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...

Friday, February 28, 2014

The Eagle Has Landed

Penn State has arrived at SPIRE for the Big Ten Indoor Championships. Events start at 10am with the heptathlon 60 meter dash (meet schedule). For updates follow @bigtenchamps or the live results page.

Big Ten Time!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The USATF Indoor Was Out of Control

Nothing has energized the track and field world as much as the recent episodes of rage, corruption, incompetence and skullduggery at last week's Indoor Championships.

Matt previously brought us a smuggled video of one of the confrontations between Alberto Salazar of Nike's "Crips" and Jerry Schumacher of Nike's "Bloods".

Now more video has emerged of the botched awards ceremony with Gabrielle Grunewald of Nike's "Jets" and Jordan Hasay of Nike's "Sharks".

Not immune to the mayhem, even Andrew Bumbalough of Nike's "Hatfields" bumped shoulders and limbs with Galen Rupp of Nike's "McCoys".  Hilarity ensued.  Or is that sued?

Thank goodness the USATF authorities were there to make things right!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Big Ten Time!

The official pump up video for the Big Ten Indoor Championships this weekend. Video produced by Billy Cvecko.

Podcast #2: The Rock and Roll One

Creative Commons License
Penn State Track and Field Alumni Golf by Skwilli is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://psutafalumnigolf.blogspot.com.

Here is the second podcast, this time with Special Guest Paul Souza of the Velveteen Playboys, talking about a myriad of things from being recruited to Happy Valley, to Heavy Metal,  to coaching,  to the American Track League.

I have to apologize up front, as the length of the podcast is even longer than the first one.  But in my defense, the time went by quickly and you'll enjoy the whole thing quite the same. I threw in a whole song, "The Big Rock Wall" from the Playboy's album "Shakin' Not Stirred".

Paul Souza.
In the Ice Palace.
Addendums:  1. I know I don't identify myself on the Podcasts!  It's on purpose.  This isn't about me so much, I'm just skwilli, the second-string runner lucky enough to have had Coach Groves allow me to run with the Big Dogs from 1977 to 1981.  And I'm forever grateful.   2. Paul Souza coached Wheaton College to many titles in Division 3 Track and Field.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

RIP Colonel Gerald Russel


I can add little of import here except my observation that those in our group, Penn State Track and Field Alumni (Golfers), are some of the world's best people.  The most intelligent, interesting and accomplished people I have ever met.

This post is by Mark Heckel, who I am honored to call a friend. He wrote this after a request from me, because I knew he could do much more than I ever could.  Eventually Mark may even golf with us!


If you didn’t know who he was, he looked like another track official who had 

been around since the start of track and field. His TAC/USATF ID would tell you 
that he was a master official, and his membership was in the double digits . . . 
dating back almost the beginning of the AAU.

He never talked about himself much, and he never revealed much about his 
background. He was just a guy who loved track and field, and was always 
recruiting folks to help him out with Special Olympics in the summer. He asked 
quietly, but lead by example. He loved Penn State, and was never ashamed to show 

He was a quiet hero, tested by war at Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima. He earned a 
chest full of medals, including a Purple Heart with two gold stars, and a Bronze 
Star with a “V” for valor, the third highest award for valor a soldier can earn. 
He was a deep blue war hero, but to those of us fortunate enough to know and 
work with him, he was Gerry or The Colonel.

I got to know him over a number of years, and as I learned more about the man, I 
grew to have a deep honor and respect for him, and for what he stood for. He 
wanted nothing but the best for everyone he knew, whether on or off the track.

Each year, he would put on his tux and work the finish line at the Millrose 
Games, as much a fixture there as he was at Penn State meets. He was also a 
constant at Penn Relays, a friendly and familiar face in a sea of humanity.

He came to Penn State at the invitation of Dr. Ralph Rackley, the Provost and 
fellow Marine. He wrote speeches for John Oswald while also being Assistant 
Secretary to the Board of Trustees. He was an assistant professor and assistant 
to the Dean of HPER, and eventually became associate Dean. Leadership was in his 
makeup, and helping others to achieve was in his soul.

