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...

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Our Big Guys Are Good Guys

Penn State's 2 2016 Track and Field Olympians both have fan bases that go beyond their sporting lives.  And both credit their parents for instilling the qualities in them that the rest of us are celebrating.  Having met both, I am impressed and proud to share PSU roots with them.  Exactly the kind of feelings we hope to enhance by inviting everyone in to Penn State Track and Field Alumni (Golf) Group.

We have a chance to help Darrell Hill get his father to Rio to watch him compete.  I will add my modest monies to the effort, and I hope others here can too.  

GoFundMe for Darrell Hill's Dad!
UPDATE:  SUCCESS! (with a fair amount of support from our group - including Joe Kovacs himself!)

And Joe Kovacs loves his Mom!  Probably the finest thing you can say about anyone.  His mom, Joanna Kovacs is one heck of a woman and should be made a Coach on the Olympic team.  Heck, I would even make her the relays coach.  Maybe the US could use her steady hand for the passes we can't quite seem to get right!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

First Annual Tracktown Series A Modest Success

The team concept of the event (San Fransisco, New York, Portland and Philadelphia) was unique and fun for the athletes, but only 3,000 or so fans showed up.  ESPN covered the competition, but because of the time difference, it was on too late for me.

Penn State was represented by Casimir Loxsom running the 800M for the New York team and Bridget Franek running the 3000M Steeple for the Portland faction.  Although Darrell Hill was drafted by Philadelphia, his Olympic berth apparently interfered.

Next year, organizer Vin Lananna hopes the "Series" will hold dual meets in the various cities (including Franklin Field in Philly!) and culminate with another Final in Eugene.  I'm not sure how the refurbishment of Hayward Field will affect that.

1Erik Sowinski
San Francisco1:45.38

2Duane Solomon

3Harun Abda
San Francisco1:45.77

4Matthew Centrowitz
New York1:47.17

5Casimir Loxsom
New York1:48.17

1Stephanie Garcia
New York9:39.81

2Ashley Higginson
New York9:42.52

3Shalaya Kipp

4Bridget Franek

Friday, July 29, 2016

The Older We Get, The Faster We Used To Be

Our William and Mary connection, Brian Mount, sent along this news clipping from the days of yore.  This was probably results from the 1985 or 1986 White Rose 5-Miler.  I ran the flat and fast version of this in the 70's, but was already retired by the time this version came around. This is a deep field that would hold up well in any major race today!

There are a few PSU athletes listed, including brother-in-law Gary Black I never knew he ran in York! Some of my high school running partners ran too, including the incredible York College Grad Gary Townsend in 7th place (24:34).  He was a big part of the 1977 winning team at the Runner's World 24-Hour Relay at Fort Meade.  Mike McAndrews (25:18) was also a high school competitor.  Notice Shippensburg Coach Steve Spence (23:47) and  Inside Track running store owner Mark Amway(23:52) too!  Winner Kevin McGarry (23:35) is the brother of Nittany Lion Rick McGarry.

Penn State Track Alumni Golfers among the leaders were "Noisy" Jim Clelland (25:01), Robert "Snid" Snyder (25:13), and Gary Black (26:26).  And I've heard rumors that Zeb Stewart was there too!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

All Kinds Of News

More awards for Stephen Shisler, as he wins the Pennsylvania Outdoor High School Coach of the Year Award from the USTFCCCA!

Dave Felice (center) with Steve Shisler and Nick K. (right)

And Tyler McCandless has thrown his cowboy hat into the ring and will be entering the New York City Marathon.  Good luck, Tyler.

Coach Groves continues to receive multitudes of visitors to his Juniper Village home.  Recently Track and Field aficionado Dan Curran (father of Coach Mary Kate Curran!) stopped by for more great track and field stories.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

How Does A Real Writer Bring The Story Of The Appalachian Trail Conquest To Life?

 "It's easier than living in the normal world and having to go to work or school."
-Phoebe Whiteside, about her thru-hike of the AT

I have kept all of you updated with the shenanigans of Rob Whiteside and his daughter Phoebe on the Appalachian Trail since April.  But now that they are done, I figured someone else will tell the story better than I.  A real professional writer, for once...

