Thursday, October 19, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Sport Or Not A Sport

With the recent announcement of three additional "sports" in the Olympic family, I have resurrected a post from 5 years ago to figure out whether they are sports or not.  Apply the criteria I came up with in 2012 and judge for yourselves.

Is pole dancing a sport?  Is foosball a sport?  Is Poker a sport?

Let's see...

Sport or Not a Sport?

  1. Any sport that has Communist Judges as the final rulers of place, regardless of what has just taken place.  Not a Sport.
  2. Any sport that has hair glitter as a near-requirement.  Not a Sport.
  3. Any sport where animals do the bulk of the work.  Not a Sport.
  4. Any sport where music is integral to the event.  Not a Sport.
  5. Any sport where a participants "personality" is immensely important to the outcome.  Not a Sport.
  6. Any sport where half the participants have prescriptions for medications only 1 or 2% of the normal population take.  Not a Sport.
  7. Any sport that is what others call a board-game. Not a Sport.
  8. Any sport using kids bikes. Not a Sport.
  9. Any sport using artistic ribbons Not a Sport.
  10. Any sport using playing cardsNot a Sport.
  11. Any sport normally performed in a bar, or which could be adequately performed while holding a beer.  Not a Sport.
  12. Any sport where being under 13 years-old is not a hindrance to performance.  Not a Sport.
  13. Any sport in which the most important feature is the skimpiness of the uniform.  Not a Sport.
  14. Any sport played in a kid's sand-box.  Not a Sport.
  15. Any sport most often played as a diversion from a Fourth of July picnic or a family reunion.  Not A Sport.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Another Loss Of A Champion

It is with sadness that I bring news of the passing of a fellow Penn State Track and Field Alumni Golfer.  Bob Szeyller was both a former winner of the Coach Groves Golf Tournament and an ICAAAA 200Y hurdles champion.

Robert Szeller, second from left.

Monday, October 16, 2017

...They Practically Kilt Them!

Ryan Foster and Karaleigh Foster won the Mens and Womens version of the Kilted Mile in Edinboro as part of their Homecoming Festivities last week!  I'm just happy that KKOB wasn't quite sure where Edinboro is...

The Interns have been unable to ascertain the times, but when they awake some time today they will work on it.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Pink And Black Perform Well

 Yeah, you heard that right, Pink and Black.  The Nittany Lions reverted to their original school colors with retro uniforms in yeasterdays Penn State National.  The Lady Lions were first overall while the Men snagged second place overall.

1. Penn State
    2  Jillian Hunsberger, Sr     20:22    5:27
    3  Kathryn Munks, So          20:23    5:28
    6  Alison Willingmyre, Fr     20:34    5:31
    8  Greta Lindsley, Jr         20:37    5:32
   25  Danae Rivers, Fr           21:05    5:39
   41  Lisa Bennatan, Sr          21:22    5:43
   74  Noemie Noullet, Jr         22:01    5:54
Total Time = 1:43:01     Total Places = 44
 2. Penn State
    3  Colin Abert, Jr            25:19    4:52
    9  Timothy McGowan, Sr        25:37    4:56
   11  Bobby Hill, Sr             25:42    4:56
   17  John McGowan, Jr           25:48    4:58
   20  Ben Bumgarner, Fr          26:00    5:00
   32  Billy McDevitt, So         26:15    5:03
   70  Brady Bobbitt, So          27:06    5:13
Total Time = 2:08:26     Total Places = 60

Thursday, October 12, 2017

There Should Be More College Dual Meets

Our great friend from Hawaii and the University of Michigan, Jonathan Cross, recently posted these pics of a 1975 dual meet between the Nittany Lions and the Wolverines in Ann Arbor. College Track and Field needs more dual meets today.

Included in these pics are shots of Jonathan and Mike McGuire, who I met at last year's Big Ten Championships.  The Wolverine Track Nation is reeling from the news of U of M great Bill Donalkowski's serious illness.  I assured Jonathan that I would have all of our Universe say a prayer for Bill and all his friends and family.

I'm hoping Jonathan will get back to me on his acceptance of a friendly wager on the upcoming Michigan/PSU football game!  Maybe a photo in the opposing team's logo or possibly a food item indigenous to our locales! (not sure how chicken-corn soup or Hog Maw would play in Hawaii!)