Gerry never talked about his military career. I only found about the true depth 
of the soldier when we were having lunch one day at an indoor meet. It was just 
the two of us, and I hesitantly asked him about his military background. He was 
reluctant to share at first, but then like a kindly parent, he quietly told me 
about Iwo Jima. I don’t know that I have ever listened any more intently or 
respectfully to anyone in my life.

One year, Penn State chose to recognize two or three officials at each indoor 
meet. They would print a short biography, along with a picture of the official, 
and make a small recognition of their contributions to Penn State track and 
field. We were coming down to the final meet of the indoor season, and there 
were only two officials left to be recognized – The Colonel and me.

To say that I was honored to be recognized with Gerry would be gross 
understatement. To say that I was humbled to be in the presence, and be able to 
proudly stand next to him that day would be far more accurate. Compared to him, 
I was a novice and little boy. It was one of the most incredible moments I’ve 
had as an official, and as a Penn Stater.

Colonel Russell was cut from a cloth that rarely exists anymore. He was a 
leader, a commander of men some of whom he knew would never come back. He was an 
inspiration, getting his fellow Marines to come to State College to help out 
with Special Olympics. He was a dedicated patriot, showing all of us that the 
good of the many was more important that the good of the one. He was a friend 
who wanted you to be better, and was there to help you achieve it.

His burial will be in Arlington, a place where heroes rest. The Old Guard will 
treat him well, but I would give anything to be able to salute my friend one 
last time by playing taps for him. It would just seem the right thing to do.

Good-bye Gerry. Semper Fi!

Mark Heckel, M.Ed.

Instructional Designer

Penn State Student Affairs

222N Boucke Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA, 16802

Office: 814.863.7800


Some PSU Goodness Mixed in at "Once Upon a Time in the Vest"

I've only had a little time to browse the site, but I have come across so many cool things.  An example is a little blurb about Al Cantello, former WR holder in the javelin and distance coach at Navy since 1965, and a hero of mine, among many others.

But here are two PSU references to stimulate the appetite:

Bill Ashenfelter's Shoe

Shoe worn by Bill Ashenfelter in the 1952 Olympic Steeplechase, won by his brother Horace.Ashenfelter III.
PSU Junior Jim Stevenson, winner at the 1964 Olympic Trials Preliminary meet Javelin 242' 8".
The Olympic Trials were different in those days.  At this preliminary meet, first place meant you were on the team, and 2nd through 6th place put you into the formal Olympic Trials meet for a chance at the other slots.  I'll have to get my crack team of editors and fact checkers look this stuff up.  Did any of you know Jim Stevenson was an Olympian?  We do know that he has the grandfathered old javelin Alumni Record for PSU!

An early addendum:  I was pointed to this obituary of  Jim Stevenson which explains it all.  Sounds like another extraordinary man from the ranks of the PSU Track Alumni.   I keep saying that our members are the most interesting, most intelligent and most accomplished people I have ever met.  I'm sorry I never got to meet Jim Stevenson.  But I'm trying to make it possible for all of us to meet each other, which will enhance each and every one of us.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Oiseaux d'une Plume

Addendum: An actual French-Canadian has alerted us that "Les beaux esprits se rencontrent" would be the right translation. (which would literally mean "a time when two persons simultaneously find that they believe the same ideas, the same thoughts, the same truths".  The French language is so cool, even when filtered through Canadians!

After even further deliberation, our French-Canadian connection has come up with the proper French translation:   "Qui se ressemble  s'assemble" which literally means, "Those who resemble, assemble."  I kinda like it!

That's "Birds of a Feather" in French (or at least what Google Translate tells me is the translation. I sometimes wonder?)  And that French is to honor our new friend George Brose who is a transplanted American living in the Great White North.  Although I'll bet he knows French as well as I do...

And with my limited research of the entire matter (in compliance with what Laundry Officer Larry Mangan knows to be my methods!), I figure we certainly are Birds of a Feather.