Turns out they averaged more than 16 miles daily, with Rob holding her back some!  But they still beat the average thru-hike (only 20-25% of those that start out!) by about a month and a half.

And Rob owes me a post for the blog and I owe him a Ruth's Chris Steak. (grilled vertically at 1800 degrees for 9 seconds and served on a 500 degree plate coated with butter!)

Tip: You don't need any sides at Ruth's Chris. Entree and dessert (Creme Brulee!) only.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

More Coach Visits Including A Pit Bull!

"That's my kind of dog."
-Coach Groves, about Blanche.

Coach Groves continues to get more visits than the All-Sports Museum!  (And he has better stories!)

This time out, the Backenstose clan delighted him with an opportunity to be surrounded by pretty ladies (am I allowed to say that?) and a pit bull!

Hunter Backenstose with Coach Groves.

Holly and our daughter, Amanda, on the outsides, Julie – Hunter’s girlfriend left of Coach, and Jackie, Amanda’s former college roommate right of Coach

Hunter, Holly and Blanche hanging out with Coach.

Monday, July 25, 2016

It's A Small World, After All

Without even realizing it, Rob Whiteside and his daughter camped with a nice husband wife combo somewhat related to our group early in their trek up the spine of the Eastern United States.  They got along well enough to be invited to stay at their house in New Hampshire toward the end of their quest.

But because you are known by your Trail Name when hiking, they never got any further along to find out they were hiking with the brother-in-law and sister-in-law of another Group friend and familiar face.  It turns out that Wonder and Santa are related to Martha White Collins, a familiar name to most of us (and the namesake of Daughter the Elder!). Cheryl and Kelly Collins are currently in the 100 Mile Wilderness.

Even further shrinking the small world, one of the Collins' daughters graduated from Allegheny College in Meadville (near Harmonsburg) , where Rob is from! Allegheny Run For Fun!

Wonder and Santa
From their Journal:

White Rabbit and Large

We have been hiking with a father/daughter pair from Princeton, NJ. He used to make his girls walk the streets with him because they were "practicing to hike the AT". White Rabbit finished high school a year early, got accepted to Swarthmore and then took a gap year to hike. She got her name because she's fast, times herself and is obsessed with time. Her dad came with his trail name. She hikes in and gets set up then waits for her dad. He is usually in about 2 hours after her. White Rabbit makes him dinner and fusses over him. Some hikers have named them Large and In Charge. She usually determines how far they will go each day and he goes along with the plan. It has been really fun getting to know them.

To further make the world small enough for us, the latest visitor to Coach Groves was a high school AND PSU teammate of Greg Fredericks at Wilson High School.  Scott Hagy was a national caliber javelin thrower and occasional long jumper in the PSU Class of 1971.

Coach Groves and Scott Hagy.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Warming Up

So Daughter the Elder picked the hottest day of the year to have us help her move into her new apartment for the upcoming Fall Semester.  95 degrees in State College hasn't happened very often.  And let's not forget the Feels Like 104 degrees!

In addition to the lifting of heavy objects, I had just enough time to take a few pics of the upgrade to the track and attain minor damage to Mobile Blog I by backing into a tree limb!  I couldn't use Nano-Airship 800U due to the 15 mph winds, so all I got were some rotten cell phone pics from a distance.

The under-surface looks complete.

A minimum of equipment.

A lonely steeple pit!
And the PSU Olympian Big Men were warming up jolly ole England in London at the Diamond League meet.

Joe Kovacs won the meet with a throw of 22.04 (72' 3 3/4") and Big Homie Darrell Hill placed 4th with 21.24 (69' 8 1/4").

Saturday, July 23, 2016

One Update And Possibly Another

It turns out that the world is always smaller than we thought.  As Rob Whiteside (Large) and his daughter Phoebe (White Rabbit) trekked on toward the finish of their thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail they met another pair of hikers, Wonder and Santa.  Turns out they are the in-laws of Group Friend Martha White Collins, Kelly and Cheryl Collins!  Wonder and Santa are finishing things up in the 100-Mile Wilderness.

And as I head to State College in Mobile Blog I to move Daughter the Elder into an apartment for the Fall Semester, I will take Nano-Drone 800U for possible pics of the progress of the Outdoor Track refurbishment.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Cas Loxsom's First Ever 200M As A Professional!

