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, May 31, 2014

Alumni Debut

Nick Scarpello made his Alumni debut last night at the 9th Annual John Hay Memorial Pennsylvania Distance Festival at West Chester Henderson High School. Running the 1500 he came in 14th running 3:54.93. Also in the race was someone with a lot of post collegiate experience, Owen Dawson was 8th in 3:47.92

Meanwhile the shot put at the Prefontaine Classic was a smashing success.




CANTWELL Christian







LAURO Germán Luján


PRÁŠIL Ladislav

More Submitted (and Stolen!) Photos of Alums As We Await the Final Day of the 2014 NCAA Prelims

Cas Loxsom and Sam Borchers (2010? NCAA 800M)

Ricky Garcia (circa 1981)

Greg Fredericks (second row) Cemetery Hill, Van Cortlandt Park (1971)  Thanks to George Brose for the photo!

Ricky Garcia (inside) and Ted Lyon (third ) high school race 1977.

Kyle and Owen Dawson with our new author Nick Scarpello

Friday, May 30, 2014

Prefontaine Classic

Pre and Fredericks at the 1971 NCAA 3 mile
The most the prestigious track meet in the United States is this weekend, The Prefontaine Classic. While every event field is loaded with top international athletes, two events will feature Penn State Track Alumni.

Lucky for us the meet will be on the television/internet. Tonight a live stream will be provided by USATF.tv beginning at 10:15 PM ET. Saturday will be on NBC Sports Network starting at 3:30 PM ET before switching over to regular NBC at 4:30 PM ET.

Men's Shot Put           
CANTWELL Christian
LAURO Germán Luján
PRÁŠIL Ladislav

Women's 3,000m Steeplechase
FRANEK Bridget
KIRUI Purity
KRAUSE Gesa Felicitas

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Unfit Mother

Not the first time this has happened. During a run my junior or senior year a duck family was saved when Owen Dawson and Cody Edling stopped to heroically rescue ducklings that fell into the sewer near the IST Building.

More Wristbands, Both Near and Far

It seems that bon vivant Phil Passen finally made it back from Israel, but not before sending one more pic from one of its more stable and secure borders (with Jordan).

Welcome back, Phil.

And we noted before that potential Group Physicist Ron Moore took his wrist band on a 50 mile tour in the woods.  Here's proof as he "sprints" toward the finish!

It's there, zoom in.
You go, Ron!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

In Good Position

The NCAA East Regional Preliminaries begin tomorrow in muggy Jacksonville, FL. The one and only chance to qualify for the Big Dance two weeks from now.

The Nittany Lions are in a good spot to qualify multiple athletes and hopefully improve in the standings. Heading into this weekend the USTFCCCA has the men are ranked 17th and the women 16th. Accepted entries for the men and women with Penn State well represented.

One woman in good position, competing in the 10,000 meters, for post graduation life is Emily Giannotti. Emily has been named Penn State's Big Ten Medal of Honor Recipient, awarding athletic and academic excellence. The award goes with the Ernest B. McCoy Memorial Award she received earlier this year.

Meet Central for the East Regional meet with schedule of events and live results.

A Little Physics-Related Post As We Wait For The NCAA Prelims

And we'll get to the rest of the Golf Outing Results as soon as I have enough time to do it properly.

"He begins doing calculus problems in his head as soon as he awakens. He did calculus while driving in his car, while sitting in his living room, and while lying in his bed at night."
-Mary Louise Bell, in her divorce complaint against Richard Feynman.
Richard Feynman was self taught in calculus and had his own way of doing it. I'm not sure if he ever properly described his methods or taught anyone else his ways, although others have.  I would have struggled to get a "C" in it regardless.

“That book [Advanced Calculus, by Woods] also showed how to differentiate parameters under the integral sign – it’s a certain operation. It turns out that’s not taught very much in the universities; they don’t emphasize it. But I caught on how to use that method, and I used that one damn tool again and again. So because I was self-taught using that book, I had peculiar methods of doing integrals.”

Read more: http://www.physicsforums.com
“That book [Advanced Calculus, by Woods] also showed how to differentiate parameters under the integral sign – it’s a certain operation. It turns out that’s not taught very much in the universities; they don’t emphasize it. But I caught on how to use that method, and I used that one damn tool again and again. So because I was self-taught using that book, I had peculiar methods of doing integrals.”

