|Daughters The Elder and Younger with Pooky and Spott at the Bark in the Park 5K.|
Monday, October 31, 2016
Sunday, October 30, 2016
Yes, I'm back
Well, I'm back
Yes, I'm back
Well, I'm back, back
Well, I'm back in black
Yes, I'm back in black
I have finally made it in front of a computer for a real post! It was either the Zithromax or the Kung Pao combination of shrimp and chicken that has brought me back from the dead. My money is on the Kung Pao, as you all know.
Many things have piled up in the meantime, and I'm still procrastinating on the 800M thing and the interview with Olympian Darrell Hill. There's no end to the stuff piling up around me.
Some items of interest:
- Coach Bill Preston's PSU Mont Alto Women won the PSUAC conference championships. And both of his Men were first team All-Conference. All of his runners will be headed to the USCAA Nationals in Virginia Beach. Congrats from his biggest fan.
- I missed the meet because I was in bed, so didn't get to fly Airship 800U to bring aerial views of the whole thing. Pretty disappointed, but didn't really have a chance.
- The PSU squads are warming up for the Big Ten Championships right now! Good luck.
- Our Laundry Officer has reminded me to put the Fit For Fritz event on the blog!
|Coach Fritz Spence, center, is a better golfer than I.|
Saturday, October 29, 2016
I have been laid low by what must be pneumonia. I haven't been out of bed for 2 days, and just had an on-call conversation with a patient thinking the whole time that it was Sunday.
I have many submissions for the blog I just haven't been able to get to, so this brief post with pictures of the new track will have to do. I also throw in another vintage Greg Fredericks /Donal Walsh duel at Van Cortlandt Park in 1970
from Mike Fanelli's garage! I promise to be back tomorrow (cough, cough)...
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
FACT, FICTION, OR LEGEND??According to son James, his father once claimed that his teammate and friend Curt Stone once joined him on the track here in Watsessing Park where they preceded to race one another over 5K, each holding their stopwatches in their hands. He claims Ashenfelter and Stone tied at the end, but both watches showed they had each broken the world record!!Let you, the reader be the judge!!
The dedication of the Essex County track in New Jersey occurred on October 14th. And both Horace Ashenfelter III and his wife Lillian were able to attend. Congrats to PSU's greatest steeplechaser*!!!
* Horace never actually ran the steeplechase while a Nittany Lion!
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
I hope to fly Airship 800U this weekend to bring footage of the PSUAC (Branch Campus) XC Championships from Chambersburg. All 5 airports there have been notified and local authorities grudgingly gave permission! Apparently, if you fold a piece of paper in just the right way, you too can be classified as an "airport'!
But now I'm wondering if drones are the best thing for those aerial shots. I can't afford a blimp, but there are thousands of squirrels in the neighborhood. Nobody would miss just one if I kidnapped him, would they?
Penn State's Squirrel Whisperer could probably assist me in the efforts, and would be able to talk a willing subject into donating his time! Thus, aid me in avoiding a kidnapping charge.
Monday, October 24, 2016
It is interesting to note the differences in our experiences as distance runners through the decades, despite the overall similarity of our experiences at Penn State going back to the 50s.
When Michael Gross alluded to "Smelling the chickens" on a recent run, I was intrigued.
Turns out he meant that when finishing a run with an increased pace to the locker rooms at the Greenberg Indoor Sports Complex, you went by the PSU Agriculture Department's chicken coops. But despite running workouts at the "Ice Palace" as we knew it, our era didn't have locker rooms there. The Greenberg Complex was an open air ice skating rink with just a roof when I arrived at PSU. Walls were put up (but no heat installed!) when the first indoor ice arena was built on the other side of the building. The building was then turned into the Lasch Football Building when the Ashenfelter Complex was built. It has been changed dramatically since due to obvious reasons.
|The Ice Palace, 1981.|
|The Ice Palace, 1960s.|
During the height of the 70s boom in PSU distance running (NCAA XC 10th-1977, 3rd and 4th 1978-1980) we had several locker room and indoor tracks. These facilities didn't matter in the recruiting, at all. We took it as a badge of honor that we were able to handle whatever came our way. I wonder if today's recruits could handle any of it?