Casimir Loxsom has lobbied for 3 years now with his coach to run a 200M race.  And Coach Mack finally relented.

His 22.18 time was pretty darn good and was followed soon thereafter with a 47.10 open 400M and another 48 second 400M relay leg.  All of this was at an all-comers meet!

Next up on his schedule is the Tracktown Summer Series where he will be running an 800M as part of the New York team, with Matt Centrowitz as his teammate.


Portland:  Bridget Franek – 3000m Steeplechase
New York:  Casimir Loxsom800 Meters

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Visiting Coach Is Becoming A Trend

Our Course Marshall sends me another pic of a visitor for Coach GrovesTom McGlynn had the pleasure of listening to some of his stories during his morning walk.  And others have inquired how to visit him at Juniper Village, his current residence.

Don't worry, Coach never runs out of great T&F stories for all of us!

Greg Fredericks, Coach Groves and Tom McGlynn.(Yes, that's a Harvard hat AND another story!)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

White Rabbit And Large Summit Mt. Katahdin

That means they did it!  A through-hike of the Appalachian Trail is a very hard enterprise, but I never had a doubt.  Congrats to Rob Whiteside and Phoebe Whitside.

Phoebe will be starting college and cross country shortly.  I wonder how this hike translates into XC training?  As she told me, "We'll find out."

Coach Groves Gets A Visit From Our Official Physicist*

*Nuclear Engineer!

Brian Boyer braved the vagaries of airports on both sides of the Pond and came back to his hometown for his 40th HS Reunion.  Which is great, but I think he picked the wrong Reunion!

Anyway, he had the opportunity to visit Coach Groves and show off his version of our Wrist Band on a Steam locomotive in Vienna.  Still waiting on those donations to make next year's version!

Wrist bands linking our group across generations!

Brian Boyer and Coach Groves reminisce.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Appalachian Trail Dominated: It's Only A Matter Of Days

Rob Whiteside and his daughter Phoebe are nearing the completion of  "the hardest thing I have ever done".  And that includes running with the likes of All-Americans with our Group back in the day!  They have had their first glimpse of the prize, the finishing summit of Mt. Katahdin.  The hardest part remaining may be dealing with the strictest Rangers on Earth!

There is a reception for their supporters and admirers, but please RSVP if interested on the Facebook site.

The finish from afar.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Two Nittany Lion NACAC Champions

That's the North America, Central America and Caribbean Championships which were held in San Salvador, El Salvador for the under 23 year-olds.

Danielle Gibson won the Triple Jump for her native Bahamas, while Isaiah Harris bested the field in the 800M.

Danielle Gibson 44' 5.25"

Isaiah Harris 1:47.52
And yes, that's our Group's wrist band on the Throwback Singlet clad Isaiah!

Sunday, July 17, 2016


Artie, Rebecca and Paavo.
That rumbling and earth shifting you felt yesterday was the union of Rebecca Donaghue and our group's Director of Youth Development Artie Gilkes. These are the only two people I know who took longer than I to finally tie the knot after meeting their significant other.

All of us at Blog Central congratulate them but remind Artie of the wisdom instilled upon me by my father-in-law 28 years ago...  "No married man wants to live to be 100." RIP Leonard C.  Black.  hee hee hee

Saturday, July 16, 2016

A Police State And A Curveball In The Cheesesteak Challenge

So yesterday in downtown Philly there were more police than tourists.  Literally hundreds of policeman on every block, with hundreds of marked Swat vans, Episode Response vehicles and regular cop cars parked 10 at a time at every corner and every available spot around the Convention Center.

The Day of Rage for Black Lives Matter never materialized and Love Park was pristine even after it was supposed to have ended. It was great seeing all these policemen and policewomen taking care of us trapped Convention goers.  I didn't bother to take pictures of them, as that might have been perceived as something other than good.  And this AM they were all gone!  But they all said it was good preparation for the coming Democrat Convention next week!

And so, the second part of the Cheesesteak Challenge was altered and Jim's and Pat's were discarded for another day.  Instead, we substituted several establishments at the Reading Terminal Market.  These included Dinic's and Carmen's Famous Cheesesteaks.