Read more: http://www.physicsforums.com
“That book [Advanced Calculus, by Woods] also showed how to differentiate parameters under the integral sign – it’s a certain operation. It turns out that’s not taught very much in the universities; they don’t emphasize it. But I caught on how to use that method, and I used that one damn tool again and again. So because I was self-taught using that book, I had peculiar methods of doing integrals.”

Read more: http://www.physicsforums.com

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

800 High

800 High lived up to the name at the PIAA State Championships. Coached by former Penn State standout Steve Shisler, and led by future Nittany Lions Will Cather and Kyle Adams, the Little Lions won the AAA 4x800 in a new school record of 7:41.99. They broke the old school set all the way back in 1969.

The 4x8 was just the start to their weekend, as both Kyle and Will ran on the schools 6th place 4x400 while Will placed 6th in the open 800 with a 1:54.56. Indoor and outdoor 4x8 State Champs, the pipeline from 800 High to 800 U continues!

One proud coach
Steve isn't the only Penn State Track Alum developing young athletes at State High. Despite his background in the long stuff, Artie Gilkes has made a nice transition to jumps coach. Under Artie's tutelage, Bryce Williams jumped himself to a 9th place (22' 5") and 3rd place (47' 7 1/4") finish in the long jump and triple jump respectively. Bryce will also be attending Penn State next year. I always love seeing local athletes going from State High to Penn State.

*If we are missing any Alums who had athletes at the State Meet please let us know in the comments section.

UPDATE: Steve Shisler with corrections.

Kyle Adams is headed to run for Bucknell next fall.

It's Mason Post headed to 800 U with Will Cather. All 3 of these guys ran on the 4x400 and Mason anchored with a 48.8 split.

Jump Guru Artie Gilkes also coaches the girl's jumper's at State. Veronika Karpenko, a soph, took 3rd in the Triple in a new school record 39 feet and 12th in the Long Jump on Friday

Monday, May 26, 2014

A Little Piece of PSU Can Go a Long Way

Today's Bolder Boulder run has Tyler McCandless suiting up for the US Blue Team.  But with him will be his PSU Head-Band.  Just watch, he'll improve on last year's performance with that addition.

Go Ty!

And soon-to-be Group Physicist Ron Moore took the Group Wrist band last seen in the Tevatron Tunnel and ran his first 50-Miler (7:46) with it.  He relates his wrist did not chafe, but I'll bet other parts probably did!  (Photos may become available later!)

Mark Hawkins, fresh off his excellent Golf Tourney performance sans sleep, was a photographer at the Indianapolis 500.  Some excellent pics were taken, but none better than this one!

Photo by Mark Hawkins.
And I took my first run with my new PSU Track Alumni Performance tee-shirt.  The results are in and you can expect 10% better speed with 25% less fatigue while wearing it.* Another opportunity to get yours will be coming shortly!

*I totally made those numbers up. But it did feel good to wear it. 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Catching Up On Some Off-Topic Blog Memes

With all the end of season track results and the Golf Tourney results submissions of "other" things have been piling up.  So let's get them all out of the way in one big block:

  1. Mice in captivity don't just jog on their wheeled "treadmills" out of psychological need or pathology.  There is an innate need or desire for just about all creatures to jog even without any tangible benefit or treat.  Except for couch potatoes. Here and Here
  2. People who swim in the ocean admit to peeing in vivo at a rate higher than at the local pool.  But then again, 100% of the aquatic mammals, fish and assorted other animals do also.  Charmin wants you to stop!
  3. My love of Canada continues.  And especially that emblem which is getting more and more entrenched as truly Canadian, Tim Horton's! And where else would you take a baby moose you just saved from death?
  4. We have frequently talked about the old male "facilities" at Franklin Field.  They are gone now, but I wonder if anyone involved in their removal thought about cashing in on it like the Metrodome demolishers did?  No word on the purchasers.
Any bidders?

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Track Alumni (Golfer) Coaches a Winner: Maybe More to Come?

One of the upper-classmen I looked up to at PSU was Bill Kvashay.  Bill was an 800M runner (among other events) at State College High back in the days when color photos were sorta kinda new.   hee hee He went on to the Armed Services (I think Marines?) before enrolling at PSU.  I believe Coach Groves himself was instrumental in having Bill try out for the team.  (all of these facts are up for review and correction.) Following graduation, he won the Penn Relays Marathon in a Olympic Trials qualifying time, except a policeman sent him the wrong dirction through campus 300 meters from the finish.  He has been a fine coach since and a teacher of calculus.  Someone we all can really look up to.  An example of the upper echelons of what our group is all about.

