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 30, 2014

Running Vacations Continued

To continue yesterdays list of great vacation spots for a run. Most are out west and not necessarily a place to get a quality paced run, but the views certainly make up for it.

I'll let the pictures do most of the talking.

1) Angels Landing at Zion National Park

The view is worth the climb

It's a tad technical near the top though
2) Bryce Canyon National Park

Legit switchbacks
Painting or real?
3) Mount Timpanogos

"Hikers on the trails climb through montane forest, subalpine and alpine zones."

Star's at 7,000 feet above sea-level

Emerald Lake at 10,000 feet above sea level.

The altitude will kill you
The very top would of been ~12,000 feet above sea-level. We didn't have the daylight to make it.
Going down was harder than going up

Rec Hall Indoor Track Spotted in China!

It's like the Chinese thought that if a 4 cornered track was good enough for Rec Hall, then it's good enough for China!

But then again, there are no rails to hit you in the elbow!  Has anyone been in the refurbished Intramural Building?  What is the jogging track like?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Running Vacations

It is that time of year with  a lull in Blog Viewership.  With extensive research (glancing at my old running logs!), I have come up with my top five vacation spots for running to entertain the troops.

My top five Vacation Spots for running:

#1  Marthas Vineyard:  This was my go-to vacation spot for nearly a decade until the Presidential Phenomenon began to muck it up.  And by muck it up, I mean really screw it up.  Like being thrown off the ferry despite having paid more than a year earlier so that 75 white Ford Broncos could be taken over to a 20 mile long  x 10 mile wide island.  And closing an entire town, with you in it, because the President wants a cup of coffee.  Don't get me started!
The good:  There are plenty of great places to run.  My favorite was a 5 mile loop on Chappaquiddick Island with almost never a car and mostly dirt roads.  There is almost no fast food anywhere on the island also.
The bad:  There is almost no fast food anywhere on the island.
 #2  Ocean City, New Jersey:  This has been my go-to vacation spot for the last 21 years.  A boardwalk run in the AM, dodging other shoobies and those big giant inflatable salt-water taffy blow up thingies is quite a treat.  We often made this a two-a-day running camp in those early years.
The good:  Seeing so many PSU Alumni at the Sea Isle City Island Run every year.  (Both Tyler McCandless and Kyle Dawson have won the race in recent years.)
The bad:  The damn Sea Isle City Island Run itself, which is an ordeal of sand running somehow against the wind in both directions.
#3 Freeport, Maine:  Went there on my honeymoon.  Mostly so we could go to LL Bean at 2:00AM (the doors are never closed!
The good: Saw an osprey, a moose and Joan Benoit on the same run.
The bad: You can never have enough lobster.
#4 Charleston, South Carolina: A really great spur of the moment vacation when my daughter was born.  Taking her for runs in a baby jogger (new at the time) was quite good.  Especially the time I rubbed all of her hair off in front of the Citadel.
The good:  The people, including Bill Murray himself!  The 20-miler I took preparing for the marathon at Disney took me to every neighborhood in the city.
The bad: Actually realizing I am not really parent material when I rubbed all the hair off my daughter's head in the baby jogger!
#5 Harpers Ferry, West Virginia:  Another annual vacation for the past 9 years.
The good:  The C and O Canal and the Appalachian Trail converge here.
The bad:  The internet is allergic to West Virginia.
(Honorable Mention) Walt Disney World, Florida:  The place I love to hate, or hate to love.

What are some of your favorite vacation spots for running?

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Big Ten 10K in Chicago

Fellow York, PA native Peter Angelo, Joe Hubbard and Nate Goins ran in the weekend's Big Ten 10K in Chicago.  Anyone know of any others?

Peter Angelo, left, Joe Hubbard, center and Nate Goins, right.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Moonwalking Dilemma: A Devil's Advocate View of Current Events

* I am not excusing sexual harassment in any form. (And everyone should know my views on hazing of any sort by now.) And I am not predicting future PSU Sports Decisions with this post.  I am merely questioning political correctness and its effect on the status quo.