The girls got Roast Beef sandwiches at Dinic's, with smoked provolone and broccoli rabe.  I got a cheesesteak with whiz and fried onions at Carmen's and we all compared notes:

Dinic'sOver-all Winner!
  • Delisciousness:    5/5  mounds of mouth-watering beefy goodness.
  • Presentation:   5/5  Reading Terminal Market is a spectacle unmatched anywhere.
  • Environment:  5/5  Great food smells everywhere around you. A veritable cornucopia.
  • Convenience:  4.5/5  Next to our hotel! But needed change.
  • Ingredients:   5/5   Everything was top-notch, and a lot of it.
  • Delisciousness:  2/5 Not my favorite by leaps and bounds.
  • Presentation: 5/5  The Market, after all.
  • Environment:  3/5 only because I was stuck behind a real jerk in line.
  • Convenience:  3/5  Actually a line to order, AND a line to pick up.
  • Ingredients:   3/5  Chopped, previously frozen, processed meat couldn't help the whiz and decent onions.
Here's the unidentified idiot I was behind in line at Carmen's.

Carmen's Famous.

Tommy Dinic's.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Cross Country Is Coming But Cheesesteaks Are Here!

 So the first leg of the Philadelphia Cheesesteak Challenge occurred last evening.  Daughter the Younger was the principle judge as we took a cab to Geno's Steaks at 1200 block of South Ninth St. in Philadelphia.

She ordered a Provolone With, or cheesesteak with provolone and fried onions.  The price was conveniently $10.00 including the tax.  I had the classic Whiz With which was dripping with orange goodness!

Daughter the Younger's evaluation:

  • Deliciousness:     5/5   The sandwiches were extraordinarily good!
  • Presentation:    5/5  The glitz and glamour of South Philly at its best.
  • Environment:    4/5  The smells of the Italian Market fish stalls was everywhere on this 95 degree day!
  • Convenience:    5/5  Cash only, English "encouraged", and no coins needed!
  • Ingredients:    5/5   the roll was the best she has ever had!  The meat, cheese, onions were top notch A+
 And we had an order of cheese fries for the 1 1/2 mile walk back to Chinatown.  A great snack on the go with just the right amount of cheese whiz to crunchy fry ratio.

Next up on the evaluation is Jim's Steaks of South Street and back to 1200 S. 9th Street for a Pat's Steak.  That's following tonight's Kung Pao Extravaganza at the origin of the craze, Joy Tsin Lao.  Stay tuned!
 Oh yeah, here's the 2016 XC Schedule:  Anyone able to co-pilot a drone at any of the Home events?
2016-2017 SCHEDULE

Date Opponent / Event Location Time / Result

Fri., Sep. 2 Lock Haven Dolan Duals Lock Haven, Pa. 6:00 p.m. ET
Sat., Sep. 10 Spiked Shoe Invitational University Park, Pa. 10:00 a.m. ET
Sat., Sep. 24 Griak Invite Minneapolis, MN 11:00 a.m. ET
Fri., Sep. 30 Notre Dame Invite South Bend, IN 2:00 p.m. ET
Fri., Oct. 14 Penn State National University Park, Pa. 10:30 a.m. ET
Sun., Oct. 30 Big Ten Championships * Minneapolis, MN 11:45 a.m. ET
Fri., Nov. 11 NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional University Park, Pa. 12:00 p.m. ET
Sat., Nov. 19 NCAA Championships Terre Haute, IN 12:00 p.m. ET

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Throwback Thursday: A Trip to Philly

I'm in Philadelphia for a work conference.  I hope to bring you a great post on a Cheesesteak Challenge judged by Daughter the Younger, but first I will just give you a post about Philadelphia from the past!  You always wanted a cheap day learning and touring the town, right?

Benjamin Franklin has always been my favorite Founding Father.  I have always pushed this onto my two daughters. Whenever they are home from school and not as sick as they say they are, I require them to find something out about him that I didn't know.  That can mean an all day quest.

I came up with a walking tour of Philadelphia's sites affiliated with Franklin when they were young, and it has expanded over the years as I find more and more locations to add.  Almost all sites are free to visit, although some certainly give the option of purchasing things.  Feel free to add to my list by commenting to this post.