Bill now coaches at Lake Lehman High School and must be one heck of a coach.  I've kept up with him sporadically via the interwebby thingie and occasionally seeing him at Track and XC meets over the years.

One of Bill's athletes, Dominic Hockenbury just won the Class AA 3200M in 9:17.18, a 24 second PR at the PIAA meet.  Dominic is a Sophomore.  Congrats to Bill and Dominic.  I add that he would make a very fine Nittany Lion.

Dominic Hockenbury with Coach Bill Kvashay, right.

Third Place Foursome Had More Fun Than Anyone

Larry Mangan, Clark Haley, Coach Groves, Nick K. and Mark Hawkins.
Two things are remarkable about our third place foursome this year.

  1. Clark Haley was NOT on the winning team!
  2. They managed third place (+1) despite apparently never sleeping the whole weekend!
Larry Mangan, Nick K., Clark Haley and Mark Hawkins slightly before 3:00AM (photo by Tim Backenstose)

Chief Laundry and Morale Officer Larry Mangan relates that he had a great time and was constantly laughing through the entire round of golf.  Which, for those who don't golf, is difficult to do when trying to hit that damn little white ball, over and over...

Founder Clark Haley had the organization honed to a sharp edge like never before.  The only potential hiccup was the chance of rain that somehow never materialized for the 13th year in a row!

Nick K. was again looking good on the golf course as well as the track during the Alumni "Run".

" Le faucon d'orange" Mark Hawkins also participated in all activities and unveiled the newest batch of Alumni Singlets and the new Alumni tees at the Reunion on Friday night.  He deserves much more in pay than he gets for doing this! We plan on a new batch in just a few weeks for those paying attention.

Coach Groves shows off his new Alumni tee.

Kyle Dawson displays the very first blue Mens Singlet.

Friday, May 23, 2014

IAAF World Relays

Fawn Dorr and Shana Cox will be competing this weekend at the 1st IAAF World Relay Championships in Nassau, Bahamas. Fawn (Canada) and Shana (Great Britain) are both on there respective nations 4x400 meter relays.

The event will be broadcast live on TV and online by Universal Sports from 6:30-9:00 PM Saturday and Sunday.

Note: Your cable provider must subscribe to Universal Sports to view it online. Mine doesn't (Thanks Comcast)

Full Entries Here

The "Extra" Prizes From the 2014 Coach Groves Tourney

It has been Clark Haley's wish since the very first tourney to honor as many people as possible.  So with that in mind, we have several "extra" prizes awarded every year.

  • The Longest TripDave D'Zurilla made it to Happy Valley all the way from St. Paul, Minnesota.  He's been back to State College several times but had not seen many of us (and vice versa!) for 30 years or so.  Thanks go to Chief Laundry and Morale Officer Larry Mangan for reconnecting us.
  • Shot of the Day: Owen Dawson managed to recreate Munya Maraire's feat of hitting his tee shot backward.  Well done Owen, well done.
  • Ghostman Award: This prize goes out to the "one" who returns after a lengthy absence to reconnect with the rest of us reprobates.  This year, the prize was divided up between Dave. D'Zurilla, Howie Triebold and Hugh Hamill.  It was especially good to entice Howie and Hugh AND to be able to golf with both this year.  They have been loyal readers and contributors to the blog.  It's as if we have been friends our entire lives. Which is kinda sorta what this group is all about! They have info on the origins of "Rusty Boots" I have been searching for a very long time.
  • Numbnut Award:  This goes for a bonehead move that others happen to see and point out.  We've all done them, but sometimes no one see them and reports them.  This year the prize goes to Matt Groves for golfing despite having a sacral stress fracture.  Which leads to...
  • The "Rob Whiteside" Brotherhood Award:  This goes to someone who golfs with us for the camaraderie despite having no talent for it or great excuses to avoid it.  Matt Groves takes the title this year for soldiering on despite pain and potential harm.  Well done Matt.  What do doctors know anyway...?