I think this is Jonathan and Mike chasing George Malley, who they did not catch that day!

Coach Mike McGuire with a 10K runner before the Big Ten Finals, 2017.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Erwin Schrodinger Endowed Chair For Advanced Physics Is Getting An Upgrade

Ron Moore has moved ever closer to being named Co-Official Physicist of our Group with his recent visit to Happy Valley.  Because of time constraints, he was unable to visit Coach Groves or myself, which would have sealed the deal once and for all.  No worries though, as the visit did add to his group presence by adding a comfortable addition to his Erwin Schrodinger Endowed Chair for Advanced Physics.  This will be his choice of comfy arm rests or a matching ottoman.  I will be sure to keep everyone informed on his choice.

Welcome back to Happy Valley, Ron!
Ron has selected the arm wrests. Good choice. Ottomans are highly over-rated.

Monday, October 9, 2017

An Update On Coach Groves' Scholarship

Our Chief Laundry and Morale Officer has been updated from the fine folks at the Nittany Lion Club/Varsity S Club.  Our recent push to fully endow Coach Groves' Scholarship brought in more than $40,000 dollars, leaving us well within striking distance of completing it before the next Reunion and Coach Groves Golf Tournament.

Donate Directly to PSU Track/XC 


Go to this website:

Scroll down and click on the Track and Field link (or the cross country link) and then click on the “Make a gift” link

After clicking on the “Make a Gift” link it takes you to the page below.  When you get to the gift amount part you can see it already indicates “Track/Cross Country”, so any amount you put in here will go directly to our program – 100% of it.  If you prefer to donate to a specific scholarship like the Harry Groves Scholarship or the Greg Fredericks Scholarship you type that in the “specific athletic endowment or fund” box and it will be applied to that endowment.

If you prefer to write a check, send it to:
Kirk Diehl
Varsity S
147 Bryce Jordan Center
University Park, PA 16802

Please put Men or Women Track OUD in the Memo line to donate directly to the program, or put the name of the scholarship you would like to donate to in the memo line.


Thursday, October 5, 2017

There's A Reason No One Runs 24-Hour Relays Anymore!

Our great friend and owner of the world's best Track and Field Museum (in his garage!), Mike Fanelli, posted a page of results from a 24-Hour Relay in 1971 or so.  There are some big names on the list, including Gerry Lindgren, Tom Fleming (RIP) and Mark Covert (of streaking fame!).

This, of course got a spirited response of comments from many.  The overwhelming thrust of which was "I'll never do that again!"

"It was awful. What started out to be a simple mile run every 44 minutes or so turned into a leg-killing fiasco after about 18 miles. I couldn't imagine running that slow."
-Gerry Lindgren. 

Some others chimed in with other remembrances of "the ordeal", including mine from a 1977 attempt for the Pennsylvania State Record.

Here's results from a very good team from New Zealand...

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

One Ring To Bind Them...

Three rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One of the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

Just last week I referenced the One ring to rule them all (2017 Mens Big Ten title ring).  Now I get to reference the One ring to bind them all (I suppose the "darkness and shadows" refers to the hiding place of the ring in the State Forest...) Yeah, it's a JRR Tolkien reference for you non-nerds out there...

Sometimes I get lucky.  I especially like it when I have a post handed to me for the blog which is better than anything that my meager mind can create.  And this one is 100% unvarnished Truth!
This ring binds Penn State Track and Field with another part of my life, Apple Hill Surgery Center!  I have been fortunate enough to have worked at the finest Surgical Center in America for the past 30 years. (Don't forget my Special this month on Pumpkin Spice Bunionectomies!)  When A-Team Nurse Sheila Powers told me this tale about her parents, I was amazed.  But when she showed me the pic of the owner, I was practically floored! 

Anyway, here's the story from Sheila, as verified by her parents...

