Thursday, October 15, 2015

This Isn't The Right Way To Determine The Top Ten PSU Mens Cross Country Runners Of All-Time

In the spirit of the ole bar room arguments like "Who is the greatest baseball player of all-time?" (It's Pete Rose BTW!), I have concocted a ridiculous look back at the history of PSU Cross Country to try to determine the top echelon of runners.  These sorts of things are always subject to the vagaries and whims of whomever is defining the criteria.  Others can vehemently disagree.  Which is usually the whole point of the exercise.

The Criteria:
  1. All PSU runners finishing in the top 20 of an NCAA Championship Meet are included.  This, of course skews the results toward the old-timers.  Back before 1973, any team could enter the race, and there were far fewer teams and runners overall. And it ignores someone who placed 21st in 4 straight Championships! Now that would be one Heck of a runner.
  2. Points are awarded in a reverse order of their finish.  A 20th place finish is worth 1 point and a first place finish is worth 20 points.  This skews the results toward those that run in multiple NCAA Championships. But placing high still means the most.
  3. Tiebreakers: a) # of appearances in NCAAs top 20 and  b) most recent to oldest.
The Results:
  1. Robert Hollen* - 17th 1951, 7th 1952, 6th 1953 for 33 points.
  2. Curtis Stone -  7th 1942, 2nd 1946 for 33 points.
  3. Alan Scharsu - 19th 1979, 7th 1980, 6th 1981 for 31 points.
  4. William Ashenfelter - 8th 1950, 4th 1951 for 30 points.
  5. Eric Carter - 9th 1985, 4th 1987 for 29 points.
  6. Gerald Karver - 9th 1942, 6th 1947 for 27 points,
  7. Norman Gordon - 11th 1941, 5th 1942 for 26 points.
  8. Horace Ashenfelter - 19th 1946, 2nd 1947 for 21 points.
  9. Greg Fredericks - 4th 1970, 20th 1971 for 18 points.
  10. Paul Stemmer - 5th 1975 for 16 points.
  11. William Smith - 5th 1938 for 16 points. 
* Variously spelled Hellen, Holen and Hollen in each of the years results pages.  More information wanted!!
Alan Scharsu
Bill and HoraceAshenfelter, and Curt Stone

Curt Stone


  1. Alan Scharsu was a XC beast. Find some criteria that makes it come out with him #1 because that's how it should be.... Yes, I'm biased too...

  2. I'm actually way ahead of you and have the criteria in hand to do just that in a later post. I've hinted at it in the post. But remember, in today's world, we're all #1!


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