George has been blogging about Track and Field (from the 1950's and 1960's) for a few years now.  Sounds similar to someone you may know as skwilli!  And what a wondrous site it is!  It will be quite easy for me to get lost in the site for long stretches of time, especially if work in the medical field continues to decline at its current pace.

I already was delighted to see a post about George Young, a hero of mine from early in my "running career". Photos, stories and comments from intelligent people who lived through the era.  It is a gem indeed!

George had some nice things to say about our site too.  Which made me blush somewhat.  I'm not used to praise, although occasionally it does feel nice.  I'm more happy that he complimented the "sense of humor" of our website.  What I call "Mirth".  Quite honestly, I think mirth is a very important part of our efforts.  It separates us from the intense and negative aspects of the Track and Field world we saw on display in all its horror this past weekend.  Savor the Mirth!

He also figured out the "Golf" part of our site in record time.  Far faster than most members of our group ever do. 

Make a visit to the site and see what I'm talking about:

(The "Vest" is what we call a "Singlet"! Their site has a sense of humor too!)

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

A wild weekend at the USATF Indoor Championships. What happened while I was away?

The Good

We were well represented at the meet. Owen and Cas in the 800 while Joe Kovacs grabbed third place in the shot put. The throw is a new alumni record besting the 21.44m (70" 4 1/4") from C.J. Hunter in 1999. Looking forward to seeing our alumni contingent at these meets expanding in the near future.

*Penn State raised over $13 million for pediatric cancer research. Very good.

The Bad
In what appears to be a combination of a hockey fight, a NASCAR race, and an episode of Jersey Shore. Alberto Salazar and Jerry Schumacher had to be separated when Salazar confronted Schumacher after the men's 3000 meters. In which Galen Rupp (coached by Salazar) finished 2nd and qualified for World's.
How I imagine the altercation went down
The Ugly
Alberto Salazar was involved with all kinds of drama in Albuquerque. Read this for all the events surrounding the women's 3000 meters. Corruption from Nike and USATF?
*This blog is turning me into a cynical person. Pretty soon I'll have the gray hair to go with it.

PSU is Shot Put U: USATF Indoor Edition

I was taken to task for including Ryan Whiting as a Penn State Track and Field Alumni (Golfer) recently. It is true that Ryan did not attend PSU and instead opted for Arizona State where he achieved about everything anyone could attain in the NCAA world.  But we must remember that when push came to shove, he showed up at PSU to train and become the world's best Putter of the Shot.  And he's been in Happy Valley as a Volunteer Assistant Coach for longer than he ever was in the Southwest desert.  Along the way he has enhanced the PSU Throwing Wing like no other could.  So yeah, he's a full-fledged member of our group and will have the parentheses removed from the title as soon as he golfs with us at a Coach Groves Tourney.

USATF Indoor Shot Put:

Ryan Whiting                 1st Place          72' 11.25" (I think a PR?)
Joe Kovacs                   3rd Place         70'  5.0"  (A new PR!)

PSU at Indoors: Cas Loxsom, Joe Kovacs and Owen Dawson.
And I had a wonderful conversation with Paul Souza yesterday for the Second Podcast: The Rock and Roll One.  It shouldn't be long until I can edit the recording, add in some music from our house band, the Velveteen Playboys and get it online for all to enjoy.  I'm thinking there's something in it for just about everyone. Stay tuned.  And you may be next on the Skype hunt for podcast material!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

PSU is 800 U*: USATF** Indoor Edition

Cas Loxsom and Owen Dawson found themselves in the same Heat at the USATF Indoor Championships at altitude in Albuquerque NM.  Both failed to advance, but both were also pleased with their efforts.  Both seem to be very optimistic for the upcoming Outdoor season.

Casimir Loxsom    3rd    1:49.05
Owen Dawson       4th    1:49.92

"Solid run and I'm happy with my fitness, really looking forward to outdoor."
-Owen Dawson after USATF Indoor 800 Prelims.

Don't forget, two of the favorites in today's Shot Put are PSU Track Alumni (Golfers) Ryan Whiting and Joe Kovacs.

*"PSU is 800 U" is used just to provoke outrage from those who deserve to be outraged.  It is actually a term of encouragement and respect for all.

