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, September 29, 2016

Another Penn State Shot Put Olympian!

Freshman Emily Frederick just returned from Rio and the Paralympics where she finished ninth in the F40 division of the Shot Put. She trains with former PSU Coach Teri Jordan and the Ability Program.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Congrats To Coach Preston and PSU-Mont Alto For First Team Victory

Coach Bill Preston, former coach of PA high school powerhouse Council Rock and numerous future Nittany Lions, won his first meet with Penn State's Mont Alto branch campus over the weekend.  It isn't easy to field a team at a small branch campus, but his hard work and genuine awesomeness got it done!

The Norlo Park course near Mont Alto was the site of the Mont Alto Invitational.  The Mens race was 8K and the Womens race was 6K.  The Women won their first ever team competition! I wish Daughter the Elder could have been part of it.

 Accolades from the other coaches and spectators were numerous for the layout of the course as everyone can see almost the entire race from one vantage point and close-up views at the 2K, 4K, 6K during the race, which is a short walk from the start finish line.

I helped lay out the course earlier this year, but Coach Preston really did all the work.  Congrats Coach!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Band Of Brothers

The Fernandez Brothers show respect for one lost.

And the "Band of Brothers" speech from Shakespeare's Henry V referenced by our Obersturmbahndronenfuhrer. The British were outnumbered 5-1 and yet secured a major victory at the Battle of Agincourt.

And a version with Sir Laurence Olivier...

Try to not choke up watching either one.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Mark Parker Finally Makes Marty McFly Real

Some of our younger members don't know Mark Parker's beginnings on PSU's team and then Nike's design lab in New York.  With his recent ascendancy to CEO, Mark and the rest of his team have finally brought us the self-lacing sneakers Marty McFly wore in Back to the Future II.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Updates On Several Things

First up, two of our great members are under the weather, so let's put out positive vibes or say a prayer if you are so inclined!

  • Roger "Gunny" Roll, Coach Groves' great friend and incredible American is still a little banged up following his auto accident the day before the Spiked Shoe Invitational.  He would have been one official who would have had my back in the drone thing, but missed it because of the accident.  He never did go to the hospital, but still remains sore all over from the ordeal.  I have nothing but extreme admiration for Gunny and wish him a speedy recovery.
  • Original PSU Track Alumni Golfer and originator of the post-tourney Awards Dinner Stephen Shisler was also under the weather when I saw him at the same meet.  Turns out he was sicker than any of us knew, including him.  He ended up in the hospital twice since. Get well soon Steve!
Next, Greg Fredericks was called upon to replace Coach Groves' stopwatch which finally gave out since the Invitational meet.  All of us realize that Coach just isn't Coach without a stopwatch, and he generously picked up a new one facilitated by our corporate partner Rapid Transit Sports and its leader Terry Losch.

Next, our group's Obersturmbahndronenfuhrer sent me a note of support for my efforts to bring a new vantage point to XC videos...

Herr David,  or should I say,  Air David?

I rejoiced at your views from above.  What a wonderful way of seeing those young souls take to the trees and forests of Happy Valley.   I only wish that more liberal gleenings could be made of the event, but alas the trolls of the FAA, the NCAA, maybe even the SPCA would cast their collective shadow on your efforts to record the event. Could they not just halt all traffic in and out of the airport for the hour of the two races?   Should there be a license on art?  I think not.  To overcome these restrictions I would set up an offshore company, much like Apple has done and hire a few illegals to do the camera work.   You could direct them from a nearby mountain top.  Distance yourself in a tax shelter some leagues from the drone police.  

 I would truly have loved to see the camera at a much lower altitude following just over the heads of the lead pack, perhaps putting a swoosh in their coiffures,  then rush ahead and turn 180 degrees and start backing up as the runners come toward the camera.  Then swoop down to head level and take shots running/flying abreast of the mob.  Pan to the finish and the worried faces of parents considering the costs of the next tuition payment and then becoming overwhelmed by the joy of seeing their offspring carrying  the day for the Nittany Lions, making their foregoing of that Christmas trip to Cancun all worthwhile. 

 I liked the opening score and the Italian sounding music while the three golf carts were  bringing up the rear.   It just so matched those little carts.    Got a bit lost with the bubbly electronic sounds at one point.  I would suggest some of  the music of the Buffalo Hunt from 'Dances With Wolves' be included in the early shots where the pack is still a large group.  Anything with a bag pipe accompaniment might also be considered worthy.

If I may suggest,  perhaps a brief intro with the Band of Brothers speech from Henry V.  See below:

I always thought this speech could be paraphrased to match cross country pre meet dialogue.  Perhaps PSU has a budding 800 meter thespian who could read this part before the meet instead of the national anthem.  There must be a Bruce Dern type there at 800/shot put U.  