1.  Benjamin's initial landing site in Philadelphia.  Market Street at the waterfront.  Having left the employ of his cruel brother, Benjamin fled Boston as a young lad and traveled to Philly by ship.  He purchased 2 loaves of bread with the last of his money and met his future (common law) wife in his first minutes in his adopted city.  You can spend money here at many sites, now including a casino.  (Which would make Benjamin angry, I would suppose.)

2.  Benjamin's home.  Between 3rd and 4th Streets and Chestnut and Market Streets.  Ruins of his actual home are preserved 6 feet below the surface and a skeleton frames the size and shape of the actual structure. His wife, Deborah (Read) Franklin kept the house under repair and thwarted creditors during the 25 years Benjamin lived in England and France.

3.  Benjamin Franklin Museum (not the Franklin Institute). Next to his home site.  An underground museum of Franklin artifacts including his desk and his armonica and an early rendition of his Franklin stove.

4.  Post Office and Printing Shop.  316 Market St. * It will cost a few pennies if you want to send yourself a postcard stamped "B. Free Franklin".  Franklin coined the term "The Press" here for news reporters.

5.  Benjamin Franklin Grave.  Christ's Church Burial Ground, 5th and Arch Streets.  You can see his grave next to Deborah's through the fence.  *Many people toss a penny on it every time they pass.  "A penny saved is a penny earned."   With today's political problems, you can almost hear him spinning in his grave!

6.  Friends Meeting House.  320 Arch Street.  Benjamin Franklin was not a Quaker, but greatly admired them and attended occasionally with Betsy Ross and others.  My suspicions are it was a great place to take a nap. If you have ever attended a Quaker Sunday Meeting, you'll know what I mean.

7.  Elfreth's Alley.  The oldest continual residential street in America, they say.  *The Betsy Ross House is here but it costs money to tour it.  My advice is to look at the outside and visit the gift shop to just browse.  If you want to know what it is like in her house, go home and turn off the electricity and walk around, all the while realizing that everything is twice as big now as back then!

8.  City Tavern.  138 South 2nd Street.  *A working restaurant where you can have a colonial meal just like those that triggered gout attacks in Benjamin!  Pheasant and such isn't my kind of fare.  Bookbinders is right nearby!

9.  Independence Hall.  6th and Market Street.  No need to say more, although I will.  I always thought it was a great country that allowed students like me to cut through a National Park on the way to school. That just doesn't happen in many countries.

10. Liberty Bell.  6th between Market and Chestnut.  The bell has been moved several times and now resides here, across the street from Independence Hall.

11.Constitution Center. 5th and Arch Street.  As an old man, Franklin presided over the Constitutional Convention, sort of like a revered mascot or something.  The gout and his health made it difficult for him to attend, and he often was carried on litters. I really wonder what he would think of today's Constitutional arguments?  I don't think he would consider it a "living, breathing" document, but who knows.

12. Philosophical Hall.  104 South 5th Street.  As one of the New World's preeminent scientists, Franklin started the Philosophical Society as a way to promote more scientific inquiry.

13. Library Company of Philadelphia.  105 South 5th Street. Franklin also started the Colony's first library.  He would probably be a great proponent of the internet today.

14. Pennsylvania Hospital.  Between 8th and 9th Streets and Spruce and Pine Streets.  Franklin helped start the Nation's first hospital here.

15. Site of the Kite/Electricity Experiment.  10th Street 1/2 block south of Market Street.  A small plaque on a church is all that marks the spot of the great scientific achievement that sealed his place of honor in all of Europe.

16. Christ Church.  2nd and Market Streets.  Benjamin Franklin belonged to this church, although he is thought of as a Deist, as were most of the Founding Fathers.

17. University of Pennsylvania.  Yes, he founded this too!  A glorious completion to the tour is a run to Penn's Franklin Field for an interval set.  (A great tip:  run them in lane 1, as lane 4 is 400 meters! You'll feel like a champion.)

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Large and White Rabbit Entering "The Hundred Mile Wilderness"

It sounds daunting, and I have heard it is.  Rob Whiteside and daughter Phoebe are doing just that this AM.  This is the final stretch of their Appalachian Trail through-hike.  I'm happy they are together, at least each evening when Rob catches back up to her!