There can be no question that the Ohio State Marching Band has been at the pinnacle of performances over a long period of time.  With the recent revelations* of a "sexualized culture" and the firing of the band director credited with putting the cherry on top of its recent Band's performances, Ohio State has made a very important decision.

When a group or organization maintains its position at the top of its trade, many reasons can factor into it.  One thing that helps separate the "great" from the "good" groups is often the bonding that occurs within the group.  This is most often a positive thing, but sometimes can result in bad things happening.  Bonding can be strongest among a group that shares a secret that is often slightly outside the envelope.  A band having an annual practice in its underwear certainly fits that definition.  Having nicknames that are not something shared with anyone outside the group can be another. A team cheer with some profanities in it can be another. These don't have to necessarily cross the line.

Ohio State says it now has a "Zero-Tolerance Policy" on these matters.  Meaning anyone upset by anything, real or imagined, can complain and get their way.  The "victim" becomes the executioner in these situations.  Imagine the OSU Band having to march in burqas because a band member became a Fundamental Muslim during the season and is upset by the old uniforms.  That's zero-tolerance taken to the extreme, but the true definition of zero-tolerance.  Perhaps "a hard line" would be a better policy?

The elimination of a significant factor in the incredible bonding of its group means that the Ohio State Marching Band will be hard pressed to sustain its dominance in its field.  But did the "good" done to eliminate the "bad" of the sexualized culture do anyone anything positive?  Did the "bad" of marching in underwear and having a nickname of "Boob Job" harm anyone?

My opinion is that somewhat innocent shenanigans escalated to intolerable abuses and hazing over decades, and something needed to be done.  The Columbus Dispatch puts this much better than I can.  In fact, accusations of rape and inadequate handling of reports of sexual assault have been leveled.  But a zero-tolerance policy is only going to smear otherwise innocent, talented and intelligent students.

*The original alert about this came from a band member's mother.  There has been very few complaints over the year's from actual band members.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

More Academic Accolades

The United States Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association list of Academic All-Americans is out, and the Nittany Lions are well represented.

  1. Emily Giannotti
  2. Leigha Anderson
  3. Tal Ben-Artzi
  4. Shelley Black
  5. Abigail Benson
  6. Lauren Kenney
  7. Lexi Masterson
  8. Marta Klebe
  9. Robby Creese
  10. Cole Proffitt
  11. Rob Cardina
  12. Ryan Brennan
  13. Aaron Nodolsky
  14. Bernard Bennett-Green
  15. Matthew Fisher
The Womens Team was also recognized for their overall team GPA of 3.32!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Video Distance Measurement (VDM) Testing With Mark Heckel At The World Junior Championships

USATF Field Official Mark Heckel
Just woke up a few minutes ago to the sound of . . . ducks! Today is "test meet" day at the World Junior Championships here at Oregon. WE had an interesting walk through with the Seiko folks yesterday, especially with our first look at video distance measurement.
The premise is quite simple - two high speed (7 frames per second) high definition cameras are focused on the pit and calibrated. As the jumper leaves the board, they perform their own capture sequence. The software picks the most likely landing frame from all the frames it collects, and the images are displayed side-by-side. You then place a cursor, that has a superimposed line that indicates where it is parallel to the take-off board, at the landing point in the sand, on each view. The distance is then computed.
What's really cool is that this can all be done from the top of the stands! We will be situated some 30-40 meters from the pit, at the top of Hayward field, and the cameras capturing the images will be BEHIND us. You can zoom in to get the exact location of the landing as well. There is no reflector in the pit, no marker at all in the pit. It will be interesting to see it in action today.
I'm looking forward to working with our crew and getting to see this new way for us to do electronic measurement. Video and a new training will be forthcoming.