Lastly as Shakespeare once said,  "First, we must kill all the lawyers."

Yours,  in awe of your work and your courage in the face of the most foul,

George Brose
George Brose of the blog Once Upon a Time In the Vest gets me.  I think we are long-lost brothers despite the distance between State College and the west coast of Canada!

Lastly, the track resurfacing is nearing its end.  Greg sent me a few pics of the topcoat that precedes the mozzarella-like sprinkling of the rubber chunks at the end.  He was somewhat dismayed that it will remain "red".  And although the grey and orange surface at Tennessee's remake is really cool looking, I agree with Coach Groves that "all tracks are supposed to be red!"  (This, of course, negates that tracks were universally grey cinders for most of his career!)

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Curious Case Of The Drone That Made A Big Bang

Or...   How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Drone

The appearance of Airship 800U at the Coach Groves Spiked Shoe Cross Country Invitational 2 weeks ago brought more than wonderment and joy.  It actually brought apprehension and disdain to the Officials in charge of the whole thing.  In fact, the reaction was overwrought and accusatory if the rumors are true.  I am here to set the record straight.  For once, I was correct and followed all the rules in place to bring you the first ever aerial footage of a Penn State Cross Country race.  In the mean-time, all future drone flights have been banned.  I will, of course, abide by the decision, but it should be changed quickly. The interns will see what they can do.

Artist's Conception of Official's reaction.
First up, they stated that laws were broken by flying within 5 miles of the State College Airport. And while the take-off and landing point of the drone was 4 1/2 miles from the airport, there is no law governing use of a hobbyist drone within 5 miles of an airport if all other rules are followed. Those rules are mostly common-sense about safety issues and the notification of the airport of when and where the flight will be flown (permission is neither given or required. Only notification). As a State College airport employee related to me, any aircraft flying below 400 feet at the Penn State Golf Course is an emergency situation. It never happens otherwise. I also had a $1,000,000 insurance policy on each of the 4 flights I took. The insurance issuer does not insure flights within a dangerous radius of airport activity or flight paths.

Officials also questioned whether the drone was flown out of sight of the operator, and said that it was, as they did not see it when the pack was on the other side of the course.  Needless to say, they didn't see it because I had already landed back at the start, and had only followed it for the first fairway of the race and returned to an empty area after each flight.  I flew well within sight at all times.  My flight logs are available for anyone to check.

They also related that drones should not be flown above groups of people.  And I whole heartedly agree.  Logs will also prove that it was never flown above groups of people.  It was above the starter for a brief second after the race started, but otherwise the only people under it were those that walked or ran under it on their own, and these people were alerted to it. Drones should also not be flown OVER stadiums or sporting events.  This rule was also followed, as I was always away from the competition and not directly over it. Videos and flight logs leave no doubt.

Other questions were raised about the NCAA regulations of the drone.  There are rules governing drones in use by NCAA representatives concerning fair play and spying etc.  The possibility of gaining an unfair advantage using a drone had been raised.  But real-time video of the drone footage was blocked and only filming for later viewing was done.  The NCAA has no jurisdiction over anything I do with the drone, as I do not represent PSU T&FXC in any official capacity. The NCAA is updating its rules about drone at the end of the year.

Coaches, athletes, competitors and officials shall not use video or audio devices, radio transmitters or receivers, mobile phones, computers, unmanned aerial systems (i.e., drones)or any similar devices in the competition area, except as authorized by the games committee for meet administration
To provide control regarding the use of unmanned aerial systemsas they may interfere with competition. In
addition, to allow for competitive equity and enhance student athlete safety. Eliminating “for meet administration”
authorizes the games committee to allow use of these devices even if not for meet administration, such as within an
infield coaches’ box (general prohibition remains).

There ARE rules (laws) governing commercial use of drones exceeding 0.55 pounds, but these do not apply to me.  As a hobbyist using Creative Commons 4.0 licensing for all of my content, I have no commercial ties or aspirations.


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Coach Groves In A Coach Groves Shirt!

We have always been cognizant of the perils of having Coach Groves' name engraved in the winners of his own Coach Groves Golf Tourney Cup.  Will it unleash a tear in the space/time continuum?  Will it end in a Black Hole?  Luckily in the days when he did golf with us, he happened to be in my foursome, thus almost guaranteeing it wouldn't come up!

But with this recent pic from Coach's chauffeur, we may have to rethink the whole concept?

Here's Coach Groves wearing a Coach Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational T-Shirt!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Physics, Running And Old Shoes

Everyone already knows about my love of Physics, my love/hate relationship with running and my desire to return to the 70s.  So here's a post to combine all three succinctly.

Here's a colleague of Ron Moore who is good at both Physics and running long distances.