Another Recent Grad

From Dan Jordan: ""Don't cry because it's over, Smile because it happened" #PSUT&F #tbt #psuthrows"

Thursday, May 22, 2014

You're Very Bold

Tyler McCandless has been selected to represent Team USA Blue at the 2014 edition of the Bolder Boulder 10K in Boulder, CO. The race, held on Memorial Day, has multiple national teams competing for a team championship. Tyler will be joined by Stephen Pifer and Brent Vaughn on USA Blue; one of three teams competing for America, Teams Red, White, and Blue (full start list for the International Team Challenge here).

Last year Tyler ran for Team Colorado and came in 17th place. Nearly collapsing in the process.

Now is Instagram allowed? Because I know Twitter and selfies are not how its done.

Second Place in the Tourney Is Oh So Close to Immortality!

Their names won't be immortalized on The Cup, so all they get is this stinking blog mention.  And the duffle bag.  Don't forget the duffle bag!

Mark Fuller, Che Arosemena, Shawn Breon and Kevin Fuller.
I maybe got the Fullers wrong there, it wouldn't be the first time.  There are just so many Fullers!  And they were very close to putting their name on The Cup again.  Che Arosemena managed to win 2 other prizes during the tourney.  We already talked about his relinquishing of The Golden Putter (tm) to Owen Dawson.  But Che also managed to win the 50/50 putting contest held prior to the shotgun start. ( I wasn't there again this year, as I was coordinating the Security for the round and setting up Coach's Beer Cart.)  No word on the prize money won.  Che also won the award for the Longest Drive (Beth Shisler, 3-time winner of the prize, was away for the Big Ten Debut of her son Alex!)  That came with a prize of $25, making Che the biggest money winner of the year.

Another Author!

I am pleased to announce that Nick Scarpello, recent graduate and enthusiastic Track Alumni (Golfer), has joined our small cadre of authors for the blog.  This will not affect my voluminous and mostly accurate posts to the blog!

Welcome Nick!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Fire the Laser!

From the Portland Business Journal

"As awareness has grown of prescription painkiller abuse across the U.S., so has interest in alternatives.

The sports world is no exception. A prime example can be found in Oregon. Alberto Salazar, head coach of the Nike Oregon Project and a former world-class long distance runner, is all about drug-free pain relief for the athletes he coaches. Salazar uses FDA-approved Multi Radiance Medical lasers to help runners prepare to run and recover from lower-extremity injuries that are slow to heal."

Now Alberto Salazar's critics will have you believe he is Dr. Evil. With the Nike Oregon Project hell bent on world domination.

Just hope the laser blast don't contain gamma radiation. Or maybe that is his secret plan? I imagine the Hulk could throw down a sick 5K, if he can control his rage of course.

On an unrelated note, The Big Ten Conference has given Darrell Hill Field Athlete of the Championship and Field Athlete of Year for his exploits in the shot put. Coach Sullivan has been named Big Ten Women's Coach of the Year for the second year in a row, making three consecutive coach of the year honors for a track season. In March she was named Big Ten Coach of the Year for the indoor season.

Our Proxy Tour of Israel Continues

Phil Passen missed our Golf Tourney (Again!), but has a wonderful excuse of being overseas.  He has sent us some excellent Wrist Band photos from the real Bible Belt.

The lowest Point on Earth. Matching my golf prowess.
The Israeli Army has our back.

The "Other"Team at (+9): Not Losers Either!

My foursome was so bad that we couldn't even get losing right!  It turns out that our 5 straight bogies to end the round were just enough to tie Keeper of the Cup Harry Smith's team.  Despite their youth compared to the geriatric team I was on, they managed to make their +9 score spread out evenly over the whole round.

Tom Shiffer, Harry Smith, Brian Fuller and Tim Johnson
I think all 4 of them are much better golfers than I, and yet they somehow managed one of the worst scores in our tournament's history (+10 being the worst).  I can only chalk this up to story telling, inattention or possibly adult beverages?  We may be hearing more on this and other things from our beat writer Tim Johnson.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

DFL*: But Not a Loser In The Bunch

The random draw this year was truly random.  Which is all well and good until YOU are assigned to the Methuselah Foursome!

At least I was the youngest member of the oldest foursome ever to chew up the links at our tournament.  Unfortunately,I was also the worst golfer amongst the group.  My 4 good shots all day weren't enough to drag our group from the bottom of the pile at (+9).*  We even managed 5 straight bogies to finish the round.  That's something quite difficult to accomplish with the Best Ball Format.

skwilli, Hugh Hamill, Coach Groves, Howie Triebold and Bill Whittaker.
My foursome combined me with some excellent people, all of whom support the blog with content and readership. Hugh Hamill, Howie Triebold and Coach Bill Whittaker all are better golfers than I, and deserve better than I gave them.  But, it was great to spend 5 hours with them on Saturday, thrashing at a damn little white ball, over and over and over...    You get the drift.