Well, the test meet yesterday went OK (as test meets go, I guess), but today, when we had to put things into action, it was REALLY interesting.
The VDM method for measurement is REALLY exciting! I have to tell you that we had no issues with using it, and in the decathlon long jump (with 17 competitors in my pit), we had a very easy day. There were a few times when I wanted to look at the before and after images, and to see the changes in the surface of the landing area, from a distance of about 35-40 meters, and see them better than you could with the naked eye - was incredible.
I will post some video later, but the clarity and the speed at which we not only got the images, but how quickly they were measured, was even more impressive that I thought it would be. I didn't clock it today, but i will tomorrow morning. I'm really curious to see how quick we are between jumps.
The other aspect of using the VDM is that each jump is recorded. At 7 frames per second, starting with approximately the take-off from the board and ending about +2 seconds after the athlete lands, really allows you to see the changes in the surface, and to get the most accurate mark - perhaps too accurate, since you can togle the images back and forth to look for even the slightest changes in the landing surface.
The groomers on both pits did a great job, keeping the surface almost drag smooth. We found that if they raked and brushed parallel to the scratch line, we could get very good, clear images of the landing and the changes in the surface.
By using radio communication between ourselves, the pit boss and the athlete control judge (i.e. flight coordinator), we were able to keep things moving, and clear from clutter. In reailty, one could perhaps conduct the vent with as few as 5 officials - 2 in the landing ares to groom, a board judge, a timing/wind gauge judge, and the athlete control judge. But, don't be scared - I'm not advocating taking away positions! You still need your plasticine folks, and a chief free to handle issues that come up.
It was a bit different not seeing anyone in the landing area with a stick or reflector, and to only see the board judge raise a flag and place and remove a cone, but I thought these things made the competition better to watch.

Here is a short (< 7 minutes) video that is a raw explanation of the VDM (video distance measurement) technology being used at the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championship in Eugene. I will be producing a better version, under the TFO Training Associates label, when I get home. For now, view and enjoy!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Queen is Taking a Pounding Lately

The recent IAAF Diamond League Meet in London had its Shot Put competition held at the front of Buckingham Palace.  With the great photos that have emerged from the event,it is a wonder that the competitors didn't knock down the front door.

Pip, pip, cheerio.

Our very own Joe Kovacs placed 4th in the event with a heave of  20.94M (stupid metric system... 68' 8.25").  That still has him tied for 2nd in the overall race (8 pts.) with David Storl of Germany behind Reese Hoffa's 11 pts.

Big Joe with Big Ben.

And with all those big men inside the gates of the Queen's home turf, the only animal testing positive for PEDs was one of her own horses!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Another 4 x 800 World Record Makes These Guys Honorary PSU Track Alumni Golfers!

Charles Rogers, 96.

When Charles Ross (91) discovered that it hadn't been done before, he knew he had an opportunity.  So he got a few of his fellow 90 year-old-plus friends together and entered the USATF Masters Championship Relays.  That mean he and his friends, Champion Goldy Sr. (97), Orville Rogers (96), Roy Englert (92) and Charles Boyle (91), combined to set World Records (and Here) in the 4 x 100, 4 x 400 and 4 x 800 Relays! (Goldy was on the 4 x 100 team and Charles Boyle took his place on the other races.)

4 x 100M (90+)   2:22.37  WR
4 x 400M (90+)  12:41.69 WR
4 x 800M (90+)  28:17.10 WR

Champion Goldy Sr.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Another PSU Track/XC and Rugby Link

Last year's episode of arson of the golf course shed housing supplies for both PSU Rugby and Cross Country was one link.  Two disgruntled rugby players had too many adult beverages and decided to take their frustrations out on the innocent shed.  I suppose the XC course supplies have been replaced in time for the Coach Groves Spiked Shoe Meet this year.

Dane Rauschenberg represents another link between Dear Ole State's XC and Rugby teams.  Before embarking on his incredible endurance sports career, Dane played on PSU's Rugby team.  Dane is from Titusville PA, not very far away from The Blog Muse Rob Whiteside's home in Harmonsburg, and also my former team captain John Zeigler's Meadville.

Dane relates that when he was running his 52 marathons in 52 weeks, he had the Georgetown Running Company  (I've been there!) as a sponsor and was getting tired of the cheer "Go Hoyas!" from the crowds.  So he inquired about getting a PSU singlet to wear instead, to reflect his PSU Pride.  He relates at the time he didn't know much about Coach Groves (or he might not have asked!).  But in a true reflection of Coach Groves (not the image others might believe) Coach came through for him.