A hat-tip and honorary membership to Prof. Jenny Hoffman of Harvard.
 And my post of the olden Nike Cortez returning to stores everywhere sent Greg Fredericks into his basement to dig up this pair from the early 70s.  My bet is that they were hard, unstable and uncomfortable.  But Greg made them fast anyway!

Circa 1972.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

You Can Go Home Again Deux

Olympic Shot Putter Darrell Hill made it home to Suburban Philly and PSU to a hero's welcome!

Anyone making it to the Dinner Party in his honor can send me pics and an update! Please!

πŸ“’ATTENTIONπŸ“’::: The Dinner Party for our Olympian, Darrell Hill, is scheduled for Saturday, NOVEMBER 26th from 6p-10p at the OAKS BALLROOM in Glenolden! Tickets are on sale for $50! Please understand that your GIFT IS INCLUDED in the price! A formal flyer with full detail will follow!! There will be NO TICKETS sold at the door!! Come on out and enjoy a fun time celebrating our Olympian!!πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Plenty of food, music, dancing, fun & laughter! ❤️
Image may contain: 1 person , beard

Monday, September 19, 2016

Last Chance In 2016 For Your Penn State Track Alumni Apparel

 This is the last day to order a jacket, shirt or stadium blanket in the Kelly's Sports Sale.  It is high quality merchandise at moderate prices.  And it will show everyone where your heart lies!

  1. Go to www.kellysteamsports.com
  2. Click on    SHOP YOUR TEAM STORE button
  3. Type in the password:  PSTFA16
All orders must be placed by midnight on September 19th!!!!!!!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

You Can Go Home Again

Joe Kovacs made it back to hometown Nazareth, PA and to the game between Nazareth and Bethlehem Catholic, his alma mater.  He received a hero's welcome from both sides, something we rarely see in these times!

And he has a little more spending money, as three former Nittany Lion Shot Put specialists received a little extra spending money from the concluded Diamond League events.

  • Joe Kovacs - 35th overall money winner,  $39,000
  • Darrell Hill - 267th overall, $7000
  • Ryan Whiting - 409th overall, $4000

Friday, September 16, 2016

Soon You Will Need A Jacket In State College

Time is running out on the second opening of the Penn State Track Alumni Store run by Kelly's Sports.  That's the same organization that the Penn State Alumni Association uses for its sales of PSU paraphernalia.  And contrary to rumor, I get no payment for promoting or bringing you these great jackets, shirts and other things. 

Our sales have grown from the first opening last year, and we have met the minimum orders for all the items.  Everyone has been pleased with their stuff so far and we are spreading the word of PSU Track and Field far and wide!

There are only 3 days left to get your orders in.  Following that, the items will be embroidered with our classy, intern-inspired logo (except for the silk-screening on the t-shirts). Shipping will occur around October 19th.  That's just in time for the chilly and rainy season of State College, for those getting the jackets!

  1. Go to www.kellysteamsports.com
  2. Click on    SHOP YOUR TEAM STORE
  3. Type in the password:  PSTFA16
All orders must be placed by  September 19th!!!!!!!
Under Armour Ace Rain Jacket

Nike Team Overtime Jacket

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Living In The Past Gets Better All The Time

The early days of Nike have been well documented.  And I have never really run much in anything else.  A few miles in Adidas Spyders spikes, a couple of miles in Brooks that injured me and a couple more in some Adidas Concretes (or whatever their sole was made of!) that Coach supplied for me.

I had the pleasure last year to wear some renewed Nike Internationalists, and now they have brought back another gem.

They are celebrating Athletics West with a new remake of the Nike Cortez in multiple color combinations.  The first large scale professional running program, Athletics West, "employed" multiple former Nittany Lions in the 70s and 80s.

I had a pair, did you?

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

National Athlete Of The Week!

All the chatter among the nerdy class on running message boards was about the returning NCAA XC Champion Syracuse Orangemen and the debut of their transfer Iliass Aouani.  But when all was done at the Coach Grove Spiked Shoe Invitational, Tessa Barrett stole the show.

Tessa was named the USTFCCCA Athlete of the week for her dominating performance in the 6K race.

Monday, September 12, 2016

More Photos From The Spiked Shoe Invitational

First, get off your butt this Monday morning and order some stuff from the Kelly's Sports Store!  We have met the minimum order for everything except the t-shirts.  SO ORDER A T-SHIRT, WHY DON'T YOU?

It's as easy as....

  1. Go to www.kellysteamsports.com
  2. Click on    SHOP YOUR TEAM STORE
  3. Type in the password:  PSTFA16
All orders must be placed by  September 19th!!!!!!!

All photos stolen from Bob Trump!  Use the comment section to supply captions to the photos.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

A Brotherhood. We Are!

And by Brotherhood, I mean all of us, women included.  If that is allowed in this politically correct world? (Even if it isn't.)

And speaking of brothers, I saw quite a few families represented yesterday at the Coach Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational.

