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...

Monday, February 27, 2017

A Devil Of A Big Ten Championship

It was a record-breaking overall performance by the Nittany Lions at the Indoor Big Ten Championships.   There were plenty of sensational performances at the Spire Institute and every phase of the team was represented.  Throws, Jumps, Sprints, Middle Distance and Distance members of the team were integral to the Womens team win and the Mens best ever finish!

I watched significant portions of the event via BTN2Go and tried to keep up with the results via the Big Ten site.  (If Undersecretary of Fun Billy Cvecko and myself were given 1/2 of the budget that the Big Ten dedicates to its website, we would have it running like a well-oiled machine instead of the garbage it currently is!)

I tried to pick out one event that sums up the whole Meet, and I will anger plenty with my choice of Performance of the Meet.  I will overlook 800U, the School Record 4 x 400M Relay, the first ever DMR victory by the Women and many others to choose...

The 60M victory by Xavier Smith takes the honors for his School Record 6.66 seconds.  Although it was a beast of a run, I really will feel better when he runs 6.65!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Details Of The 2017 Reunion And Golf Tourney

Founder Clark Haley has been very busy lining up the entire weekend for our Reunion and Coach Groves Golf Tourney.  He had extra work this year because we are holding the event in conjunction with the Big Ten Outdoor Championships.  That means you may have to scramble for accommodations also!

Our long-standing home for the event was the Hampton Inn, but due to the scarcity of hotel rooms, we have switched to the Ramada Inn on South Atherton for this year's shenanigans.  The price for the full package has held steady.  Ala Carte prices for the separate events will be forthcoming.

Friday May 12 - 7pm - 11pm (note new start time)
Welcome Reception Ramada Inn (814) 238-3001
Banquet Room downstairs (elevator available).
Cash Bar available with Hors d'oeuvres

  •              Warm-up putting contest
  •              50-50 drawing
  •              Texas Hold-em poker tourney (9pm - 11pm) limited to the first 20 people to register ($25 entry, no buy ins or backs to keep game moving)
Saturday May 13 -
  • Non-golfer activity to be announced (once we promote a volunteer!).
  • 12:00 pm Golf outing at Mountain View Country Club (a.k.a old Elks Club)
  • 7:00 - 7:45 pm for those interested, meet and greet with the team at the Club Level of Pegula Hockey Arena (they have their team dinner at 8:00 so we'll need to vacate by 7:45)
  • 6:30 - 8:00 pm Cash Bar Happy Hour (and a half) at the Ramada Banquet Room for those not heading to the Pegula
  • 8:00 - 11:00pm Dinner and awards ceremony at the Ramada Banquet Room.

Please send your checks ($175) to Harry Smith at
508 Washington Avenue
Elyria, OH 44035

Hope to see you there, Clark

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Will This Be Cas Loxsom's Best Year Yet?

“I’m as close as you can be to a 600-metre specialist.”
-Cas Loxsom

An indoor world record* and the world's leading time in the 800M are a pretty good way to start the season, to say the least.

But Cas Loxsom is looking for more.  So get out the popcorn and enjoy the show!

*The IAAF does not recognize the 600M as a record distance. Things may change.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

He Learned From 2 Of The Best

Bob Hamer has been recognized as Indoor Track Coach of the Year by the MAAC.  It isn't really a surprise when you know he was coached in his athletic life by two of the best in the business, Coach Bill Preston and Coach Harry Groves.

Coach Bill Preston was coach of the perennial powerhouse of Council Rock back in the heyday of the PIAA times.  He coached several Penn State Track Alumni (Golfers) including Bob Hamer, Matt Hutzelmann and Mark Haegele. He is currently the coach of the PSUAC XC champion Mont Alto team.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Happy Presidents Day

Of course, I have to work. Really did pick the wrong Major....

But anyway, originally this Monday Holiday was meant to celebrate the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington until some weenie extended it to encompass all of the Presidents as weenies are often wont to do.