- Rec Hall Locker Rooms - Until 1979, next to the Wrestling locker room. Never relax in the showers lest the toilets be flushed! 3rd degree burns were possible.
- Rec Hall Track - Used for actual workouts and time trials until 1978. Biggest risks included broken elbows on the hand rails on the corners and throat soreness from every single workout there, no matter how short or easy. Only two 400M runners could run at a time there for time trials. These were always a spectators dream, like watching action at the Roman Coliseum, blood and everything. People often flew "over the rails"!
- Ice Palace - 1979-1980s. I suppose it was really the Greenberg Complex but we never called it that. Possibly if they had heated it higher than 9 degrees (an actual meet we had was run in 9 degree temperatures!) we could have bothered to call it something different. We used to dress at Rec Hall for all the workouts here. This avoided frostbite, I'm sure.
- Beaver Stadium - The locker rooms for track were here until 1980s. This was the visitors locker room for football, which were bare cinder-block construction with no heat or amenities of any sort. I was always ashamed that PSU treated their visitors AND track team in such shabby fashion. There was only enough hot water here for 1 1/2 person to shower. It was then cold water for the other 112 people. Nothing like a good cold shower after a long hard run in the cold, to be followed by the long, windy trek to the then-closed dining hall!
- State College Area Westerly Parkway Junior High Track - used for workouts and meets (even with Renaldo Nehemiah!) 1977-1978 due to construction at Beaver Stadium. Distance runners still used Rec Hall locker rooms during this era.
Sunday, October 23, 2016
No, I don't mean anything on the gridiron. I'm talking about Ron Moore's victory at the Firewater 100K Ultra race in Greenback, TN. We may need to start a GoFundMe to get a spare Alumni Jersey for Ron, as he could not find his before heading out to the race.
|Looking good at 50K!|
|As a podiatrist, I won't comment on this softball photo submission.|
|The demented look of a 100K victor! Tennessee whisky optional.|
Saturday, October 22, 2016
The merchandise is arriving all over. And the reviews are unanimously great! Here's Ted Lyon's son modeling the Rain Jacket... Looking good! Addendum: Remember, the items are shipped one month after the Store closes. And they arrive via USPS. Don't panic if you haven't received yours yet!
I wore my Rain Jacket yesterday in the coincidental rain. Had 3 comments from admirers at Mod Pizza! Those in Centre County needed one too, with the up to 7 inches of rain they received yesterday. I slept in my t-shirt and can report a better than usual somnolence. The blanket is headed for use in the RV.
Keep us updated with your opinions of the merch!
Friday, October 21, 2016
I'm thankful for the Rain Jacket as precip is in the forecast for some of the upcoming races.
Let me know when you get yours and send pics to let everyone else know how happy you are with the products and the Intern-inspired logo!
The next sale may not commence until the May Reunion, which will be held during the Big Ten Outdoor Track Championship. Stay tuned to the blog with it all.
Thursday, October 20, 2016
|I'm pretty sure it was the Hot Pocket at fault!|
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
But today started with a very good sign. I found a penny when I got out of the car at work. And it was face up! Everyone, including Homer Simpson knows what that means...
Homer went and messed it up by thinking it meant he could skip church without any repercussions. I am going to try to not make that mistake.
Thank you to all who have helped me keep the Blog With It All alive during the past year. I really appreciate it.
Mary Beth Ward is the sister of former manager Lou Ann Ward! Thanks to our Official Physicist for the heads-up!