And they all finally supplied me with the missing link to the origins to the story of "Rusty Boots".  As soon as I can firm down names and obtain some photos, we'll have the scoop of the century.  Well, a scoop anyway.

* We were tied with another group, but claim the last spot anyway.

Big Ten Event Winners

Congratulations to the following Nittany Lion event winners at the Big Ten Championships.
Full results here

Steve Waithe -  Triple Jump
Darrell Hill - Shot Put
Michael Shuey - Javelin
Brittney Howell - Heptathlon
Melissa Kurzdorfer - Javelin
Kiah Seymour - 400 meter hurdles
Mahagony Jones - 200 meter dash
Dynasty McGee, Mahagony Jones, Tichina Rhodes, Kiah Seymour - 4x400 meter relay

For most the season and competition year are officially over. For those still with a shot at qualifying for NCAA's, that opportunity comes in two weeks at the NCAA East Regional meet on May 29-31.

Get Your Conversion Calculators Out Again!

Marta Klebe just broke the 31 year -old school record in the 1500M at the Big Ten Championships this weekend.

The previous holder of the record is our very own Doreen (Startare) McCoubrie, who happens to be in charge of the Mid-Atlantic USATF division.  (With her help, we will soon have our first Penn State Alumni team member, Alumni Singlet Father Dennis Pollow, toe the line in the 50K Trail Championships.)

Marta's time in the 1500M was 4:15.20.  Using the various calculators out there, that converts to a mile time of between 4:34 and 4:35.62.*

*The preferred conversion.

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Victors Enjoy the Spoils! The Winning Foursome

Owen Dawson, Doug Kent, Artie Gilkes and Curt Allison.
These guys managed to best the rest of the field with ease at 3-under par in the wet conditions.  I'm pretty sure that Clark Haley's friend Curt Allison was a ringer, but at least Clark isn't getting on The Cup (tm) again!

With the random format fully in place, Artie Gilkes and Owen Dawson, who tell me they aren't golfers, lucked on to The Cup on the backs of Curt Allison and my ex-roommate Doug Kent.  And I couldn't be happier.  Doug is one of the greatest guys I have ever met and one of the best golfers to have ever slashed the greenery of Happy Valley with us.  We're actually lucky to have him, as each year he has to leave early for another Real Golf Tourney the next day!  Artie keeps telling us he can't golf, but now his name will be displayed forever on the trophy alongside other non-golfers like me and Brian Boyer!

Owen not only got his share of the $200 pay-out for his victory (in the olden days this would have disqualified him forever as a professional!), but he then went and won the Golden Putter (tm) with the longest putt on the 18th green. Here he is with Horace, the Golden Putter (in honor of PSU's Greatest Steeplechaser!) and three previous winners of it.  All four are on record as returning to try to win it again next year! Make sure you join us.

Owen Dawson, Jeff Sanden, Bob Gabel and Che Arosemena, with the Golden Putter (24k)
There's a lot more to come on the Reunion weekend!

Ever Closer: I Finally Woke Up And I'm Still Not Ready to Post About the Reunion Weekend!

So I'm putting up this video of the PSU Baseball Team turning two triple-plays in one game for only the second time in NCAA history.  That's Taylor Skerpon at second base, son of pole vaulter (and Hurdler!) Don Skerpon Excuse Accepted!

And here's a video of PSU is 800U's Dave D'Zurilla in Minnesota and featured on ESPN!!!! That's him just to the right of the new Vikings QB featured in the expensive seats. And he STILL made it to our Reunion and Golf Tourney!

What A Weekend

Some other alumni who couldn't golf with us this weekend, all with equally good excuses. While we were at hacking around Mountain View Country Club, these folks were busy globetrotting.

On the other side of the world in China, at the Shanghai Diamond League meet, Joe Kovacs and Ryan Whiting were part of a United States 1-2-3 sweep. With Joe throwing a personal best of 70' 1/4" (21.52m). Joe and Ryan notched 2 and 1 Diamond Point(s) respectively. Some big money to be won if they finish yeah atop the Diamond Points standings.