Dane was quick to add that he rarely wears the singlet now because he did not run for PSU back in the day.  I assured him that our Alumni Singlets signal support for the PSU Program and are not an exclusive perk available only to ex-PSU Track athletes.

Another sale will be coming very soon.  And don't forget the new dri-fit work-out shirts which are suitable for the out-of-shape joggers (sloggers?) like me!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

PSU is 800U: World Record Masters Edition

Congrats to our very own PSU Track Alumni Golfer and frequent longest drive winner Beth (Stever) Shisler on her new World Record!  She teamed with Sarah Allers, Claudette Groenendaal & Lorraine Jasper to set the new 50 and over 4 X 800M World Record!  The USATF Masters Outdoor Championships were held at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC.

Beth Shisler
10:24.21 - Beth-2:41, Sarah-2:40, Claudette-2:35, Lorraine-2:26.

Sarah Allers is coached by Phil Peterson, a PSU Track Alum for Coach Lucas AND Coach Groves in 1965 to 1969.  Welcome to the warm embrace of our wonderful group!  And do you golf?

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Monaco is 800 Heaven

There were many good races at the Herculis Monaco Diamond League Meet, but the one that turned my head was the 800 M, where the world record holder returned to form with a splendid 1:42.98Which got him 5th place!

1 AMOS Nijel BOT 01:42.45 WL,MR
2 BOSSE Pierre-Ambroise FRA 01:42.53 NR
3 AMAN Mohammed ETH 01:42.83 SB
4 CHERUIYOT Ferguson RotichKEN 01:42.84 PB
5 RUDISHA David KEN 01:42.98 SB

In other races, Leonel Manzano and Matt Centrowitz (I'll forgive him his NCAA throat-slash gesture, reluctantly) ran splendid times in the 1500 M of 3:30.98 and 3:31.09 for 8th and 9th place!



Friday, July 18, 2014

Updates in Totally Unrelated Things: Red Klotz, "The Best Outside Shooter Ever" and Higgs In Action!

As sports go, I was originally hoping to be a world-renowned basketball player.  My game didn't quite live up to my dreams, so I reluctantly turned to a more solitary sport, running.

Red Klotz, the long-time Coach of the Washington Generals and the greatest ambassador the sport of basketball has ever known, died last week.  His snub at the Basketball Hall of Fame (They let Nike Chairman Phil Knight in recently!) needs to be corrected.

Player/Coach/Owner Red Klotz in his 70's against the Harlem Globetrotters.

Long-time runner and good friend Tim Kelly recently finished a book on his life that is garnering praise from every angle.  It is being mentioned on national sports shows to highlight a remarkable man and promote his inclusion in Basketball's most prestigious organization.  Red represents the best of America's great sport of basketball, but more importantly, he represents the greatness that America can produce outside the sport. May he RIP.  (Red is probably just now taking over the coaching duties of the top team in Heaven and upping their game.) I recommend the book as a companion to the book Pistol (about "Pistol" Pete Maravich) as the 2 books to read to appreciate the history of America's home-grown sport. I'll bet Coach Red is allowing Pistol Pete to fire away from anywhere on the Heavenly court.  Red certainly knew a customer draw when he saw one!

And I was once the 2nd leading scorer on my Junior High team at 2.8 points per game.  Yeah, you read that right, 2.8 was second best on my JH team.  That's because Curt Clawson, a seventh grader was on my team averaging 18.4 points per game against 8th and 9th graders!  Curt eventually became what his Coach, Gene Keady of Purdue called "the best outside shooter he has ever seen." (Curt never played a game with a 3-point line though!) He said this with Michael Jordan sitting next to him at his retirement celebration.  With Curt just a man in the back of the auditorium.  When Michael demanded a 3-point shoot-out (with substantial wagering!), Curt beat him like a rented mule with the whole crowd moving to the gym for the spectacle.