But not at our weenie-less Blog!  We will celebrate the athletic accomplishments of George and Abe and ditch all the rest without any hesitation.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

A Glorious Day In State College

So I fled the real world yesterday for the wonders of Happy Valley.  I left behind all the negativity of bills, taxes and home maintenance requirements.  And I was rewarded like I never expected to be!

It was a glorious day in Happy Valley, with sunshine and temperatures reaching to 68 degrees! In the middle of February!  And did I mention that I'm talking about State College?

Here are some of the highlights of my day:

  • Having Daughter the Younger drive the whole way to State College.  Got to see Daughter the Elder and our dog Pooky!

  • Got to the track just in time to watch the final laps of the solo DMR effort of the Women to qualify for the NCAA.  Danae Rivers brought them home in 11:01 (and change) which is now the school record and the #2 time in the NCAA this year!  That makes 5 for 5 meets with a school record for Danae!
  •  Saw Isaiah Harris leisurely run the first few laps in the Mile and then turn on the jets for a PR 4:05 (and change). 
  • Had the opportunity to say hello to Coach Gondak and Owen Dawson.

  • Had the pleasure to speak with the Skerpons and watch their daughter Elyse run a fine 600M to qualify for the Big Ten meet. The Skerpons haven't changed a bit in the years since their 1983 wedding.  I have.  I dare you to find me in the pic!
  • Got word from the internets that PSU Track Alumni (Golfers) fared quite well in 800M shenanigans across the globe! 

 From jolly ole' England, as relayed from Ken Brinker!
Men’s 800: Cas Loxsom Gets a Big Win and a World Leader
One week ago, Loxsom looked out of place running the 1000m at the Millrose Games. But he closed quickly in that race to move up for second over the final 200, and he shined today in an event he’s far more comfortable in, the 800.
Loxsom got out well and stuck right on rabbit Bram Som, who took him through 400 in 50.28. By the time Som dropped out at 500, Loxsom had opened up a big gap on the field and at the bell (1:17.50), he had a lead of approximately 15 meters.
The rest of the field, led by 2015 world bronze medallist Amel Tuka, was closing hard as Loxsom was starting to tie up. But he dug deep and managed to hold on, and was rewarded for his aggressive running with a world leader of 1:46.13. Tuka wound up second in 1:46.59, a Bosnian national record, while American Erik Sowinski finished fourth in 1:46.85.

While in Arkansas, there was a minor earthquake as Billy  Cvecko slipped on his Alumni Singlet!


1 (4)

That's the leading time in the world this year and Cas's PR! And it isn't a bad effort by Billy, who is the hardest working man in track and field!

Lunch was Kung Pao Chicken, which was smuggled into the Ashenfelter Complex because the entire security world was focused on the Bryce Jordan Center and the Dance Marathon!

Dinner ended up being 3 lobster tails and bananas foster cheesecake.  Technically the lactose intolerance episode didn't occur until after midnight, so yesterday was still all golden!

Not a bad day in February in State College, am I right?

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Kung Pao And PSU Track United At Last!

I just arrived at the track to see the Women's DMR team run the 2nd best time in the nation,  SOLO!

And I sneaked an order of Kung Pao Chicken into the Ashenfelter track.

More  to come...

Isaiah Harris 4:05 for the mile.

A Spur Of The Moment Trip And 800U Alumni Action!

I am making a run to State College and may try to see some of today's meet.  It just seemed time to flee the real world for just a day!

But other Penn State Track and Field Alumni (Golfers) are in 800M action across the globe...

Casimir Loxsom is in jolly 'ole England for his first 800M of the year:


 And Undersecretary of Fun Billy Cvecko has brought the spikes out of storage and is lacing them up in Arkansas!  Good luck Billy.  I read recently on the internet (I think on Isaiah Harris's Twitter feed)  that one could replicate the feeling of an 800M simply by lighting yourself on fire and then rolling in broken glass to put out the fire!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Mike Sands Sings For Coach Groves!

Mike Sands brought the house down with his version of a reggae classic at Coach Groves' retirement ceremony in 2006.

