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...

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Two Sprinting Posts In One Week!

" I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here" 
-Captain Louis Renault

My post about the recent sub-40 second 4 X 100M Relay by PSU, brought a sprinting story out from an unexpected source.  Ex-PSU (and ASU) Shot Putter Gary Williky has a unique notch on his belt.  He actually took out a top-US runner in a foot race!  And won a $100 bet in the process.   I'll let him tell the whole story...

Back in 1983, I was lucky enough that Steve Scott had invited me to a track and field tour. It was called The Pan Am Series. His friend John Walker had recruited him and there were some great athletes. I was fortunate to travel with Ray Flynn, John Walker, David Moorcroft, Chandra Cheeseborough, Tom Petranoff and James Robinson. It was unbelievable to so have many great throwers, runners and jumpers. We had the greatest time and I was so lucky to have set, at the time, the Australian soil record in the Shot Put of just over 66 feet.

But that spring I was in pretty damn good shape and when we got back from the trip somewhere in March Steve Scott had challenged me to a running race and I accepted. But what Steve didn't know is I had been training with 40 yard and 60 yards sprints.  My friends and I took this pretty seriously because he was kind of teasing and calling me out.  And at Arizona State, there was nobody was going to call me out!

I was a grad assistant /coach and had a big mouth so I trained hard for it.  Ray Wicksel and Steve Tully as race judges who was there and Arizona State coach Len Miller was there. Actually there was a lot of people there! We came out of the blocks with a gunshot and I blew him away so hard that when I finished I stopped at the Finish Line turned around and watched them finish. He turned over the hundred bucks and took me out to dinner a couple days later and we recently had a chance to talk about it at Coach Miller’s retirement party at UC Irvine. (You can reach out to him he'll tell you the same story though I get to blow it up a bit I think.)  I think I blew him away then stopped about 10 to 15 yards back but I did turn around I was laughing and giggling and pointing them out and we hugged.

… and that's the Steve Scott story.  He kept his mouth shut after that one. I tease him each time I can.

Gary Williky

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

My Dog Spott Is Likely Better Than You At Bracket Picking: And A Wonderful Vintage Pic Of All-Time Greats

Ken Cooper's PSU Track March Madness Pool has gotten pretty interesting.  My dog Spott Moskowitz moved up nicely in the last two rounds and is tied for 35th place (out of 149).  He has nowhere to go but down now, however, but as long as he gets his "brown things" from a bag for breakfast, he is OK with that.

Things are coming together.  Only 3 times since 1979 has a #1 seed not advanced to the Final Four.  Thanks to UNC, there is not a 4th time this year.

Congrats to Emily Oliver (bride of Penn State steepler Steve Oliver), Buddy Ancharski (dad of Penn State grad Frank Ancharski), Doug Walter (1989 All-American in 1500) and ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt who were the 4 with 3 of the Final Four.  Very impressive.

No one had Syracuse in the Great 8 or the Final 4.  And remember, only 4 people had them in the Sweet 16.

Emily Oliver is your new leader, followed by Buddy Ancharski, me and Todd Kletter.  I can’t believe my hopes ride with 10th seeded Syracuse.

Congrats to 5 yr old Avery Cooper who locked in her second DFL title in 3 years.  However, her 39 points is better than average (35) and the highest since 2009 when her dad (me) had 49 for the DFL title.  I am very proud.

The avg. of 1.15 is down slightly from the average over the past 17 years of 1.31 proving this was a tricky Final Four.

Of the Final Four – 88 had Carolina, 61 had Oklahoma, 23 had Villanova and 0 had the Orangemen.

Scenario Analysis
Nova over UNC (Overall = Buddy Ancharski; Pay-In = Marshall Cannon)
Nova over Syracuse (Overall = Buddy Ancharski; Pay-In = Marshall Cannon)
Oklahoma over UNC (Overall = Missie Stewart; Pay-In = Matt Bisko)
Oklahoma over Syracuse (Overall = Missie Stewart; Pay-In = Matt Bisko)
UNC over Nova (Overall = Anne Walter; Pay-In = Mike Castillo)
UNC over Oklahoma (Overall = Scott Van Pelt; Pay-In = Mike Castillo)
Syracuse over Nova  (Overall = Emily Oliver; Pay-In = Ken Cooper/Todd Kletter)
Syracuse over Oklahoma (Overall = Missie Stewart; Pay-In = Ken Cooper/Todd Kletter)