**USATF can't seem to get anything correct.  Their website is atrocious and their management is apparently corrupt.  It is such a shame that I have to belong to such a group.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

In a Van, Down by the River (Spring Creek, Maybe?)

"Basically, when my date figured out I was living in my van, I didn't hear from her again.

Ty Burrell is one of my favorite television actors.  He is what I think I would try to be if I somehow fooled people in to believing I had any talent at all.

  “It’s just so fun playing this big little boy. I’m very lucky.”

Ty never fails to give PSU accolades when given a chance.  His Graduate Studies must have been a fun time, even though he was living in a van part of the time.  I do remember plenty of tent people in the woods at the bottom of Four Hills and on the way to Toftrees in the late 70's, back at a time when tuition was less than $1,000/yr.  Are there more of them today?

Friday, February 21, 2014

I Still Love Canada

With the two-pronged spanking of America's hockey teams by our neighbors to the north, many Americans are hating on Maple-Leafers like never before.  But I refuse to join the chorus.  The Canadians deserved their victories on both occasions.

Canada is like America's wondrous attic.  Filled with things you have forgotten, but delighted to see when you finally venture up the stairs and open the door...

10 Things I like about Canada:

  1. Tim Horton's.   I like the coffee and I like the donuts.  I like the fact that duel franchises of Wendy's and Tim Horton's offer a donut as a side dish with your Double with Cheese.  I like that the coffee has no competition.  No bitter Starbucks-like alternative to make you occasionally wonder if you should switch.  And Tim Horton is on the Stanley Cup.  Twice!
  2. Curling.  Yeah, I said it.  I love curling.  I even understand it, including various strategies and terms like "hog line", "center guard", "biter", and "the hammer". I love that you can keep a beverage cold during the whole match right next to you on the "sheet".
  3. Beer.  I'm not a big beer drinker.  "Two a year at our golf tourney" has been my motto lately. (I did share a beer with Mark Hawkins at a Chinese New Year dinner following the Penn State National, making it a possible 3 this year!)  But I love the passion that Canadians bring to the arena of beer.  Just slightly less than their passion for hockey.
  4. Sense of Humor. Canada has a sense of humor much better than America has.  They can take a joke, and they can dish it out as well.  And then everyone can share a beer while discussing curling or hockey as friends afterward.
  5. There's no whining in Canada.  There isn't.  They take the good as well as the bad life dishes out with equal grace and humor.  And then a beer...
  6. Eh.  A two-letter word with thousands of meanings and inflections, usually added to the end of every sentence.  Americans try to make fun of it, but Canadians have literally tripled the English vocabulary with it.
  7. Plaid.  There isn't a special time for plaid or a fashion for plaid or a season for plaid.  There's just plaid.  Deal with it.
  8. Actual Coins worth more than a dollar.  America has tried it hundreds of times without success. It has only led to hoarding. Canada not only succeeded, but they named their most popular one "a loonie".
  9. Cold.  Not like the once in a lifetime frigid temps in America this year.  I'm talking that every year without fail.  The kind where the trunk of your car doubles as your meat freezer for 7 months a year.  And it's more reliable than the one in your basement.
  10. Two Languages even without immigrants.  There's sometimes friction between the French and English portions of Canada, but only between them.  Anyone outside of Canada tries to impugn one, the other will come to their rescue "no questions asked" just like a family would.
God Bless Canada.  Who knows, I may be looking for a new home one day...

Are Runners Now Under Attack By a Police State?

I'm betting it wasn't the cop on the right that caught her.
I am at a loss to explain what caused the arrest of a jogger in Austin, Texas recently.  Was it overzealous police, inappropriate laws, or just the fact that she was stupidly wearing headphones and didn't know it was a cop that yelled at her, chased her, and grabbed her from behind.  She was put in cuffs and arrested for resisting arrest (and failing to have identification!).  Austin Police have been tight-lipped following the event.  Thank goodness she did not use pepper spray or mace (where legal, which I would advise every woman to carry when running alone).  That could have resulted in a tazing or even worse.