Mary Beth Ward 1982 (Springfield, Virginia) currently serves as an environmental appeals judge on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Environmental Appeals Board. She brings to the board almost three decades of litigation and management experience at the U.S. Justice and Commerce departments in matters arising under federal pollution control and natural resource laws. Previously, Ward served as deputy general counsel for the Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). She led a staff providing legal advice across an array of NOAA programs to manage the nation’s commercial and recreational fisheries and protect at-risk marine species and their habitat, and was recognized twice with the Department of Commerce Gold Medal, the department’s highest award.
And this guy has a name familiar to all of us, but I don't think there is a relationship. (All you Interns, Please advise me if otherwise!)
Joseph Kovacs III 1996g (Columbia, Md.) is vice president and chief engineer at Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies (SGT), an engineering, science, and information technology government services contractor. Kovacs manages and collaborates with engineers and scientists on developing an earth-observing spacecraft to help predict weather and monitor global climate change; deep space missions to investigate scientific theories about the universe; and scientific missions to study the moon, Mars, Mercury, Venus, Pluto, and the sun. Prior to joining SGT, Kovacs was a program director at Northrop Grumman Corporation and a systems engineer at Lockheed Martin Corporation. Kovacs supported development of the Polar Operational Environment Satellites, which provide daily earth observations used in weather forecasting and research.
Monday, October 17, 2016
Saturday, October 15, 2016
Included are pics of Coach, the Rusty Boot on prominent display, and the sign that Gunny Roll hit in his accident before the first XC meet of the season.
Friday, October 14, 2016
Back in the golden age of cycling, none was more royal than Bernard Hinault, five-time winner of the Tour de France and never finishing less than second in any Tour he rode!
Bernard is on a Tour of America for charity, finishing tomorrow in Orlando. Our own world traveling cyclist Tom Shiffer got to ride with him on the second leg of the Tour in Boston. From Tom...
It was for two of his charities: Souffles D'Espoir and The Faine House.
He did a ride in NYC already, here in Worcester, MA today, and one upcoming in Orlando, Fl on the 15th.
Here are the charity details:
Souffles D'Espoir - raising funds dedicated to the fight against cancer by organizing various charitable activities around the sport of cycling. Hinault himself is the godfather of this organization and is very involved in their events. More info at soufflesdespoirclc.fr
The Faine House - Jeff Faine, former NFL athlete, avid cyclist and one of the founders of Bikes and Life, started The Faine House with the help of Children's Home Society of Florida to provide transitional housing and support for young adults who age out of the foster care system. More info at thefainehouse.org
Thursday, October 13, 2016
|Greg! and Jimmy Allahand.|
|Keith Francis nips Pat Rexroat.|
|Mike Shine and Edwin Moses 1976 Olympic Finals.|
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Really, most anyone paying attention in the past decade realized that the 2016 election was scripted years ago by a demented sadist of some sort, just to bring an equal measure of misery to all of us.
But the 2020 election may be a different story. And thanks to one of our Digital Archive Goddeses, Kay Warfel, I was re-introduced to the author of a new novel about the election 4 years from now. (I think we have met before, but my lessening number of brain cells intervenes.)
Most of us know Fred Singleton as a captain of one of Coach Groves' favorite teams, the first of his to win an ICAAAA (IC4A!) Championships in 1974. I have often said that our ranks (PSU Track Alumni Golfers) produces some of the world's finest people, and Fred is another example of that.
And now Fred has written a novel about the 2020 election which involves something he noticed about the US Constitution in his capacity as a History teacher. Check it out, ORDER A COPY, and rate it highly on Amazon. That's an order from Coach Groves!
Addendum: Fred wishes me to remind you that this is a fictional account of the 2020 election. With the reality today, we all need reminded of that!
Like so many young men of that era, I was drawn to playing baseball and basketball, but in the late fall of my sophomore year I tried out for the Mount Vernon High School indoor track team – a decision which forever changed my life. Inspired by the seniors on the team and by my two coaches Dave Rider and Bob Brooke, two men who are on my personal Mount Rushmore, I instantly loved the sport. By the end of my senior year I was a three-time state champion and national champion in two hurdle races.