Division Leaders
Celebrity – Scott Van Pelt
Hoops – Mike Morse
Kid (8th grade & Younger) – Ryan Oliver
Kid (High School) – Ryan Caldwell
Non-Penn Staters – Buddy Ancharski
Penn State (non T&F) – Emily Oliver
Penn State Spouse – Missie Stewart
PSU T & F (Distance) – Ken Cooper
PSU T & F (Mid-Dist) – Todd Kletter
PSU T & F (Sprint) – Nick Verhoeven
PSU T & F (Field/Multi) – JudyLynn Weaver
T & F Alum (non PSU) – Michelle Lilienthal (Wisconsin)

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Worse Than Rented Bowling Shoes!

Our Official Physicist and European Liaison Brian Boyer has sent us another submission sure to garner interest among the rabble.  He brings us this pic of an Adidas running shoe rental kiosk in Vienna.

He relates that the kilt-wearing KK O'Brien can testify that it may not be a great idea to "borrow" shoes worn by someone else.  The STD he contracted (that's shoe-contracted-disease) from a fellow Nittany Lion was a site to behold!

Join us in the inevitable Facebook comments section to learn more!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Airship 800U Continues Testing

I have several submissions from members I hope to get to soon, but work (a four-letter word ending in K) is crazy this week.  Rest assured, exclusive content is coming soon.  And I think the Interns have stayed in Cancun past their allotted time.  I'm cutting off their credit just in case.

But I did have a little time yesterday to further test drone functions on the Group's flagship Airship 800U.  This time it was the "Follow Me" mode.  Works well, at least if you want to watch me walk around at the start area of the County XC course!  This will work great for the Alumni "Run" and possibly the actual Mountain View Golf Course at the Coach Groves Golf Tourney. (Sign up now!)

And if that bores you too much, here's a group favorite discussing Karma and other things...

Sunday, March 27, 2016

I Can't Remember The Last Time A Post Highlighted Sprinting!

It is rather exciting to be able to write this post. Penn State Men have a sprinting corps worthy of more than just one post.  And I'm sure that I will be bringing more of them later in the season. A great start to the season at the Big Ten/PAC-12 Challenge.

For the first time since 1975, 41 years for the recent practitioners of Common Core Math, the Nittany Lions broke 40 seconds in the 4 X 100M Relay.  That goes back to the days of Mike Shine and Mike Sands.

For the men, 39.92 is the first sub-40 second performance since 1975. The quartet of Chisena, Moffett, Porter and Smith raced their way to the No. 13 time in the nation thus far this season. The time also ranks as the No. 7 time in the east region at the moment.

In the sprints, Xavier Smith (10.59), Dan Chisena (10.72), and Anton Porter (10.74) finished 4-5-6 in the 100-meters collecting 12 points.

And there is still time to vote in the poll on the left sidebar for your favorite hot dog condiment. Here's Brian Boyer's favorite hot dog establishment in Vienna.

Kasekrainer with mustard and bread

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Muse On The Trail

Rob Whiteside, our Roaming Corespondent and Muse, is currently somewhere on the Appalachian Trail(Much of what is written here on the blog with it all is for his amusement.)
 He is three weeks into his Through Hike from Georgia to Maine.  This has been planned for quite awhile, and he is accompanied by his Daughter the Elder.

He relates this is the hardest thing he has ever done, and I believe him.  He has already experienced 18 degrees on several nights in the Smoky Mountains along with some heavy storms.  And the whole time he is accompanied by hikers much younger than he is.

He relates that he is eating like he did at age 15 and has still lost 15 pounds in 3 weeks.  His feet and knees hurt, but states you "must embrace the pain and suffering".  Even though only 1 in 4 hikers attempting the Through Hike actually makes it, I'm betting on him.

Blood Mountain

Georgia/North Carolina border.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

A Jog On The Beach Before Outdoor Track Begins

The first real meets start next week, with some team members heading to the San Fran suburbs for the Stanford Invite(This weekend has the Lions in the PAC-12/Big Ten Challenge in Arizona.)  There they can reunite with our Energizer Lion Emeritus Jess Riden in her new position at Stanford.  (Blue is her real best color BTW)

We miss you Jess. And your parking info for the Penn Relays.