Warning: This link takes you to a Right-Wing Web Site. Although this issue seems to be devoid of actual politics. A place where runners on both sides ought to unite.

In what kind of world are we living?  Avowed enemies of our State are permitted to do what they please and even given means-tested government monies, but female joggers in Austin, Texas are detained, hand-cuffed and arrested for exercising. Witnesses seem to confirm this.

Or am I missing something?

USATF Indoor

Going to be a lot of left turns in Albuquerque, NM this weekend (waka waka). The USATF Indoor Championships start today with the multi-events and continue through Sunday. Casimir Loxsom and Owen Dawson will be representing us in the 800 while Joe Kovacs and Ryan Whiting competing in the shot put. Heat sheets and TV schedule. Yes the meet will be broadcast Saturday and Sunday!

Unfortunately the meet is not with out controversy. The 1500 is scheduled to be a two heat final with a fast heat deciding the team for World Championships next month while the 2nd heat will merely be an exhibition. You would think they hold prelims on Saturday and finals on Sunday. The athletes certainly can handle running 1500 meters on consecutive days. That's how college conference meets and NCAA Indoors do it. Got to criticize where criticism is due and this pretty bad.

Also unfortunately I will be out in a cabin somewhere all weekend with out contact to the outside world. So I'll have to wait till Sunday night to see if we will be represented in Poland at Indoor World's.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

More Praise For the Brooks Beasts

Despite getting smoked in the 4 x 800 in Boston last week, the Brooks Beasts continue to generate good Press.  I think it's because the people they have assembled are a fine mix of genuinely interesting and good people.  Among them, of course, is Casimir Loxsom, who is currently training at altitude in New Mexico. We may need to get our Official Physicist  Brian Boyer to make a visit and check up on him!

Not State College!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Groundhog Was Right

Punxsutawney Phil takes quite a bit of abuse from those with expensive instruments and fancy degrees, many of them right at PSU.  But through it all, he hit the nail on the head this year.  I'm hoping the snow and cold hasn't hurt any of the PSU distance runner's training.

But the real question is, "How long did Bill Murray have to relive February 2, over and over again, to finally get it right and move on to February 3?"

Here's 2 compelling answers for those who desire accuracy and those with obsessive-compulsive issues.

  • Writer and Director Harold Ramis opines, "I think the 10-year estimate is too short. It takes at least 10 years to get good at anything, and allotting for the down time and misguided years he spent, it had to be more like 30 or 40 years…"
  • An exhaustive review of just about everything finds... 

    33 years and 350 days

    Yeah, you better go read the whole thing!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Chased By A Russian.

Via Onward State

"There’s a large focus throughout the museum on Penn State Olympians, especially those in track and field.

Unbeknown to many, Penn State had an incredible track program in the decade after World War Two, according to Hickman, himself a distance runner.

One of these Penn State track stars was Barney Ewell, who, said Hickman, “would be more famous than Jessie Owens had World War Two not happened.”

Ewell was a star in college but was drafted to serve in the war during the 1944 Olympics games, his peak years. Miraculously, at the age of 30, Ewell qualified for the 1948 Olympic team in London. In the 100 meter final he finished second, earning a silver medal in the first photo finish in Olympic history.

Hickman also shared the story of Horace Ashenfelter, the only Penn State individual Olympic gold medalist (3000m Steeplechase). Ashenfelter’s gold medal, along with his running shoes and racing bib, are displayed prominently in the museum.

Ashenelter worked for the FBI, and in the 1952 games in Helsinki, he raced members of the USSR. Joked Hickman, “It was the first time an American spy was chased by a Russian.”"