  • The Fuller Brothers manned 60% of the Alumni Team.  And you all know that I can never remember which is which! (Fuller Harem member Mary Dell finished 4th in the Women's race.)

Psu Alumni
  643    30  Brian Fuller               27:36    5:18
  644    64  Mark Fuller                30:07    5:48
  732    65  Nick Scipro  (?)              30:15    5:49
  645    71  Kevin Fuller               31:05    5:59
  731    73  Sam Masters                32:29    6:15
Fullers with Harem. Which is which?
  •  Owen Dawson represented the Dawson twins!
  • Middle distance recruit William Ashenfelter, grandson of Horace Ashenfelter of the Ashenfelter Bros. was there.
  • The McGowan brothers were representing PSU  (5th - Tim, John - 27th)
Visit the store and buy some stuff, Please! 

 Remember the rules:

  1. Go to www.kellysteamsports.com
  2. Click on    SHOP YOUR TEAM STORE
  3. Type in the password:  PSTFA16
All orders must be placed by  September 19th!!!!!!!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Coach Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational

Don't forget to get your orders in for the store!  It closes in 9 days!!!!

It was a pleasure seeing so many friends at the Meet today!  Let me try to name as many as I can...

  • Coach Harry Groves
  • Coach John Gondak
  • Coach Bill Whittaker
  • Dan Curran
  • Laura Loht
  • Owen Dawson
  • Isaiah Harris
  • Elyse Skerpon
  • Steve and Beth Shisler
  • Dave Felice
  • Artie Gilkes
  • Greg Fredericks
  • Tim Backenstose
  • Nick K.
Daughter the Elder, Pooky and Coach Groves.

Photo by Daughter the Elder.

Photo by Daughter the Elder.

And there is one person I expected to see but didn't.  Roger "Gunny" Roll was involved in an automobile accident after having dinner with Coach Groves and others last night.  He did not attend the meet, but is said to be banged up "just a little" and did not go to the hospital. He won't be using that car again, as both were totaled.  If you know his history and service to our country, you can understand him trying to avoid a hospital trip.  Everyone keep him in your thoughts and prayers. There is no one quite like Gunny and PSU T&FXC owes him a debt of gratitude beyond measure.

The Women dominated the meet, while the Orangemen of Syracuse ran away with the Mens title.
Airship 800U did indeed see some action, but I did not push things to the limit.  I have some aerial shots of both starts and action from the Womens leaders at 4K and the Men at 7K.  It was fun flying the bird on a hot day in State College.

Friday, September 9, 2016

The Store Is Open!!!!

The second opening of the Kelly's Sports Store is upon us!

Remember the rules:

  1. Go to www.kellysteamsports.com
  2. Click on    SHOP YOUR TEAM STORE
  3. Type in the password:  PSTFA16
All orders must be placed by  September 19th!!!!!!!

Shipping of the items will then begin on around October 19th and you should have your items in time for Halloween.

The t-shirts are subject to a minimum print order, so order a few to make sure everyone can get them!
Nike Team Gameday Polo

Holloway Tailgate Blanket

Cotton Pre-Shrunk T-shirt

Under Armour Ace Rain Jacket

Nike Team Overtime Jacket

To Drone Or Not To Drone, That Is The Question

We are still waiting for the artwork finalization of the logo before the Kelly's Sports Store will open, but I will certainly let everyone know when that door is open!  And like the doors at LL Bean, they will stay open 24/7 but only for a 2-week period of time.  Stay tuned!  

Not sure if I will be able to fly Airship 800U tomorrow at the Coach Groves Spiked Shoe Meet, but I hope to.  We will see what the authorities say.  Here's yesterday's XC meet of Daughter the Younger's York Suburban squad, who won the quad meet with scores of 15, 15 and 16...

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Triathletes Die At More Than Twice The Rate Of Marathon Runners

It has been nearly 8 years since I discussed the 2 friends that died right after the swimming portion of a triathlon.  I postulated that the coldness of the water had an effect of the heart which no amount of training could mitigate.  And with more and more scientific scrutiny over those 8 years I have been proven correct.  I have always been a keen, observant scientist.  And never a swimmer.

RIP Bob Potts and Dr. Mike Conte.

Mike Conte, right, next to group friend Pat Davey at the Dogwood Relays.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Will I Or Won't I?

The season's first home meet will occur this Saturday on the PSU Blue/White Golf Courses.  I will try to make it up for a Airship 800U drone flight if possible, although I am not too sure I can.  Who knows what authority will come along and haul me away if I do?  Even though I have a $1,000,000 liability policy for the flight...

The Spiked Shoe Invitational is at 10:00AM on Saturday 9/10/2016.

The McGowan Brothers lead the way. Photo stolen from Gretchen Mills.
Airship 800U.

Web Statistics