And just who is this dude jogging on the beach to get ready for the Outdoor Season?

His job never allowed him to grow a beard.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

It's Hot Dog Season

Baseball season is upon us.  And that means hot dogs are back in season too.  I always have a hot dog at a Baseball game no matter what else I'm eating. Go to the left sidebar and let me know your favorite hot dog condiments.

Pittsburgh's Original Hot Dog

The best MLB hot dog I have ever had was at Opening Day Yankee Stadium in 1983, when Billy Martin started his last stint as Manager and Joe DiMaggio threw out the first pitch.

The worst hot dog I ever had at a MLB game is a tie between Toronto and Boston.  Both were flavorless, limp,lifeless and gray, like biting into a piece of tofu that was nastier than usual.  Otherwise, Boston was splendid, the way a Ball Park should be.  The Stadium at Toronto is an afront to all that is Holy about the game (see Ken Burns videos and Field of Dreams).  Baseball should never be played indoor or even in a stadium that CAN be indoor. The fans at Toronto were equally horrible.  A noisy bunch next to me were taunting Raul Ibanez the whole game with racist and filthy chants.  I became a fan of his when he hit a towering Center Field home run in the ninth inning to win the game.  The blast hit the hotel in Center Field.  That's the famous one where the couple were engaging in intimacy on world wide television without realizing their window wasn't one-way!

Recently, my hot dog of choice was threatened with extinction.  Jimmy's in Easton PA was undergoing a long-standing battle between the 2 long-time owning families.  One of the families actually goes back to the founding in 1908.  The place was auctioned off recently and bought outright by one of the families and will continue operation as it always has.

Jimmy's, Easton PA
The secret is the dill pickle spear, never relish.

And another dog of choice has been on my mind recently. The Original ("Dirty O") at Pitt has a terrific red hot we have discussed before.  It turns out that our Chief Laundry Officer has never had one despite being a burgh native!   I will have to take him there for a treat and be sure to make him NOT order a large order of fries in the back!

The Dirty O near University of Pittsburgh

Small order of fries with cheese and brown gravy. You must buy these in a separate area.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Most People Who Discover A Bump Are Afraid: A Physics Post Prior To The Outdoor Season

But Physicists are elated and electrified!

There could be a new massive particle that make Higgs jealous.  The new power of the CERN Super-Collider has opened up a new horizon.  Physicists are almost peeing their pants.

Adam Sandler is not actually a Physicist.

 My name for the new particle will be Party Cul McParticlesaurus.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Sweet 16!

My dog Spott Moskowitz always makes my picks for the NCAA Basketball pools, just as his predecessor Spot Moskowitz did before him.  The original Spot was pretty darn good at it, but the new one just doesn't care as much.  He did move up 3 spots in the standings, however. 

"Always Nappin"

Spott, doing what he does best.
Ken Cooper's comments on things so-far: (and the top 25)

Did anyone else feel absolutely sick for Northern Iowa?  Man, up by 12 with 31 seconds to go, then up by 5 with 12 seconds.  That one will hurt for a long, long time.  Same for Stephen F. Austin and Xavier.  Crushing losses, but the epitome of March Madness. 

I find it hilarious folks are talking about the “6 teams from the ACC” in the Sweet 16.  A decade ago, those 6 teams represented ACC (Duke, UNC, Virginia), the Big East (Syracuse, Miami) and independent (Notre Dame).  I just can’t consider Syracuse an ACC team or Texas A & M an SEC team.

Congrats to me for leading the pool through the Sweet 16.  But, as mentioned in the last results update, I am a dead man walking with Michigan State as my champ.  Go Gonzaga.  They are now my team and only hope.

Nice work to Tyler McCandless, Jay Novak, and Darryl Jones who hit 13 of the Sweet 16 and made significant jumps in the standings. 

The avg. of 9.53 was above average.  8.99 was the avg. over the past 17 years.

The clear upset pick of the Sweet 16 was Syracuse.  Only 4 people (Courtney Roth, Alyssa Verhoeven, Jason Fraysier and Hartranft Hall had that nailed).  19 people had Gonzaga into Sweet 16.