Congressman Curt Clawson

Now Curt is the newly elected member of the US House of Representatives for his district in Florida, replacing the disgraced former member caught with cocaine.  Curt is also someone who upholds the ideals our Founders wanted America to reflect.  As a Mormon, he lives up to strict standards in his personal and professional life some of us can only wonder about.  His lessons from his sporting career mirror those all of us have been exposed to.  Coach Keady and Coach Groves may have never met, but they were both old-school types with similar views on what coaching means.  I wish Curt well in the cesspool that is our Government.  I really want him to make a difference.

And in lighter news, the Higgs Boson was finally seen in action!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Penn State Cross Country Loses a Champion

You may not have ever heard of Stanley Lindner Jr., but a part of him lives inside each and every one of you.  Stanley was a Letterman on the 1950 NCAA National Championship Cross Country Team.  He passed away this week, but left a world better off than the one he entered. His story is an impressive one.   My condolences to all his family and friends are on behalf of everyone from our group.

Stanley Lindner Jr.

But with the Rusty Boots legacy we have been using as a way to link all PSU athletes, we know we all have a spark of Stanley with us at all times.  If you so inclined, say a little prayer for him and his family and friends and say a thank you for all the good he did during his lifetime.

Addendum:  I was originally alerted to this by Ryan Foster, Director of Operations.  That the PSU Track and Field Team has such a great relationship with our motley crew is a testament to everything we wish to accomplish. (That is, celebrating the past and present of PSU Track/XC, and  thus fortifying the future of PSU Track/XC.)

Addendum II:  Stanley was the father of Susan Lindner, an early 80's hurdler for Coach Schwartz and the Nittany Lions.  Thanks to Coach Schwartz for the info.  My sympathies go to her at this time.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly: Another Obsessive/Compulsive Personal Note

The end of an era will be occurring in the next few weeks for me.  Alas, I have averaged at least 5 miles a day since I started running "every day" in 1975.  (I had run a few miles previously starting in 1974, but only because our basketball coach made us join the cross country team!)

The Good:

My percentage of days in which I have run in my career continues to rise.  It is now at a level of 92.4% of days since July 1975.  I'm at better than 99% of days since my mother's passing in 2000.

The Bad:

My overall total miles is only at 71,000, a far cry from many others.  I'll very unlikely ever make the list of people over 100,000 lifetime miles.  (I'll bet there are a lot of cheaters on that list BTW!) Remember, Coach John Lucas had more than 160,000!

The Ugly:

Because of my concern for my knees following the three surgeries, I rarely run more than 3 miles daily.  The days that I don't run 3 or the rare instances where I don't run at all are lowering my average quite steadily.  There isn't any way to stop the leaks and I will soon fall under the "magic" 5 miles a day mark.  Maybe if I quit my job, I would be able to muster enough miles to continue to hover at the 5 level, but who am I kidding?  

Actually my daily average has been declining ever since 1980 anyway, so this is all certainly only a figment of an obsessive/compulsive nature.

Many of the people I know who certainly have run more than I have never bothered to keep track.  But is there anyone out there who has documented more miles or a better percentage of days?  Maybe I'll throw in a "PSU is 800 U" t-shirt for confirmation.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Strong Recruiting Class

With the changes at the top in the coaching staff, Penn State achieved a splendid recruiting class, seemingly unchanged by the abrupt departure of Coach SullivanThis is a testament to the hard work and talents of Coach Gondak Any remnant of "Interim" should soon be discarded.  John needs a clean slate to devote all of his time to bringing the Cross Country teams to the top of the Big Ten ranks.  That's no easy task, as there is a lot of talent in the league.

Here's a complete run down of the recruits from the Official Source. (Stolen for your reading ease!)