Coach Groves has always been proud to call Mike his son.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A New Activity At The Reunion?

Founder and Keeper of the Beer Clark Haley chimed in with more news about the upcoming Reunion and Golf Tourney via Facebook this AM.

Will post the specifics this weekend - As it stands now, the Golf is scheduled for Saturday at noon (begging for morning options, but doubt that will happen with the numbers we have), Friday and Saturday night functions will be held in the banquet rooms of the Ramada the only hotel where we have blocks of rooms this year, so you may want to make a move to reserve one under the "Harry Groves Golf Outing" or "Penn State Track and Field Alumni" 

There will be two Texas Hold-em tables set up for Friday night, so bring your poker face - more to come..

Which only brings to the fore the grand tradition of cheating at our Golf Tourney!

                                     "You must do something about the cheating!"
                                                    -Coach Harry Groves
                                after golfing two holes with each foursome in 2009.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Update On The Reunion And Golf Outing

Never fear.  You won't miss any of the Finals action of the Big Ten Outdoor Championships if you happen to golf with us at the Coach Harry Groves Golf Tournament on Saturday, May 13th! The schedule has been altered to make sure golfers will not miss the Finals on Sunday!

Fees will be the same as last year, with the whole package coming in at $175 for all of the activities.  There will be Reunion packages for the separate events like previous years also.  There is no excuse for not joining us in supporting the team at the Big Tens while honoring Coach Groves and all the rest of the Penn State Track history.  There will be some big names returning for the first time, so add your name to the list!

Don't dilly dally on finding accommodations, as they will be sparse because of the Championships.

That's Digital Archive Goddess Kay Warfel's son Tom ringing the bell for the last lap of the 3000M at the recent Penn State National with Tessa Barrett and Tori Gerlach vying for the lead.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Wow! What A Weekend For The Middle Distances

From coast to coast, current and former Nittany Lions dominated the middle distance races this weekend.

From the Husky Classic in Seattle:
  • Danae Rivers continues her record setting Freshman season with another School Record in the Mile, with the #1 time in the nation so far! 
 Rivers, Danae     Penn State     4:32.55
From the Spire Institute and home of the Big Ten Indoor Championships:
  •  Isaiah Harris led Dominic Perretta to a first and second place finish in the 800M.
Isaiah Harris            1:48.03
Dominic Perretta     1:48.17

From the Armory in NYC and the Millrose Games:

  • Casimir Loxsom couldn't catch Brannon Kidder in the 1000M. 
Brannon Kidder 2:19.92 (58.44, 1:53.16) Casimir Loxsom 2:21.06 (58.61, 1:53.36)

Brannon Kidder's fine Pro Debut!
And I forgot the super effort of Tori Gerlach (who will be back for Outdoor Season!) in the Millrose 3000M. She finished third with a 16 second PR of 8:53.48.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Fast Times In The Ninth Circuit

There's plenty of things happening in the Ninth Circuit lately.  But there isn't any dispute concerning the winner of the Womens 5000M at the Husky Classic Invitational yesterday!

Tessa Barrett led the way with a phenomenal PR of 15:51.32 and Jillian Hunsberger ran her best ever with a 16:08.61! Tessa's time puts her in the top echelon of college athletes for the year and #3 ever for PSU.

Tessa Barrett, Coach Reck and Jillian Hunsberger

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Undersecretary Of Fun Checks In

Billy Cvecko is essentially always moving.  He says he sleeps, but I don't believe him. His latest foray has taken him to the Northwest corner of the US and the lair of the Brooks Beasts.

Billy is being held up by new 600M Indoor World Record Holder Casimir Loxsom, left, and Brooks Beast rookie Brannon Kidder, second from right.  This is certainly a very fine 4x800M team, with an alternate. 

And watch Billy's newest video for Run Junkie as he visits fellow alum Conrad Lippert!   Why doesn't Billy ever visit me?  A podiatry spot would be interesting, wouldn't it?