I honestly didn't know Horace Ashenfelter was the only individual Olympic gold medalist in Penn State history. It should be noted that Barney Ewell won gold in the 4x100 at those London Olympics. Interesting stuff

Monday, February 17, 2014

From Sea to Shining Sea

The Penn State men and women spent the weekend either in Seattle, WA or Geneva, OH. Since I can't be in two places at once (not yet at least) and the blog revenues can't afford to reimburse travel expenses. I'll leave the coverage this week to GoPSUSports.com. Results and recap from here. (Kara Foster did throw down a 16:01.56 5000 meter at the Husky Classic.)
At the USA Cross Country Championships in Boulder, CO our own Tyler McCandless took 21st in 38:32 for the 12K course.
Photo via the Newton Running Elite facebook page
The 107th Millrose Games at Madison Square Garden The Armory had the Steve Shisler led State College boys take second in the high school boys 4x800 in 7:47.75 while future 800U member William Cather split 1:53.9. Only 10 years ago that time would of easily won an outdoor state title and now it's common place for an indoor stuff. Crazy stuff from 800 High. Since we had alumni involved in competition from coast to coast (literally), I am giving this my performance of the weekend. Props to Coach Shisler for getting the boys to think big time. Video of the race from the State College TFXC facebook page.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Apparaently, Putting Holes in Things Is a Thing

The holes in the back of the American Speed Skating uniforms that may or may not be the cause of failure on the oval, reminds me of the 1984 Olympic Marathon where Alberto Salazar cut many holes in his uniform for better cooling. It worked then about as well as it has for the modern day skaters. (15th in 2:14:19)

Holy Uniforms, Batman!
And Brannon Kidder tried a few holes in his hand in yesterday's One Mile duel with Mac Fleet. Three holes must be the ideal number as Brannon almost overtook Mac at the finish in 3:58:49.  That's 2 sub-4s in just 2 weeks!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Is This Something?

"Thousands of tiny holes to enhance breathability and male pleasure."
If it turned out newly engineered shoes were to blame for poor performance of US athletes at the Olympic Games, I'm pretty sure a really big hubbub would be made.  As well it should.

So when the poorest performance of American Speed Skaters (who once dominated the sport) at any Games is thought to have something to do with the outfits they are wearing, I would say the maker has some "splainin to do". The top finish by any American as I write this is 7th. 

Stock in Under Armour slid more than 2% in trading on the first day of controversy, and now the Americans have received approval to ditch the outfits, which more than 1/2 will.  Maybe a medal will now appear!

Apparently, the holes in the back of the suits to enhance cooling actually trap air and cause drag.  It reminds me of a great parody of the Daily Collegian I read in 1976 made in the spirit of the National Lampoon.  It contained a great ad for condoms that incorporated thousands of tiny holes to "enhance breathability and male pleasure".  Wish I could find a copy of the issue.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Save Us Al Gore!

Is it just me or has this been the harshest winter in recent memory? I'm not talking in terms of snow, which we in the Mid-Atlantic states have been buried in. But we have a lot of snow every winter. I am talking about the sub freezing temperatures. I never complain about the cold weather but this winter has been getting to me. That's how I know its been harsh. Damn that Punxsutawney Phil and his accurate prediction.

Good for a trench warfare snowball fight

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Bread, Milk, Eggs and Toilet Paper

We all know what that shopping list means.  Snow Day!  And that means 2 vigorous sessions on the treadmill for me today.

You can't find kids to shovel nowadays.
This will give me a chance to prepare and steel myself for the second Podcast, The Rock and Roll One.

Here's some photos by our In-House Photographer Mark Hawkins of the First Podcast Session in the Lounge overlooking the Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Track.

Co-Blogger Matt Groves was overdressed!

Coach Groves was in tip-top shape.

We had to edit that one! And is my hair as gray as Coach's?

The secret is to be well prepared and have top-notch gear!

Greg Fredericks puts emphasis on a finer point of miling.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Long Run Memories

Flotrack stuck around an extra day after the Penn State National to film the men on their Sunday long run. Today it is featured as their "Workout Wednesday".

A lot of mystery from Rusty Boots to long run stories. We have more secrets and inside tales than Skull and Bones or the Freemasons. I am sure someone could write a book with stories about cramming 20 guys into a van and running 15-20 miles out at Bear Meadows or Black Moshannon. I have one from a rainy early September morning my junior year. We were cutting through a certain local golf course on the way back to the track. I wasn't paying attention to my surroundings, there was a sudden drop off, and next thing I know I am swimming in the golf course pond.

