distances.  Keep the submissions coming.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Milestone I Forgot About

Mark Covert ended his streak after 45 years and one day.  His right foot finally gave out completely after hobbling for years. He related that after 2 days, he felt much better!

Mark Covert's "Last" Run
My current streak is at 219 days, slightly less than his.  But I have crossed the 70,000 total miles mark with my 70,219.  That's more than 5 miles/day since July 1975, which isn't bad for a schlub like me.  Mark has more than 170,000 miles on his mangled foot.  And remember, some of those early miles were with the likes of our very own Greg Fredericks at Nationals. Hats off to Mark.

Here's a pic of my new updated workout room with 2 treadmills!  My wife picked up a like-new  Smooth Fitness 9.35HR Treadmill at a local Thrift Store for $300.  She dismantled it, and reassembled it in our workout room all by herself.  I did help move it, so I'm not a total clod. I'm about to take the first run on it to give my trusty steed Lifefitness 9500 HR a rest.* Maybe I'll do a review of my own of both in a upcoming post.

My Lifefitness 9500 HR and new Smooth Fitness 9.35 HR
*Yes, I do know how lame it is to do most of my runs on a treadmill now!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

B1G Physics Updates

Brian Boyer has just been awarded with what he calls "a lifetime achievement award of sorts"! He has received the 2013 Edway R. Johnson Meritorious Service Award from the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management recognizing a long-term outstanding contribution to the INMM by an INMM member as well as the individual's noteworthy accomplishments and contributions to the profession.

Brian graciously acknowledges PSU profs and even us lowly schlubs who jogged with him back in the day.  I hereby congratulate our "Official Physicist" (I know, he's really a Nuclear Engineer!).  Well done, Brian.

And do Physicists "Prove" that Insane Bolt is drug free?

That's what they seem to be saying in this "Physics" of  Usain Bolt" article. I'll hold my breath.  These facts are more reliable in the article:

  • Only 8% of the energy Bolt expended in the race was used for motion; the rest was to overcome the aerodynamic drag of his large frame, explains InsideScience.
  • His maximum power output came less than a second into the race; figure about 3.5 horsepower, or enough to power a "large vacuum cleaner," reports PopSci.
  • His top speed came about 7 seconds into the race at around 27 mph.
  • Even without the slight tailwind he had that day in 2009, he would have busted the record with a speed of 9.68 seconds, say the physicists.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Out of the Blue (and White) Comes Some Great Black (and White) Pictures!

All-around good guy and PSU Pole Vaulter (and hurdler!) Don Skerpon posted these great pics from the 1980 Dogwood Relays.

Paul Lankford.

Larry Mangan and Mike England.

Alan Scharsu and Sydney Maree. (and John Gregorek)

Al and Larry.

"The Shoe"

Paul Lankford.

Larry contemplates the Sunday Mountain Run.

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