Accepting a scholarship to Penn State University, I had four good years of running, culminating, in 1974, in being a co-captain of Coach Harry Groves’ ICAAAA championship team – the first for the Nittany Lions since 1959.
Returning home after graduation, I was hired by the White Plains School District as a history teacher, assigned to the high school’s alternative school, the White Plains Community School – a position and location I kept for thirty-six years. I loved being in the classroom and being around my colleagues. In my third year, I was hired as the assistant track coach, where I forged a strong coaching relationship and life-long friendship with Nick Panaro, who had also run for Dave Rider. Presently in my forty-first season of coaching in the district, I am so very thankful for the many thousands of people I have met either in our school district or from other schools– coaches, officials and of course, the athletes. I have been very fortunate.
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
It has been 50 years since the Spring Grove Rockets won the PIAA team title on the Blue Course at Penn State. Daughter the Younger's last league XC meet is this evening in Spring Grove.
I am familiar with two team members, our group's own Dick Geiger and former Lock Haven standout David Mosebrook.
They will be getting together and touring the golf course in a week or 2. Congrats to all!
Monday, October 10, 2016
|Le faucon d'orange Mark Hawkins and Chief Laundry and Morale Officer Larry Mangan join Coach Groves for his walk. Note his new watch.|
All photos by Coach's chauffeur.
|Note Coach's Olympic ring!|
Saturday, October 8, 2016
Those who know me know I don't drink much at all. I often joke that in the past 2 decades I only have 2 beers each year. Both are at the Track Alumni Reunion and Golf Tourney, as that is the only way I can make it through 18 holes of golf!
Truth is, I also sometimes have a drink when we go out to high-class fine dining establishments like Red Lobster and Chili's (hee hee hee). My recent favorite has been a Sangria, but a classic margarita is the go-to choice at most places. And the epitome of drink choices is the flaming cocktail at that rare Chinese restaurant while having my weekly Kung Pao repast. But that is only once a year too.
|Flaming "Mount Fuji"|
In the olden days, when I did drink a little more, I can confess being quite drunk a few times. And while the next day was most-of-the-time awful, I did notice something positive in the whole scenario. I was often rebooted in all aspects of my life. Refreshed as it were, physically, mentally and intellectually. Nowadays, that never happens, despite my blood test values of kidney and liver function being rock solid.
Does the consumption of alcohol occasionally have positive effects in the athlete?
And does a coach (of appropriate age athletes) do a disservice by banning alcohol entirely?
I come down on the side of requiring abstinence of athletes if I was a coach. In my mind, the negatives far outweigh the chance of positives. But this article is trying to say that the occasional adult beverage isn't a sin. And I do agree with that.
* Underage drinking is always wrong. Criminally wrong.
* NO one should ever enter a car with a driver who has been drinking, including the driver.
*Alcohol is the most abused drug around the world.
*Don't be an enabler of Alcoholism.
Friday, October 7, 2016
His reply was everything I hoped for, but it also stimulated a literature bug he already had.
Hence, he put a post up about the St. Crispin's Eve Speech given by Henry V in Shakespeare's Play. George decided it made a fine pre-meet speech from a cross-country coach facing an uphill "battle" like the British force had against the French way back then. He has translated it for us in his post.
He chose Coach Grove as the deliverer of the speech, citing him as a living legend and the epitome of the salty toughness of the old time coaches. I agree.
Now, George has had his post picked up by Track and Field News, and indirectly our humble blog is linked on The Bible of the Sport.
Thursday, October 6, 2016
Last year's movie, McFarland, USA, was a feel good movie starring one of Hollywood's biggest stars. It told the story of a migrant town's, and a coach's redemption and all was centered around Cross Country Running.
And it was a relatively "true" story, with just a little bit of embellishment involved. I enjoyed it and considered its running scenes as predominantly authentic.