I can name every area of town featured on that run. Blue and grays? Looks like team issued running tights and the State Penn long sleeves with the Rusty Boots on the back.

Blues and Grays!

FloTrack featured a photo of PSU distance runners yesterday with the question, "What college is featured in our Long Run Wednesday photo?"

Do I see blues and grays?

There appears to be a preponderance of the old fashioned 60's and 70's "blues and grays" us old-timers wore every day at practice.  Although I'll bet they aren't made of cotton, and the jocks aren't the kind that we wore at the time! Maybe someone can fill us in.

Is There Anything This Guy Can't Do But Golf?

Here's some great pictures from the recent Penn State National from the camera of Mark "Le faucon d'orange" Hawkins.  And since Mark happens to appear in them, someone else must have taken the photos with his camera.  Turns out that the someone is Greg Fredericks.  So now that makes about a million things he is better at than I.  Golf seems to be the only hold-out.  But I always say that the golf is optional...

Nick K. and Mark Hawkins. Photo by Greg Fredericks.

Singlets on display!

Mark Hawkins, Beth Shisler and Nick K. following the NVTC Mile.

Mark Hawkins in the earlier Penn State Relays NVTC Mile.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

An Olympic Public Service For My Dozens of Readers

There's a beer nearby, I'm pretty sure.
I really miss those carefree Sunday afternoons when I lived in Detroit and wasn't on duty at the Hospital.  I could tune into CBC and watch some hot Curling action whenever I wanted to.  I came to love the sport most American make fun of.  The day I saw a contestant sipping from a frosty mug placed strategically on the ice, I was hooked.  Imagine that, a sport where you can keep your beer cold while "throwing" 46 pound rocks across a frozen lake.  What's not to like?

So here's a great introduction to the sport by someone who apparently thinks a lot like me:

A Beginners Guide to Curling: The Greatest Sport on Earth!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Sykes-Sabock Challenge

While our elite alumni were tearing it up in Boston on Saturday. The guys and girls on the varsity team took to the track for the season's final home indoor meet. Graduating seniors were recognized and will be joining us on the "other side" shortly. Probably wondering how the last four years could have gone by so fast. Results and recap here and here.

The women won the meet with 228.5 points, well ahead of second place Buffalo with 86. The men finished second to Connecticut 162.5-159. As it should in scored meets, the final score was decided by the 4x4. Penn State won but UConn got the necessary second place to secure enough points to clinch. Fitting that we have a scored meet the week after I shared an article about college dual meets.

The performance of the meet goes to Brannon Kidder and his 800 in 1:47.45. The time puts him in a tie for first in the nation with Eluid Rutto of Middle Tennessee State and earned Big Ten Men's Indoor Athlete of the Week. Owen Dawson set the race up perfectly pacing the first 400 meters. I guess he wanted a piece of the action after being left out of last weeks rabbiting glory.

Not to be forgotten. Fawn Dorr competed at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Boston as well. Coming in 6th for the 400 with 54.72. Live on national television of course.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Good:  Casimir Loxsom's 800M split was the third best in the field at the New Balance 4 x 800 M extravaganza in Boston over the weekend.  That was the best in the field except for the 2 dueling it out over the final leg for the victory and the new Indoor World Record of 7:13.11.

The Bad Cas's team, the Brooks Beasts came in third in the field to the US All Stars with Duane Solomon and the NJ/NY team with Robby Andrews.

The Ugly: The lead off leg for the Brooks Beasts was an atrocious 1:54.6 by Matt Sherer, who has been mostly rabbiting races for the past 3 years. Cas never had a chance.

The yellow headbands on the Brooks Beasts stood out everywhere but the finish line!
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Here's some of the splits, (but not all of them).
  1. Eric Sowinski             1:46.66
  2. Michael Rutt               1:46.66
  3. Casimir Loxsom        1:47.03
  4. David Torrence           1:47.42
  5. Duane Solomon          1:47.98
  6. Robby Andrews          1:48.28
  7. Brian Gagnon             1:48.59
  8. Kyle Merber               1:50.72
  9. Matt Sherer                1:54.65      
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