September 17: Bill and Diane Amick from Halifax, Pa were visiting Bald Eagle State Park for their end of summer camping trip. The couple enjoys to camp and explore campgrounds using their metal detectors.
September 20th the couple was metal detecting along the area directly surrounding the lake. Diane was near a paved walkway when her metal detector registered a 'hit'. To Diane's surprise and delight, two inches in the soil she unearthed a ring! The ring was not immediately recognizable due to the soil that filled and covered its inscriptions. Upon a soap and water bath they were able to see what she discovered. She had, in her possession, a beautiful 2008 Big Ten, Top 4, Track and Field Penn State ring with the name of 'Spence' engraved on the outside and 'Fritz Spence' engraved on the inside. The only damage to the ring was the hole for the finger was not perfectly round.
September 21st they departed Bald Eagle State Park for another leg of their camping trip and on
September 26th they ended their memorable vacation and returned to their respective home. Bill and Diane were excited to try to find the owner of this ring. They utilized the internet (for the greater good) and were able to determine that the owner of this ring was still a coach for the track and field Penn State team!!
September 27, Bill and Diane called the phone number that was listed in the Penn State directory and to their delight Coach Spence answered!
They quickly explained the reason for calling and were pleased about his mutual excitement! Coach Spence and the Amicks agreed to a meeting at the home of Bill and Diane the next afternoon.

Never for a moment, did Diane think of anything but finding and returning her most prized discovery to its rightful owner. Along the way, the Amicks were inspired by the young man and his story of survival and life accomplishments! Diane returned Coach Spence's ring to him and they both wore the biggest, most grateful smiles. They shared social time together over snacks and coffee that filled the hearts of this retired couple. They were thrilled to do something nice for such an exceptional person whom they now revere as a friend.

Dave...if you would like to clear facts and hear vantage point with Coach Spence about any of this, please do. He told my parents that he thought he might have lost his ring 5 years prior at the lake playing football with his son...but wasn't certain that he had worn it that day. He also said that this particular ring although 1 of 9, was very special because it was his first.
Thank you so much for spreading some positivity in this crazy world!

And don't forget Fit For Fritz!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Cowboy Jamboree Results And Saquon Barkley's Track Exploits

Cowboy Jamboree Results:  (The oldest continually run Cross Country Race in America!)

Team - Penn State    Place 3
Average Time: 25:11.3
1 221 Colin Abert JR 8  24:48.2
2 230 Timothy McGowan SR  19  24:59.1
3 225 Bobby Hill SR   37  25:13.4
4 229 John McGowan JR  62  25:26.7
5 223 Ben Bumgarner FR  88  25:29.1
6 228 Billy McDevitt SO  (130)  26:05.6
7 222 Brady Bobbitt SO  (184)  26:49.7
8 226 William Loevner SO      26:51.5
9 231 Domenic Perretta FR     27:06.1

Team - Penn State    Place 2
Average Time: 21:15.7
1 102 Jillian Hunsberger SR  4  21:06.0
2 108 Alison Willingmyre FR  12  21:09.6
3 104 Kathryn Munks SO  21  21:10.4
4 103 Greta Lindsley JR  31  21:11.6
5 106 Danae Rivers FR  48  21:41.0
6 101 Julia Guerra FR  (87)  22:21.9
7 105 Noemie Noullet JR  (129)  22:33.4
8 107 Grace Trucilla SO      22:41.5
9 99 Victoria Crawford JR      22:55.6
10 100 Marisa Deichert SO    24:41.3

As the entire PSU Football Universe dwells insanely on the Heisman hopes for Saquon Barkley, he seems to have his head firmly on his shoulders where it belongs.  And apparently always has.  Here's a 2015 story about Saquon's limited track and field experience...

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Cross Country Finally Heating Up

The Nittany Lions are at the Cowboy Jamboree in Stillwater, Oklahoma while the Paul Short Invitational was held yesterday at the Lehigh Course in Saucon Valley.  The Cowboy Jamboree is actually the oldest Cross Country race in the country! These big invitationals are getting bigger and bigger every year because they can garner points for the team for at-large bids to the NCAA Championships.

The Nittany Lion Womens team is ranked 9th in the Nation and 1st in the Mid-Atlantic Region.  The Men are ranked 5th in the Mid-Atlantic Region.

I notice that Sophomore Phoebe Whiteside, Appalachian Trail co-through-hiker of Rob Whitside, was the seventh runner for the Swarthmore Garnet at the Paul Short Invitational.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Updates Of Two Unimportant Memes

I had postulated that the colorado Mad Pooper fiasco would turn out to be an unfunny episode, and I was certainly correct.  I thought there would be a combo of physiologic necessity, animus toward something and mental illness.  But Truth is almost always stranger than fiction.