Because they won't be able to read this until they are done, I will add that Maine is where the recent news came of the finding of a "lost" hiker from 3 years ago occurred. (Addendum: They have already passed the area where this occurred!)  Her husband found the trail too daunting here and she decided to go on by herself.  She followed the trail protocol for a bathroom break* and never found the trail again!  She kept a log of her 30 days of wandering and finally succummed to starvation in her tent on a hill-top clearing 1/2 mile from the trail, 3 miles away from where she left it.

*Don't expect flush toilets on the A.T. Most A.T. shelters have privies, but often you will need to do your business in the woods. Proper disposal of human (and pet) waste is not only a courtesy to other hikers, but is a vital Leave No Trace practice for maintaining healthy water supplies in the backcountry and an enjoyable hiking experience for others.

No one should venture onto the A.T. without a trowel or a wide tent stake, used for digging a 6- to 8-inch deep "cathole" to bury waste. Keep in mind the following guidelines when pooping in the woods:

  • Bury feces at least 200 feet or 80 paces away from water, trails, or shelters.
  • Use a stick to mix dirt with your waste, which hastens decomposition and discourages animals from digging it up.
  • Used toilet paper should either be buried in your cathole or carried out in a sealed plastic bag.
  • Hygiene products such as sanitary napkins should always be carried out.
  • Use soap and water; hand sanitizers kill some germs but are not as effective against norovirus.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Heck, I'm So Slow I May Live Forever!

My daily routine is to try to run 3 miles daily on the treadmill.  I haven't even been able to keep up with that this year due to "outside interference", like Life.  But overall for the past 10 years or so, I have done nearly 3 daily (2.89 miles) and on more than 96% of days.  And I try to keep it to 11:00/mile or so, but sometimes I fall short of that.  Those that are younger than I may not realize how hard that can be for a former "runner" who was at least able to Letter at PSU in both Track and Cross Country and on some very fine teams.  All I can say to that is, "Just wait."! 

But now there is a minimal study out that seems to want to try and champion my efforts.  The study found that sloths like me may be doing ourselves more good than the jack rabbits among you.  They even cite the tortoise and the hare analogy.  I don't know if it is true or not but sloths outlived moderate speed joggers who, in turn, outlived the fastest among us.

Slow Runners Live Longer Than Runners Who Push Themselves to the Max

I am just trying to live to the "Singularity", the point at which all knowledge is available to us and we can theoretically live forever.  (Possibly by 2040?)  I figure I can stop jogging then!


Monday, July 11, 2016

A Final Post From Eugene!

"Once a Lion, always a Lion."
-one of the cornerstones of our Group.
Former Lion and transfer to Texas Byron Robinson punched his ticket to Rio with his second place finish in the 400M Hurdles in a blistering 48.79!

Byron Robinson and Undersecretary of Fun Billy Francis Cvecko.
And there was a Mini-Reunion in Eugene.  Attendees included Coach Gary Schwartz and his wife Myrna, Tom Rapp and his wife Mary Rawe Rapp, Patty Murnane Nosack and Janet Norem.  No word on who won the putting contest...

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The 800U Drone Fleet Gets Bigger

With the receipt of my new Onagofly Nano-drone, the fleet of 800U drones has gotten bigger.

Airship 800U is joined by Airship Nano-800U, a palm-sized drone with potential punch.  The learning curve will be steeper, but unhindered by the busybodies of the FAA.  I hope to be able to use both in the future to bring pics and videos of Cross Country action from the skies.

Here's the first flight of Nano-800U.  The video was taken just as an aside, so it shows nothing much but me in shorts and my wife drinking a soda.  The flight was much easier than I expected and I think some real videos will be coming shortly.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Olympic Trials Are Over For PSU: Let's Talk About Something Else

Let's talk about something entirely off-topic and hopefully fun at the same time.  My choice of topic is Your First Job! (or your first several jobs!)