Cody Amengual - West Babylon, New York - West Babylon/Cortland University
Events: 3000m Steeple Chase
Personal Bests: 8:57.54 (3000m SC)
Two time qualifier to the NCAA Division 3 Outdoor National Championships. Posted a best finish of 6th place in the 3000-meter steeple chase. Also qualified to the NCAA Division 3 Cross Country Championships.
Justin Berg - Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. - Spring Ford/Temple
Events: Hammer Throw, Weight Throw
Personal Bests: 176-7 (Hammer Throw), 52-10.25 (Weight Throw)
4th place finish at Atlantic-10 Championships while competing for Temple. Qualifier to IC4A Outdoor Championships in the Hammer.
Tyler Hope - Tamaqua, Pennsylvania. - Tamaqua Area
Events: Javelin
Personal Bests: 198-4
Three time qualifier to the Pennsylvania State Meet outdoors. Best finish of 2nd in 2012. Three time District 11 Champion.
Jordan Makins - Perth, Australia - Aquinas College (HS)
Event: 800m
Personal Best: 1:49.33 (800m), 3:52.60 (1500m)
A former Australian Under 16 national champion at 800-meters, Makins, a native of Australia, will join the Nittany Lions just weeks after competing at the World Junior Championships in Eugene, Oregon, for team Australia.
Malik Moffett - Erie, Pennsylvania - Cathedral Prep/Penn State Behrend
Event: 100m, 200m, High Jump
Personal Bests: 10.61 (100m), 21.10 (200m), 6-9 (High Jump)
Had an outstanding freshman year at Penn State Behrend where he emerged as one of the best sprints talents in NCAA Division 3. Set PRs in both the 100-meter and 200-meter in 2014. Capped season with a bronze medal finish in the 200-meters at the NCAA Division 3 Outdoor National Championships.
Matt Nawrocki - Moscow, Pennsylvania. - North Pocono
Events: Javelin
Personal Bests: 201-4
Senior year capped off by 3rd place finish at Pennsylvania Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Also posted 2nd place finish at District 2 Championships.
Luke Pease - Haddonfield, New Jersey - Haddonfield Memorial
Events: Multis
Personal Bests: 15.16 (110mH), 188-2 (Javelin), 14-0 (Pole Vault)
Combining indoors and outdoors, was a three time qualifier to the NJ State Meet of Champions. Qualified in both the javelin and the pole vault.
Mason Post - State College, Pennsylvania. - State College
Events: 400m, 800m
Personal Bests: 49.57 (400m)
State Champion indoors and outdoors at the Pennsylvania Track and Field Championship as part of State College's 4x800-meter relay (split 1:54). Also qualified to Pennsylvania Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the 400-meters.
Robert Rhodes - Brooklyn, New York - Boys and Girls High School/University of Connecticut
Event: 400m, 500m, 600m, 800m
Personal Best: 47.81 (400m), 1:02.02 (500m), 1:17.36 (600m), 1:49.34 (800m)
During two years as a University of Connecticut Husky, Rhodes set a school record indoors at 500-meters and was the IC4A champion at that event. Ran the number 3 time in the NCAA for 600-meters during the 2014 indoor season. Outdoors, qualified to the NCAA Championships First Round.
Lindell Robinson-Swenson - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. - Milton Hershey
Events: 200m, 400m
Personal Bests: 22.29 (200m), 48.21 (400m)
Multiple Pennsylvania Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field Championships qualifier competing at 100m, 200m, and 400m.
Joseph Segreto -Oakdale, New York - St Anthony's
Events: Hammer Throw, Weight Throw
Personal Bests: 204-9 (Hammer Throw), 68-0.25 (Weight Throw)
Twice competed at New Balance Outdoor Nationals - posting a best finish of 10th in the hammer throw. Twice competed at New Balance Indoor Nationals with a best finish of 2nd. Also finished runner-up in the weight throw at the prestigious Millrose Games in New York.