And, oh how nice it would be to be a Billionairre!  Cheesesteaks at your fingertips in your limo! At least he knew enough to ask for Whiz wit.

 For the record I prefer Jim's on South Street.  And second would be Geno's across the street from Pat's.  But a Pat's Steak would be quite fine right about now.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Two Years Isn't Even Enough For Me

John Evans has alerted me to the fact that the USATF XC Club Nationals will be held at Lehigh's XC course in 2019.  He correctly figures that we should be able to form an Alumni team to compete with the best.  That gives us 2 years to get into shape!

Remember, we actually have a sanctioned Penn State Alumni team in the Mid-Atlantic USATF, which is headed by the incredible Doreen Statare McCoubrie!  Maybe she can let me know if we are still active???  I may have dropped the ball on that one.

Here's the last time we had an Alumni team in the Club Championships.

The young bucks!

The Over-50 Gang!

Friday, September 22, 2017

I May Throw My Lot In With The Canines Instead

The story of the Mad Pooper is not unique.  This has occurred many times before.  The advent of security cameras has taken it to another level, though.

A Colorado Springs woman (I know I'm treading on thin ice with this, as who knows which of the 42 genders ze may identify with!) has been pooping on lawns during a morning run for several months now.  She has been confronted more than once and managed to run off.

My experience with this sort of thing tells me it is a combo of 1) physiologic need 2) psychological animus and and 3) mental illness, to some degree.  It will not turn out to be a comedic item, for the late night talk show hosts to fully exploit.

The Mad Pooper.
This kind of thing begs the question, Are dogs better than people? 

I find these dogs to be the epitome of what most of us can aspire to on this planet.  Evil, the dog on the left has saved numerous lives following the Mexican Earthquake.  Frida, on the right has saved 52 people from the rubble.  And all they get is a biscuit and a scratch behind the ear.  Thanks to KKOB for this Mad Pooper alert.  We may have to explore some of our stories similar to this in the future.  We all have them!

Evil and Frida.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Throwback Thursday And Quote of the Day From Yesteryear

"Girl, you got a swagger like John Wayne."

-Coach Harry Groves, to Jess Riden at the 2010 Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Meet.


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Nittany Lions Are Dam Near Everywhere!

Recently, Paul Souza ventured to the city of sin (but only for a basketball tourney for his son!).  He took a break one day to tour the Hoover Dam.  And lo and behold, he was greeted by a Penn State Track and Field t-shirt draped over Nittany Lion Trainer Nate Althouse.  Certainly a small world.

Nate Althouse with Paul Souza.

On my only visit to Las Vegas, our plane banked over the Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam on the way into the airport.  I immediately chalked them up on my "Saw that" list.  When others in the group wanted to take the tour of the dam, I told them "I already saw that" and took a nap instead.  It was a wonderful nap BTW.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Another Lion Returns

AD Sandy Barber has named former PSU XC and T&F athlete Kayla Matrunick as Assistant Athletic Director of Performance Nutrition Services.  She certainly would have hated my diet back in the day!

Thanks to several alert Interns for their links for this announcement!  Your stipends are in the mail!

And keep those donations coming in for the Coach Groves Scholarship Fund.  We hope to be announcing a fully endowed tuition scholarship in time for the next Reunion and Coach Groves Golf Tourney.

Monday, September 18, 2017

One Ring To Rule Them All

I don't know when rings became the way to celebrate things in Track and Field?  I guess it's a Big Ten Thing.  I know we didn't get them when we won the Coach's Conference Championship in 1980!  I once saw Pete Rose's World Series ring, and it wasn't as extravagant as this!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Another Remarkable Lion

“Once I get through the gates, most of the time I forget that I’m in a wheelchair,” Tek said. “The kids make me feel just like one of them and that helps me forget about everything.”
-Tom Kleban.

Read more here:

I ran into Tom Kleban on the Friday night before the Pitt game as I had dinner at the Wegmans on North Atherton.  (I had Kung Pao chicken and shrimp!)  I forgot to ask him about the apocryphal story of him and his brothers blowing up Coach Groves' mailbox as kids. (Coach Groves told me that several years ago.)  Actually, the story is just too good to ever find out that it really didn't happen!