My first jobs were:
  • Gopher - for a Construction Company building Solar Condos in Dover, PA!  1975 Pay $5.00/hr. under the table.  Cut my index finger on the first day and severed an artery (blood spurting for 10 minutes until I could get it stopped).  Difficulty level 3/5
  • Carny- mostly at the ping pong ball/win a dead fish stand  1976  Pay was unknown and also under the table.  Sometimes we would travel all the way to Virginia, it would rain and we would be paid nothing.  Other times we would be just a few miles away on a big day and I would make $hundreds.  Difficulty level 4/5, mostly setting up and tearing down.  Convincing people to try to win a dead fish was incredibly easy!
  • House Painter - for a born-again ex-teacher who had 12 children (hence the ex-teacher part). 1977-1978  I used to run 8 at 6:00AM, work all-day, and then 8 at 6:00PM 5 days a week. Did nothing but sleep, run, work, run, sleep... Rainy days were off, and a major blessing!!!  Pay $5.00/hr.  I was a fairly good painter and was always forced to be on the highest ladders.  Difficulty level 5/5
  • Playground Leader - both in York and in State College.   1979-80 Pay $5.50/hr.  In York, I was located at Rocky Ridge Park for the Day Camp.  Hikes in the woods were a great combo with twice daily runs.  In State College, I was commended 3 separate times when I had actually done things in a sub-par fashion.  Luck was definitely on my side.  My afternoon park was located in Stormstown, near the Shisler's homestead.  I once judged the yo-yo contest at the season ending parks competition at Sunset Park.  I allowed a young Jay Paterno into the finals despite not performing the requisite tricks to qualify.  I hope to one day remind him of that.
An unpaid job giving the morning announcements at Dover High. (Today's lunch is fish sticks...)
What were your first jobs????   Comment on the Facebook Page, why don't you?

Friday, July 8, 2016

Creese Advances: Five Lions In Action In Eugene

There were Nittany Lions on the track and in the field yesterday at the USATF Olympic Trials.
  • Rachel Fatherly - 22nd in the Shot Put  (50' 8")
  • Brian Leap - 15th in the Triple Jump  (52' 6 1/2")
  • Bridget Franek - 6th in the 3000M Steeplechase  (9:33.51)
  • Robby Creese - advanced to 1500M Semi-finals  (3:42.89) (7:12PM ET) 
  • Evonne Britton - 22nd in the 100M Hurdles (13.13)

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Steeplers In The News

Jayson Jackson reminded me of the great article in The Penn Stater magazine about Horace Ashenfelter III. Thanks, Jayson!  I know we have featured Horace many times, and even included video of his 1952 gold medal race, but the link gave us a short clip of his last barrier leap before crossing the finish line. And his clearance of the barrier would not earn a gold medal for style, but once over it, it no longer mattered!

 “He almost forgot to jump over it,” remembers his wife, Lillian.

Today's steeple finals will include 2012 Olympic finalist Bridget Franek, attempting to complete her "comeback"  10:48PM (ET)

And here's a pic of former PSU Rugby's Dane Rauschenberg (and honorary member!) wearing his Alumni Singlet for the first time in a Half Marathon!   He is a great ambassador for our sport and Penn State!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

It's Hammer Time Today

The only event at the Olympic Trials today is the Hammer Throw.  Mark Heckel is an Official at the event, which was his main event while a Nittany Lion!  Let's hope he stays safe!

Another Lion Joins The Party

Robby Creese is headed to Eugene and Hayward Field for the 1500M Prelims!  He has been added to the field, bringing the total to 40 or so.  Prelims are Thursday at 7:21PM (PT) or 10:21PM (ET)

Now, the question is, will he wear the blue or the Throwback Singlet?  Good luck Robby.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Another Alumni Singlet At Hayward Field?

Actually Isaiah Harris wore his Throwback singlet, which closely resembles our very own Alumni Singlets.  That wasn't by chance either.  Coach Gondak or Isaiah himself decided to give all of us a hat-tip, I'm sure!  And Isaiah still was wearing his blue wristband we presented to him at the Reunion.

The Finals of the Olympic Trials 800M showcased 2 Nittany Lions yesterday, with Casimir Loxsom joining Isaiah with Olympic team spots on the line.

Casimir and Isaiah both seemed nicely placed after the first lap, but Casimir never found another gear and finished 9th overall.  Isaiah hung on and was still in third place with 50 meters to go, but just didn't have quite enough to finish it off. The only NCAA athlete One of only two NCAA athletes in the field showed just how long the college season(s) is (are).  Still, a 6th place finish by a college Freshman (Sophomore-to-be) is really a nice highlight to the season.

All pics from Mark Beef Heckel.

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