Division Leaders
Celebrity – Mike Greenberg
Hoops – Will Morse
Kid (8th grade & Younger) – Noah Crescenzi
Kid (High School) – Tom Bisko III
Non-Penn Staters – Corey Cain (Brown alum)
Penn State (non T&F) – Emily Oliver
Penn State Spouse – Missie Stewart
PSU T & F (Distance) – Ken Cooper
PSU T & F (Mid-Dist) – Crash
PSU T & F (Sprint) – Tom Bisko
PSU T & F (Field/Multi) – Darryl Jones
T & F Alum (non PSU) – Mark Rupe (Cincinnati)

Current Standings:


Cooper, Ken
Bisko, Tom
Crescenzi, Noah
McCandless, Tyler
Novak, Jay
Oliver, Emily
Mangan, Larry
Scholarship, Harry Groves
Will, Sean
Sailer, Aaron
Kletter, Todd
Jones, Darryl-Jumper II
Greenberg, Mike
Verhoeven, Nick
Dadagian , Jen
Anderson, Mark
Hamer, Bob
Cain, Corey
Lilienthal, Michelle
Fraysier, Jason
Whittaker, Bill
McCarthy, Dennis
Konzal, Sean
Stewart, Missie

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Alumni Singlets Are Everywhere

Another 25 Alumni Singlets are making their way to Penn State Track and Field Alumni (Golfers), making the total number more than 200 spread out across the globe.

Thanks for this goes to our Le faucon d'orange Mark Hawkins.  He does all the legwork, purchasing, arranging for the screenings, shipping etc.  He gets paid slightly less than I do, which is nothing.  So when you see him at the Alumni Reunion and Coach Groves Golf Tourney, be sure to say "thanks" Be sure to wear yours to the Alumni "Run" on Saturday Morning at the Reunion.  And realize that your teammates from years past, and from every other era of PSU Track, are the finest people this world makes.

Bill Malchano previously wore a borrowed Alumni Singlet for a marathon, and I think today may be his first with his very own!  Bill is one of the very first Alumni Golfers, lured to State College by Founder Clark Haley in May of 2002.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Forget About Your Broken Brackets, The Alumni Reunion Is Only Two Months Away!

My dog Spott Moskowitz is just about at the mean of everyone's broken brackets in the PSU Track NCAA Basketball Pool.  Pitiful, just pitiful.  By which I mean the performance of the Michigan State Spartans...

First Round Standings:

1 Cooper, Ken
2 Crash
3 Oliver, Steve
4 Hutz, M.
5 Mangan, Larry
6 Smith, Harry
7 Marshall, Colin
8 Munro, Scott
9 Bisko, Tom
10 Crescenzi, Noah
11 Will, Sean
12 Kletter, Todd
13 Smith, Holden
14 Weaver, JudyLynn
15 Golic, Mike
16 McCann, Ian
17 Morse, Mike
18 Pruitt, Kristen
19 Venne, Lisa Anne
20 Lincoln, Matt
21 Cooper, Kyle
22 Mac, T
23 Dadagian , Jen
24 O'Brien, Kevin Kelly
25 Oliver, Ryan
26 Oliver, Emily
27 Van Pelt, Scott
28 Bratt, Steve
29 Arosemena, Che
30 Haywood, Mark
31 Beavis, Dave
32 DiFrancesco,Tom
33 Rupe, Mark
34 Lilienthal, Michelle
35 Scholarship, Harry Groves
36 Kunetz, Daniel
37 Dubya, G
38 Morse, Will
39 Fraysier, Jason
40 Oliver, Abby
41 Whittaker, Bill
42 Bile, Bile
43 Sailer, Aaron
44 Riter, Christie
45 Strandberg, David
46 McCarthy, Dennis
47 O'Reilly, Aidan
48 Konzal, Sean
50 Greenberg, Mike
51 Obama, Barack
52 Illustrated, Sports
53 Caldwell, R.B.
54 Verhoeven, Nick
55 Angelo, Peter
56 Moskowitz, Spott
57 Clinton, Joe
58 McCandless, Tyler
59 Caldwell, Ryan
60 Miller, Marc
61 Salargo, Ron
62 Novak, Jay
63 Prann, Rich
64 Castillo, Mike (Cap)
65 Ancharski, Frank J.
66 Bisko, Matthew
67 Bisko III, Thomas
68 Licari, Danielle
69 Wimmer, Mark
70 Hoover, Douglas
71 Murphy, Patrick
72 Gifford, Bob
73 Oppenheimer, Hank
74 Anderson, Mark
75 Stewart, Reaghan
76 Morse, Hallie
77 Hamer, Bob
78 Cain, Corey
79 Bilas, Jay
80 Vitale, Dick
81 Cooper, Kathleen
82 Warfel, Kay
83 Walter, Anne
84 Radzwich, Bob
85 Hall, Ricardo
86 Cole, Jason
87 Cole, Scott
88 Hall, Lauren
89 Hall, Brumbaugh
90 Berseth, Kyle
91 Weaver, Jonathan
92 Gross, Michael
93 Jackson,Jayson
94 Stewart, Missie
95 The Clarkster
96 Jones, Darryl-Jumper II
97 Snake
98 Kurina, Lianne
99 Cannon, Marshall 2
100 Pritchard, Jonathan
101 Heitzmann, Colin
102 Robinson, Allen
103 Cooper, Avery
104 Verhoeven, Alyssa
105 Walter, Doug
106 Balkey, Steve
107 Roth, Andy
108 Roth, Courtney
109 Wintersteen, Kyle
110 Cannon, Marshall
111 Ancharski, Buddy
112 Boyer, Brian
113 Watson, Luke
114 Warfel, Kay 2
115 Hawkins, Mark
116 Hall, Dorian
117 Morse, Faither
118 Oliver, Owen
119 Wood, Kyle
120 Clelland, Jim
121 Gough, Rob
122 Kletter, Maxim
123 Miller, Keith
124 Jones, Darryl
125 Stewart, Zeb
126 Cain, Corey 2
127 Walter, Owen
128 Mangan, Larry 2
129 Barbella, John
130 Ancharski, FJD (Buddy)
131 Pruitt, Christopher
132 Bisko, Brooke
133 Stewart, Kerrighan
134 Pritchard, Simon
135 Full of Blarney
136 Bettis, Lena
137 Noballs, Uhaff
138 Miller, Von
139 Brown, Antonio
140 Cooper, Maddie
141 Hall, Hartranft
142 Pritchard, Lucy
143 Johnson, Tim
144 Haushalter, David
145 Morse, Champer
146 Griak, Roy
147 Cooper, Lily
148 Radzwich, Maddi
149 Anderson, Aaron

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Everybody Else Is Doing The Throwback Thursday Thing

I generally resist the bandwagon.  But when this pic came along of my roommate Alan Scharsu, I decided to jump on and hold on for dear life.

Here he is at the start of the 1979 Junior Cross Country Championships. Smack dab in the middle of it all!

Everybody get in touch with him and get him to return to the Reunion and Golf Outing this year.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

There Were More Than Sophomores At The 1977 AAU XC Meet at Belmont Plateau: Along With Another World Exclusive!

Although I wasn't there (and I"m not sure why????), a bunch of Sophomores were joined by Junior Tim Backenstose to win the overall race on the hills and dales of the Belmont Plateau course.  I'm wondering if they blew me off, or if I blew them off, as I was in very good shape at that time and even ran a 51:11 10-Miler in Millersville then.

But needless to say, they didn't need me!

Kelly O'Brien, Tim Backenstose and Jim Clelland.

"Noisy" Jim Clelland, "Official Physicist" Brian Boyer and Tim "Marathon Man" Backenstose

Brian Boyer, Doug Kent, Ray Krombel, Kelly O'Brien, Tim Backenstose, Jim Clelland, Erik Christiansen and Syd White.
And I am in debt to Tim Backenstose for these vintage photos, AND the only picture (that I know of) of me running in a Penn State uniform!!!!   This is from the 1979 Penn Relays Marathon won by Tim.  That's me leading the other PSU runners.  They all ended up beating me! 

If anyone knows who the guy is on the right of the AAU XC team photo  (Now identified as Syd White by Brian Boyer himself!) AND how to improve on this photo, let me know!

Rich Prann, Doug Kent, skwilli and Al Wolfe.
This was the only race I ever ran in these shoes! Took half of my right foot off.  

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