The Diaz family's three brothers were the heart and soul (or sole!) of the team. Danny, David and Damacio Diaz worked hard at running and even harder in the fields. Their triumph as Team Champions in California became our triumph too.
|The movie's Diaz Brothers.|
But real life sometimes interferes in our triumphs, as it did for Damacio Diaz this past year. He has become a convicted police officer in the Bakersfield PD when he plead guilty to narcotics crimes involving distributing methamphetamines. He was recently sentenced to 5 years in prison for his crimes, a lenient sentence because of his cooperation in unraveling other deficiencies in the police ranks.
|The real Damacio Diaz.|
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
Back in the olden days before the internet, and just after color was invented, Penn Staters had to settle for really lame Halloween hoaxes like everyone else. Like the time it was rumored that Jeane Dixon, a "famous astrologer" had predicted a murder at a high-rise dorm at a large Central Pennsylvania University. No one fell for it, and it garnered just a few chuckles in the Collegian.
But nowadays, those same really lame hoaxes can reach millions instantaneously and cause 6,000 or so to line the streets or even possibly riot! Well, nobody got hurt and there was no property damage, so rioting may be a little over-the-top. But then again, there wasn't even an Evil Clown to begin with.* Get it together you youngsters! Just admit it that you don't want to study and have way too much time on your hands...
And for those who want to increase your knowledge of the world around us, and possibly even get in on the inside jokes from Sheldon and Leonard, I have a download for you cell phone right here!
Monday, October 3, 2016
And Joe Kovacs was honored on the Beaver Stadium field during one of the football games I didn't attend.
Sunday, October 2, 2016
Our Hollywood connection, Mike Pfaff has sent us word of one of his projects and would appreciate help from the rest of us PSU Track Alumni rabble! I'll let him tell us...
|DO NOT disappoint him!|
You have a smart TV right? If you do, download one of the following applications: Google Play, Itunes or Vudu. They’re just like Netflix, only free. After you’ve downloaded them search for the movie “Let It Bleed.” You’ll see your old pal. You can associate the account with your paypal account or credit card if you want and they only charge you what you order.
And while you are at it, you can help me also! "My" (really Director John Johnson's) movie, Plan 9, is available from Google Play, Wal Mart ($3.99 rental!), and others, will soon be on Netflix! I am an Associate Producer on the project which is a remake of Ed Wood's "worst movie ever made", Plan 9 From Outer Space. This was Bela Lugosi's last film. A 5-star rating would be nice there too!Would you mind watching the film and then of course giving it a 5 star rating? All jokes aside, this was the lowest budget project I’ve ever shot. It cost $7500 to make. Most student films cost much more so the fact that they got this distribution outlet says a lot about the creative team behind it. I’m starting to work as a producer (doing some writing too) with this team and am going to be working with them to make more movies in the future… with higher budgets. Let It Bleed was entirely improvised, they had no script! I think you’ll actually enjoy it for the most part, of course you’ll dissect it and have problems with the plot (as my wife who saw it last night for the first time), but I still think you’ll be entertained….Mike Pfaff