Xavier Smith - Douglasville, Pennsylvania. - Daniel Boone
Event: 60m, 100m, 200m
Personal Bests: 6.86 (60m), 10.67 (100m), 21.50 (200m)
Recorded two runner-up finishes at the Pennsylvania State Meet during 2014. Indoors finished second in the 60-meter dash. Outdoors finished second in the 100-meter dash, and third in the 200-meter dash.
David Stellato - Ambler, Pennsylvania. - Wissahocken
Events: 200m, 400m
Personal Bests: 21.74 (200m), 47.89 (400m)
Pennsylvania Outdoor Track and Field Championship runner-up at 400-meters. Posted a 4th place finish at the Pennsylvania Indoor Track and Field Championships at 400-meters
Bryce Williams - State College, Pennsylvania. - State College
Events: Triple Jump, Long Jump
Personal Bests: 48-7.5 (Triple Jump), 22-10 (Long Jump)
Pennsylvania Outdoor Track and Field Championships 3rd place in the triple jump. Runner-up finish at the Pennsylvania Indoor Track and Field Championships in the triple jump. Multiple time qualifier to New Balance National Championships with a best finish of 8th indoors.
Lisa Bennatan -Lake Forest, Illinois - Lake Forest
Events: Cross Country, Mile Run
Personal Bests: 5:16.85 (1600m)
Typhanee Booker - Cibolo, Texas - Schertz Steele
Events: 60m, 100m, 200mPersonal Bests: 7.66 (60m), 11.99 (100m), 24.70 (200m)
2014 Carl Lewis Invitational 60-meter Champion. Outdoors was District 28 Champion at 200m, as well as posting a runner-up finish at the Region 4 Championships.
Hannah Catalano - State College, Pennsylvania. - State College
Events: Mile Run
Personal Bests: 5:06.51 (1600m)
Qualified to the Pennsylvania Track and Field Championship during both the indoor and outdoor season. Outdoors she advance to the final in the 1600m.
Rachael DeCecco - Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. - Cumberland Valley
Events: 400m Hurdles
Personal Bests: 43.68 (300m Hurdles), 1:02.53 (400m Hurdles)
Multiple time qualifier to Pennsylvania Track and Field Championship at 100-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles. Best finishes include a 4th place effort in the 100-meter hurdles in 2012, and a 3rd place finish at 300-meter hurdles in 2013.
Megan Hellman - Rumson, New Jersey - Rumson Fair Haven
Events: Cross Country, Mile Run
Personal Bests: 5:10.25 (1600m)
Two time qualifier to New Jersey Meet of Champions in cross country. Set best 3-mile time of 17:58 at the Shore Conference Championships.
Obeng Marfo - Ontario, Canada - Father Henry Carr
Events: Shot Put, Discus
Personal Records: 44-3.25 (Shot Put), 131-9 (Discus)
A Canadian Youth Champion, Marfo was a representative at the2013 IAAF World Youth Championships held in Kiev, Ukraine
Elyse Skerpon - Sayre, Pennsylvania. - Sayre Area
Events: 400m Hurdles
Personal Records: 44.55 (300m Hurdles)
Three time qualifier in the 300-meter hurdles at the Pennsylvania Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Recorded an 8th place finish at the 2013 New Balance National Outdoor Track and Field Championship over 400-meter hurdles.
Annjulie Vester - Homburg, Germany - Gymnasium Johanneum/Virginia Tech
Events: Hammer Throw, Weight Throw
Personal Records: 203-2 (Hammer Throw), 61-1 (Weight Throw)
In her time as a Hokie, Vester was an ACC champion in the hammer throw. Other career highlights include a 13th place finish at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championships in the hammer throw.
Cheyenne Winkle - Hookstown, Pennsylvania. - South Side
Events: Javelin
Personal Records: 137-3 (Javelin)
Qualified to Pennsylvania Outdoor Track and Field Championships all four years of high school in the javelin throw. Career best finish of 5th place.