Diamond PointsDiamond Ranking





In Puerto Rico, at the Ponce Grand Prix, Cas Loxsom took 5th in the 800 in a time of 1:46.79.

Event 112  Men 800 Meter Run IWC
       World: @ 1:40.91  8/9/2010    David Lekuta Rudisha, Londres,GBR  
    Ponce GP: # 1:45.41  5/12/2012   Rafith Rodriguez, COL              
       NACAC: % 1:42.60  8/28/1985   Johnny Gray, USA                   
    National: * 1:44.64  4/19/2014   Wesley Vazquez, Barcelona, ESP     
    Name                     Age Team                         Finals
  1 Duane Solomon                United States            1:44.79#
  2 Wesley Vazquez               Puerto Rico              1:45.40#
  3 Harun Abda                   United States            1:45.55
  4 Charles Jock                 United States            1:45.90
  5 Casimir Loxsom               United States          1:46.79
  6 David Torrence               United States            1:47.25
  7 Mark Wieczorek               United States            1:47.27
  8 Tayron Reyes                 Dominican Republic      1:47.55
  9 Jozef Repcik                 Slovakia                 1:48.15
10 Richard Jones                United States            1:49.78
-- Matt Scherer                 United States                       DNF

The American Track League made its third stop of the season in Atlanta, GA where Fawn Dorr competed in the 400 meter hurdles. Running 1:00.39

There is also much to discuss from the Big Ten Championships, where the women won yet another team championship. Their ninth overall, second consecutive outdoor title, and second Big Ten win of the year. They took the team title at the indoor championships as well. More to come on Big Ten weekend later.

Also worth a mention. The State College High track team won it's first boy's PIAA District 6 AAA championship in 19 years. Worth mentioning because Artie Gilkes and Steve Shisler are on the coaching staff.

I'm Still Working On the Photos and Stories From the Reunion

I actually have the day off and will eventually get to the photos from this weekend.  That is, after I pay all my late bills, feed the animals, water the plants and take a nap!

So until then, let's put up a list of people that couldn't make it and had a good reason:
  1. Steve Shisler and Beth Shisler were at the Big Ten Championships watching their son Alex Shisler score points for the Nittany Lions.  Excuse Accepted.
  2. Brian Boyer had business requiring knowledge of Physics in New Mexico.  Excuse Accepted.
  3. Steve Balkey had a son graduating from College.  Excuse Accepted.
  4. Paul Mundy had a daughter being married. Excuse Accepted.
  5. Bill Kvashay and Mark Haywood were coaching at Districts.  Excuses Accepted.
  6. Gary Black had business requiring extensive travel. Excuse (reluctantly) Accepted.
  7. Darryl Jones had Graduation duties at Gettysburg College. Excuse Accepted.
  8. And last, but certainly not least, Phil Passen was in Israel and even supplied proof with a Wrist Band pic at the Dead Sea Scroll Museum! Excuse Accepted.
Rockin the Band!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Preliminary Reunion Post: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Good:
  • A great turn-out in an "Off Year" (when the team is away at Big Tens)
  • Many new members and first-timers
  • A completely random draw of foursomes and a competitive tourney
  • Best ever organization by Founder Clark Haley and Keeper of the Cup Harry Smith
  • Eager attendance of Coach Groves at every event
  • Superb turn-out by recent grads
  • New Board members appointed (more on this later)
  • Overwhelming support for the continuation of our efforts and the "herding of cats" (my phrase),  aka stalking (as determined by other Board members)
The Bad:
  • The tie for last place between my team and Harry Smith's team in the golf tourney
The Ugly:
  •   Kelly O'Brien's pants (photos to be supplied later!)

Friday, May 16, 2014

Shanghai Shot Put Showdown

Joe Kovacs and Ryan Whiting will be competing at the Shanghai Diamond League meeting on Saturday. Since I am officially in charge of keeping track of the Alumni Records, there is a good chance that the Alumni Shot Put Record will be going down this year. Joe already set the indoor record this past winter at 70' 5" (21.46m) and certainly has what it takes to best the outdoor mark of 71' 9" (21.87m) by C.J. Hunter from 2000.

Also this weekend. The American Track League will be making it's third stop of the schedule with Fawn Dorr set to compete in the 400m hurdles.

However, this sadly means that these three will not be attending this weekends reunion. We will have to wait another year to see how far Ryan Whiting can drive a golf ball.

And of course, Big Ten competition begins tonight.