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Jim Ryun, Kim Jong Un's Brother And Eric Clapton

This is a slapdash post of no particular importance.  We will start out with a video of Jim Ryun's first ever high school sub-4 mile in Kansas, with commentary from Jim!

Our musical interlude begins with some Eric Clapton from the days color was barely invented.

And a little preaching thrown in from Eric...

And finally, word that I am not the world's only fan of the Columbus, Ohio resident (50% of the time anyway...)  It seems that news has spread all the way to the land without electricity, (except for maybe the occasional electric guitar)!  Kim Jong Chol is a big fan too.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

This Is The Coach Groves All Of Us Love

Coach Groves certainly has his share of detractors, especially among the Administrative Class.  His near weekly trips to the Athletic Department Heads are legendary.  But among his former student-athletes, the love is nearly universal.

Here's another reason to champion his legacy! Both started in 1968. Barriers broken for all.

Even I listened to the Good Witch Doctor once in a while!

Coach Groves Visits The Post Sykes-Sabock Challenge Social

I missed Coach Groves at last week's meet, but the alums visiting the Alumni Social got the opportunity to share a beer with him this week.  An open bar attracts the finest Track Alumni Golfers! Photos by Tim Backenstose.

The Shislers, Greg Fredericks and Mark Hawkins with Coach.

Hanging with the ladies at his lounge chair at the track!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Physics Update: This Anti-Science Protester Shut Down The Most Expensive Physics Lab In The World

"The Large Hadron Collider is the largest and most complex machine in the world, but it only took one adventurous weasel to shut it down in November of last year. The unfortunate fellow jumped over a substation fence and was hit by 18,000 volts of electricity. Now, its stuffed corpse is on display at the Rotterdam Natural History Museum."

I want to know several things:

  1. Are there any anti-weasel contingencies in place now?
  2. Does the critter have a name?
  3. Who saved the weasel carcass for future display?
  4. Will anti-weasel contingencies work against beavers?
  5.  Couldn't a proper action pose have been used for display?
  6. Can Ron Moore opine about his similar experiences at the Tevatron?

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Nittany Lions Mix It Up With The Greats In The Days Of Yore

Our exalted Chief Laundry and Morale Officer sent these 2 pics for us to present to the masses!  I appreciate all submissions to the blog with it all!

Ken Wynn tucked in behind James Robinson!

James Robinson was a two-time Olympian and was a member of the thwarted 1980 team with Greg Fredericks. He was the top US 800M runner for a full decade from the mid-70s to the mid-80s.

Larry Mangan (4) leading Steve Ovett (11) and others in Birmingham, England.
Steve Ovett was the workingman's alternative to the royal Sebastian Coe in the middle distance scene in the 70s and early 80s.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Two Giants Enter A New Phase

First, Ryan Hall ran his last marathon, and possibly his last race, last week.  He completed the World Marathon Challenge, 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days, for a charity.  While he was relatively unprepared for the ordeal compared to his days of 2:04:58 marathons, he soldiered on anyway.
One of those highly successful people was the great marathoner Ryan Hall, who holds the American record for the marathon at 2:04:58. Now retired from competition, Hall accepted an invitation from Pastor Matthew Barnett to run the challenge in order to raise funds for The Dream Center, a non-profit care center in downtown Los Angeles.
And every streak must end.  Mine ended after 5.6 years, but Ron Hill happened to beat that by a factor of more than ten, 19,032 days (52 years, 39 days).  His streak ended on Sunday when he had chest pain and staggered home for his 1 mile run in 16:00!

"It is great sadness that I have to report the end of my streak," said Dr. Hill in an statement to Streak Runners International (SRI). "I have been having heart problems and have been waiting for some time now to have the problem diagnosed and hopefully rectified. 1 Mile runs have not helped and on Saturday 28th January I ran my last 1 Mile. After less than 400 metres my heart started to hurt and over the last 800 metres the problem got worse and worse. I thought I might I die but just made it to 1 mile in 16 minutes and 34 seconds. There was no other option but to stop. I owed that to my wife family and friends plus myself."

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