Of special note (again!) is Elyse Skerpon the daughter of Don Skerpon, former pole vaulter and hurdler for the Nittany Lions. That's a baseball player, a BlueBand piccolo player and now another hurdler for the Skerpons.  I'm getting tired just thinking about it!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Still Putting Strong

Joe Kovacs continued his summer of success (Remember the Prefontaine Classic and USATF's)  at the Sainsbury Glasgow Grand Prix in Glasgow, Scotland. He currently sits in second place in the Diamond Rankings with a few more competitions left to reclaim the title.

Full Results Here

Rank Athlete Nation Result
Diamond Points Diamond Ranking  









LAURO Germán Luján




PRÁŠIL Ladislav




A Family Affair

Not only is Mark Heckel the President of our USATF Mid-Atlantic Track and Field Club, but he is one of the pre-eminent Track and Field Officials in the nation.  And it looks like the acorns didn't fall far from the tree!  Sons Kade and Kreg are following Mark into the wonderful world that is Track and Field Officiating. Here, they all appear for the first time together at the Diamond League Meet in New York.  I've sung Mark's praises before, but I'll point out again that he combines every virtue a PSU Track Alumni (Golfer) could aspire to.

Mark Heckel, Kade Heckel and Kreg Heckel.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Best and the Brightest

"Athletics is for education and recreation, nothing else. Winning is important only in that you learn more."-Coach Harry Groves, 5/21/2011 at the Alumni "Run".

With Coach Groves' words, we must point out that Penn State is excelling not only on the track, but in the classroom and in the world beyond.

Penn State's academic success was honored recently with a record number of Spring Academic All-Big Ten athletes in all sports.  But at the head of the class were 2 PSU Track athletes with perfect 4.0 grade-point averages, also tops in the Big Ten, Emily Giannotti and Katie Rodden.  A tip of my cap goes to both.

Emily Giannotti

Katie Rodden

Thirty-four track and field athletes attained All-Big Ten honors:

Men's Track and Field (13)
Bernard Bennett-Green Sr. Journalism Drexel Hill, Pa.
Ryan Brennan Jr. Security And Risk Analysis Chester, N.Y.
Robert Cardina So. Communications Lancaster, Pa.
Robert Creese Jr. Mathematics Mount Airy, Md.
Thomas Damiani So. Science Dalton, Pa.
Matthew Fischer Sr. Marketing Kennett Square, Pa.
Russell Hedrick Sr. Energy Engineering Schwenksville, Pa.
Jonathan Hendershot Sr. Supply Chain And Information Systems Nazareth, Pa.
Daniel Jordan Sr. Recreation, Park, & Tourism Management Boalsburg, Pa.
Alex Kenney Gr. Communication Arts and Sciences State College, Pa.
Michael McClelland Jr. Communication Arts and Sciences Washington, Pa.
Aaron Nadolsky Sr. Communication Arts and Sciences Altoona, Pa.
Nicholas Scarpello Sr. Advertising/Public Relations Jamison, Pa.

Women's Track and Field (21)
Leigha Anderson Jr. Labor Studies and Employment Relations Carlisle, Pa.
Abigail Benson Jr. Nutritional Sciences Elma, N.Y.
Shelley Black Jr. Kinesiology Hanover Township, Pa.
Dynasty Boxley-McGee Jr. Journalism Ypsilanti, Mich.
Megan Boyer Sr. Human Development & Family Studies Millersburg, Pa.
Rachel Casciano Jr. Advertising/Public Relations Wyomissing, Pa.
Gabrielle Cocco Sr. Journalism Allentown, Pa.
Kelsey Couts Sr. Interdisciplinary Digital Studio Powell, Ohio
Emily Giannotti Sr. Counselor Education Coudersport, Pa.
Lauren Kenney Jr. Kinesiology State College, Pa.
Marta Klebe Sr. Supply Chain and Information Systems Chesterbrook, Pa.
Erin Knabe So. Science Califon, N.J.
Danielle Kocjancic Sr. Communication Sciences & Disorders Kane, Pa.
Melanie Leszcynski Jr. Marketing Audubon, Pa.
Olivia Mangan Sr. Psychology Huntingdon Valley, Pa.
Lauren Mills Jr. Nutritional Sciences West Chester, Pa.
Sarah Palmer Jr. Kinesiology Gansevoort, N.Y.
Gwenndolyn Porter Sr. Kinesiology Clearfield, Pa.
Kathleen Rodden Jr. Kinesiology Ardmore, Pa.
Kiah Seymour So. Communications Washington, D.C.
Sarah Underwood So. Undeclared Alexandria, Va.

Of personal note are the superb performances of Olivia Mangan, daughter of our Chief Laundry and Morale Officer Larry Mangan, our very own newest Author Nick Scarpello, and Jonathan Hendershot, son of former Holder of the Golden Putter Dennis Hendershot,   And Baseballs Taylor Skerpon, son of vaulter Don Skerpon.

Web Statistics