Saturday, October 1, 2016
|Sat., Jan 14||Nittany Lion Challenge||University Park, Pa.||All Day||More|
|Fri., Jan. 20||Rod McCravy Memorial (Day 1)||Lexington, KY||1:00 p.m. ET||More|
|Sat., Jan. 21||Rod McCravy Memorial (Day 2)||Lexington, KY||9:00 a.m. ET||More|
|Fri., Jan. 27||PSU National Open (Day 1)||University Park, Pa.||5:00 p.m. ET||More|
|Sat., Jan. 28||PSU National Open (Day 2)||University Park, Pa.||9:00 a.m. ET||More|
|Fri., Feb. 3||Sykes-Sabock Challenge Cup (Day 1)||University Park, Pa.||5:00 p.m. ET||More|
|Sat., Feb. 4||Sykes-Sabock Challenge Cup (Day 2)||University Park, Pa.||11:00 a.m. ET||More|
|Fri., Feb. 10||Husky Classic (Day 1)||Seattle, Wash.||3:00 p.m. ET||More|
|Spire Invitational (Day 1)||Geneva, OH||4:00 p.m. ET||More|
|Sat., Feb. 11||Husky Classic (Day 2)||Seattle, Wash.||All Day||More|
|Spire Invitational (Day 2)||Geneva, OH||All Day||More|
|Sat., Feb. 18||Penn State Tune-Up||University Park, Pa.||12:00 p.m. ET||More|
|Fri., Feb. 24||Big Ten Indoor Championships (Day 1) *||Geneva, OH||All Day||More|
|Sat., Feb. 25||Big Ten Indoor Championships (Day 2) *||Geneva, OH||All Day||More|
|Fri., Mar. 10||NCAA Indoor Championships (Day 1)||College Station, TX||All Day||More|
|Sat., Mar. 11||NCAA Indoor Championships (Day 2)||College Station, TX||All Day||More|
|Fri., Mar. 24||PAC12-BIG10 Challenge (Day 1)||Tempe, AZ||2:00 p.m. ET||More|
|Sat., Mar. 25||PAC12-BIG10 Challenge (Day 2)||Tempe, AZ||All Day||More|
|Fri., Mar. 31||Florida Relays (Day 1)||Gainesville, FL||All Day||More|
|Stanford Invite (Day 1)||Palo Alto, Calif.||All Day||More|
|Sat., Apr. 1||Florida Relays (Day 2)||Gainesville, FL||All Day||More|
|Stanford Invite (Day 2)||Palo Alto, Calif.||All Day||More|
|Sat., Apr. 8||Battle on the Bayou||Baton Rouge, LA||All Day||More|
|Fri., Apr. 14||Bucknell Classic (Day 1)||Lewisburg, Pa.||All Day||More|
|Sat., Apr. 15||Bucknell Classic (Day 2)||Lewisburg, Pa.||All Day||More|
|Fri., Apr. 21||Virginia Challenge (Day 1)||Charlottesville, Va.||All Day||More|
|Sat., Apr. 22||Stanford Invitational||Palo Alto, Calif.||4:00 p.m. ET||More|
|Bucknell Team Challenge||Lewisburg, Pa.||All Day||More|
|Virginia Challenge (Day 2)||Charlottesville, Va.||All Day||More|
|Thu., Apr. 27||Penn Relays (Day 1)||Philadelphia, Pa.||All Day||More|
|Fri., Apr. 28||Penn Relays (Day 2)||Philadelphia, Pa.||All Day||More|
|Sat., Apr. 29||Penn Relays (Day 3)||Philadelphia, Pa.||All Day||More|
|Fri., May 5||Jim Thorpe Invite||University Park, Pa.||2:00 p.m. ET||More|
|Fri., May 12||Big Ten Outdoor Championships (Day 1) *||University Park, Pa.||All Day||More|
|Sat., May 13||Big Ten Outdoor Championships (Day 2) *||University Park, Pa.||All Day||More|
|Sun., May 14||Big Ten Outdoor Championships (Day 3) *||University Park, Pa.||All Day||More|
|Thu., May 25||NCAA First Round (Day 1)||Lexington, KY||All Day||More|
|Fri., May 26
||NCAA First Round (Day 2)||Lexington, KY||All Day||More|
|Sat., May 27||NCAA First Round (Day 3)||Lexington, KY||All Day||More|
|Wed., Jun. 7||NCAA Outdoor Championships (Day 1)||Eugene, OR||All Day||More|
|Thu., Jun. 8||NCAA Outdoor Championships (Day 2)||Eugene, OR||All Day||More|
|Fri., Jun. 9||NCAA Outdoor Championships (Day 3)||Eugene, OR||All Day||More|
|Sat., Jun. 10||NCAA Outdoor Championships (Day 4)||Eugene, OR||All Day||More|
*Remember, our Track Alumni Reunion and Golf Tourney is during the Big Ten Outdoor Championships this year. Set aside the time now, come and support the largest T&F Alumni Group in the world.