Here's a CDT article about Tom's coaching prowess.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Goldbergs Night At The Phillies

It was the Goldbergs Night at the Phillies versus the A's last night.  That means that Adam F. Goldberg returned to Philly and brought along his brother Barry and the TV Barry for the opening pitch. Scouring the vast intertubes, I couldn't come up with footage of the pitch, which was a rare successful one by "Big Tasty"!  Smother-Mom Beverly Goldberg was also there.

Adam F. Goldberg, Mike Schmidt, Barry Goldberg and Troy Gentile.

Always amazed how the actors resemble the subjects on the show.

Barry Goldberg is a radiologist in Baltimore.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Meaningless Update On The Best Photo Ever Taken!

The owner of the best photograph ever taken has finally been identified, but not without blackmail from PETA.  David Slater's Blurb publishing firm is now the legal owner of the pic, as long as he donates 25% of all future profits using the pic for relief to the habitat of the crested macaque monkeys. A win/win with a knife in the back!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Athlete Of The Week And Animals Are Safe!

Jillian Hunsberger was just named Athlete of the Week by the USTFCCCA!

NCAA DIVISION I WOMEN – Jillian Hunsberger, Penn State

Senior | Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Make it two in a row for Jillian Hunsberger.
After winning the Dolan Duals two weeks ago, Hunsberger returned to the top of the podium this past weekend at the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational. Hunsberger finished in 21:07 – three seconds ahead of Syracuse’s Paige Stoner – and topped a field of 85, which included the likes of No. 11 Penn State and No. 26 Georgetown.
Hunsberger earned All-America status last year in cross country and is carrying over a lot of momentum from a strong track season. She finished 10th in the 10,000-meter finals at the 2017 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

And despite being right next to the epicenter of the Hurricane Irma hit, the Key Deer have emerged from the decimated brush on Big Pine Key! There were only 1,000 left on Earth before the storm hit.  There's at least 4 remaining.

And all of Hemingway's 54 polydactyl cats we also unscathed as Key West was only slightly damaged.  Hemingway's House was practically untouched.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Some Curmudgeon Notes On The Pitt Game

  1. It's not a good day if you are barfing at 10:00am outside your RV site more than10 miles away from the Stadium for a 3:30PM game. Thankfully, I didn't know the guy.
  2. 109,000 people are way too many.
  3. I went to 2 tailgates and didn't get to eat anything but a smidgen of bbq, Doritos and some chocolate-covered pretzels.
  4. People drink way too much in celebration of 19 yo kids playing a game that is probably giving them brain damage.
  5. The whole campus is delightful once the game has started.  Had to make my way from a tailgate to Pattee Library so we could use a computer for hospital orders.  Technology will be the death of us all, just as the Unabomber told us...
  6. Downtown State College is delightful once the game has started.  I have purchased running shoes the past 2 weeks from Terry Losch at Rapid Transit and had a bike fixed at Freeze Thaw Bikes during the games.
  7. No one awakened at the remote RV site as of 8:00am but me.  Bizarre for an RV site.
Tailgate 1: This trailer actually has a bathroom, shower, kitchen, ac, 2 TVs and more.

The Great Unwashed at the Stadium.

Tailgate 2: 2-Time Coach Harry Groves Tourney winner Don Ziter with some idiot.

Pattee wasn't empty, but nearly so...

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Game Day Breakfast: Sh*tt on Pitt

I had breakfast just now with my dog Spott, who somehow broke into the closet yesterday and ate a week's worth of his food.  Needless to say, I was up extremely early in my RV for an evacuation of my own, although not nearly as critical as the one in Florida.  But Spott did live up to the chant from us students from years ago, Sh*tt on Pitt.  I'm sure that's not allowed anymore, but we must remember it was a Pitt fan who took a sledgehammer to the Lion Shrine's ear, and this is my blog!

Spott, contemplating his breakfast.
 Also, Ed Carroll sent me this pic of Larry Mangan and friends (that's Todd Kletter, Jonathon Weaver and Ed Carroll with Larry Mangan.) visiting Coach Groves yesterday.

And I will be adding some pics from today's tailgate later...
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