It's a Shame the Big Announcement Comes With a Fatwa

I had a nice meeting with Co-Blogger Matt Groves yesterday for dinner as thanks for helping me with the content of the blog.  During a steak meal (at a Seafood Joint no less!) I announced to Matt that I am making him a full-fledged Administrator of the blog!  I figure he has proven his assets and served enough of a internship to deserve "the big time". The Reunion Weekend is a great time for the announcement.  Be sure to thank him for his efforts when you see him.

His first duties will be to get the Alumni Records fully updated and posted on the sidebar.  This will guarantee scorn and conniptions across the fruited plain, but we'll do our best to bring a semblance of accuracy to the endeavor.

When Matt first came to me (yeah, that's right, he came to me!  No stalking necessary!) and asked to help with the blog content, I was thrilled.  Readership is up, as are submissions of news and items of interest.  Our mutual goals of a vibrant and far-reaching organization promoting the past, present and future of PSU Track are on track.

The only downside, we are aware, is the fatwa against us.  But we will pay that no mind.  Any help our members and readers provide us with that will be appreciated.

Welcome to the wonderful world of blogging, Matt!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

District 6 Swimming Championships?

The PIAA District 6 AA Championships began on Tuesday before a monsoon hit, causing the Mansion Park track to flood and forcing the postponement till Wednesday. Luckily no one drowned or washed away. I believe the remainder of the meet went off without a hitch the following day

Yeah I know I know back in the day they would have raced anyway, all while munching on rusty nails dipped in motor oil. I guess kids were just tougher back then.

Get Ready

The Alumni Reunion weekend is set to begin tomorrow. Dave Baskwill gives a brief history of the early years of the golf outing and the start of the famous Alumni Blog.

Now if you can't fall asleep tonight because you are to excited to make the trip to Happy Valley for the Alumni Reunion and Harry Groves Golf Tournament (I know you will be) then tune into USATF.tv for a live stream of the USATF High Performance Distance Classic at Occidental College. 
In more exciting news, Steve Shisler has been inducted into the Pennridge-Quakertown Area Sports Hall of Fame. Quite an honor indeed.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Big Ten Time

The men and women are off to the Big Ten Outdoor Championships at Purdue University. Traveling in style by the looks of it.

Photo courtesy of Dan Jordan

The Nittany Lions are in good position heading into the championship season. The latest USTFCCCA rankings has the men ranked 17th while the women have moved up four spots to 15th.

Also going into championship time on a high note is Melissa Kurzdorfer. She has been named Big Ten Women's Field Athlete of the Week for her double victory in the hammer and discus at the Jim Thorpe Invitational.

Information for the Big Ten Championships:
Meet schedule here
Live results will be available here
Bring your smart out of the golf course this weekend and get updates from @PennStateTFXC

UPDATE: The travel has not been as luxurious as the photo would lead you to believe. Nick Scarpello reporting live from the team bus.

A Review of Activities For the Reunion and Golf Tourney

No matter how many times we list things, the questions still come in.  So, in review:

  • The Security Team for the entire weekend will be assembling early on Friday at the pre-arranged location.  All equipment and instructions will be distributed then.  Lunch, dinner and a small token of appreciation will be on me.
  • The Reception and Reunion Evening at Damon's begins at 7:00PM on Friday night. There will be some snacks and a cash bar.  And plenty of great people, young and old to meet. You will be able to witness the magic that is "the selection of the foursomes".
  • The Alumni "Run" is at 9:00AM at the Outdoor Track on Saturday.  Coffee and donuts etc. will be supplied by me.  This requires no physical activity of any kind unless you wish.  Anyone wishing to partake in the usual lap of the track followed by a 3-mile campus loop is "on their own" for insurance purposes.  There are no heroes if someone overdoes it!
  • The Golf Tournament begins "at the crack of noon" at the Mountain View Country Club,  (formerly the Elks Club).  There will be a 50/50 putting contest at 11:00AM.  Come witness Mark "the orange hawk" Hawkins try to defend his title with another 45-footer.
  • The Climb of Mt. Nittany, a tradition for those not golfing will begin at the Hampton Inn Lobby at around noon on Saturday. Even dogs are welcome!
  • The Awards Dinner will begin at 7:00PM at Damon's following the golf.  Clark Haley and Harry Smith will dazzle the crowd with their usual Rowan and Martin antics.  The Golden Putter (tm) will be bestowed along with the other prizes.
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