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...

Friday, March 31, 2017

It's Good To Have Penn State Track Backing From Those Above

You may not recognize him, but Robert "Snid" Snyder just had the lead in The Valley of Harrisburg's Passion Play.  I think the beard is coming off soon and we will all recognize him again.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Throwback Thursday With An Update

From an anonymous source I have results from the always welcome Dogwood Relays back in 1980.  Dogwood was always the beginning of Outdoor Track and a great respite from the cold weather track workouts in University Park (or Westerly Parkway Junior High in 78 and 79!).

Of note are great performances from 2 of my great friends that day...

Jim "Noisy" Clelland with a splendid early season 14:10 5K to win the Open race (with Charlie McGuire not far back!)  and Mike Wyatt with a second in the Invitational 1500M in 3:44.05!  PSU was also second in the 6000M Relay to Georgetown (with John Gregorek and Kevin Byrne) in 15:14.86.  (Not sure who was on that squad, but Larry Mangan, Tom Rapp, Bob Snyder and Alan Scharsu were among those available at the time.  Does anyone have the info on that?)

And another old school activity back in the day was running races in costume.  Nobody did that better than Philadelphia's Gary Fanelli, who ran some great times dressed as a NY Met and a Blues Brother!

Elwood Blues (the one with the harmonica) in Paradise.
 Well, original Penn State Track Alumni Golfer Bill Malchano replicated the feat recently in a half-marathon.  He relates he wasn't in good enough shape for a real race so he wanted to have a little fun.  By the looks of things, he did!

Bill Malchano.  (I remembered the "a" again Bill!)
Now let's ask him about the chafing!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Why Does This Guy Keep Talking About Dogs?

Well, because they are God's greatest gift to Man.  And my dog leads the Dog Division of Ken Cooper's Bracket Challenge!  That's why.

Among the people in our group, very few are near the top, which somehow consists of mostly 8th graders and under!  We should really be hanging our heads in shame.

  • Darryl Jones in 13th (with nowhere to go from there!)
  • Tyler McCandless in 16th (with a little wiggle room...)
  • Brian Boyer in 17th (and stuck in the mud!)
  • Michael Gross in 32nd (with all four tires off!)
None of these people can win, either.

Which brings me to the feel-good story of the day!  Spott Moskowitz has steadily risen in the ranks with each round, and although he cannot win it all, he has solidified his dominance of the newest Dog Division of the Tourney.

  • Spott Moskowitz in 36th (with North Carolina to win)
  • Thomas Bernard Roth in 56th
  • Kierrun O'Brien in 76th
  • Bo Quinn in 145th
  • Champer Morse in 150th
  • Faither Morse in 156th 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

PSU Is 800U: Early Spring 1983 Edition

From State College Emmaus* native Paul McGlauglin comes this great photo of an 800M workout early in the Spring of 1983.  It shows most of the group that went on to win the Championship of America 4x800M at the Penn Relays later in April, Coach Groves' first ever.

That's Paul McGlauglin leading the troops, with Mike Cook, Ken Wynn and Tom Walchuck right behind.

How many of us remember those early season workouts buffeted by the winds that the 2-foot high pine trees couldn't quite block on the backstretch?

Addendum:  The 2017 edition of early season 800U News: Dom Perretta won his first outdoor 800M in Arizona at the Big Ten/Pac 12 Challenge!   Way to go Dom! 

*Errors in fact are a feature, not a bug of our site.  So,  shut up!  hee hee hee  (Thanks to Paul for the correction.)

Saturday, March 25, 2017

March Madness Continues To Go To The Dogs

Artist's Conception.

For years now, I have relegated the choices of March Madness bracket picks to my four-footed furry friends.  First was the original Spot Moskowitz, the feistiest dog any of us have ever known.  Spot was a true stray dog in the neighborhood, living outside for many months.  It took a half of a chicken as bait and a real "dog whisperer" to capture him with a big butterfly net and blanket.  It took me 2 years until I could touch him and 3 years until I could pick him up.  But he loved being part of the menagerie in our house and had his own bed next to ours which he loved with every one of his 5 pounds.  There is nothing like the true love an adopted dog will give you, even if it takes awhile to shed their fears from the past.

The original Spot Moskowitz. The always on leash because we couldn't touch him!

The next Spott Moskowitz inherited the duties once Spot passed on.  He may not be the best basketball prognosticator but he is currently in the lead of the 5-dog division in Ken Cooper's Bracket Challenge!  (Two more dogs have been identified in the field and they are now an official division!)    

 Place                 Name                 Points
          77                 Moskowitz, Spott                     55
         113                Roth, Thomas Bernard             52
         136                O'Brien, Kierrun                       49
         148                Morse, Champer                       45
         155                Morse, Faither                          34

Overall, certified Track Alumni Golfers in the top 25 are:

  • Tyler McCandless
  • Brian Boyer
  • Matt Groves
  • Darryl Jones
  • Michael Gross
  • Che Arosemena

Friday, March 24, 2017

Share Some Beers (Or Not) With Fellow Alums

I am sending off my check today to Harry Smith for the upcoming Penn State Track and Field Alumni Reunion and Coach Groves Golf Tourney.  And you should too!

Help spread the word to those who haven't been exposed to the blog with it all by sharing this post via the various internetty  vehicles.

Here is the post that explains it all:

Even I have some beer at the Reunion!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Outdoor Track Season Begins

Sun Angel Stadium
Tempe, Ariz.
Friday, March 244:00 p.m ET
LIVE Results | Meet Schedule
Saturday, March 255:30 p.m. ET
LIVE Results | Meet Schedule

The Nittany Lions are on their way to Tempe for the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge.  Remember last year when the Lions started the year out strong?  And in some ways, the Mens team and the Womens team are both improved from last year!

LAST YEAR'S PAC-12/BIG TEN CHALLENGEPenn State track & field wrapped up their outdoor debut at the 2016 Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge hosted by Arizona State with the Big Ten conference grabbing the win on both sides while Penn State finished second and third amongst the men's and women's Big Ten competition, respectively.The Nittany Lions used a beautiful day in the desert to turn in several strong performances and PR's en route to finishing the meet with 32 top-eight marks and 12 top-three finishes over the weekend including a then-NCAA leading men's 4x100-meter relay that stands as the No. 3 mark in program history at 39.92 seconds.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Another Kung Pao Post Prior To The Beginning of Outdoor Season!

The world's greatest dish isn't just a tasty entree, it also has a fine backstory.  Or two....

From philoskitchen.com
The first version of the story tells of the Sichuan governor wander the region dressed up like a farmer to understand better the real needs of his people. After an intense day’s walk, Ding Bao decided to stop to have a dinner in a small and simple inn. Watching the modesty of the place where he was, the expectation of the Governor were very small. But, once the dish arrived on the table, and he tried on the first bite, he changes his mind immediately: the skepticism turned into astonishment! Ding Bao was so pleased of that spiced and creamy chicken sauté to hire the cook of the inn as his personal chef.

 The second tale narrates of a young Ding Bao drowning in a river of the Sichuan region, and of a man diving into the water, and saving the future governor. Years later, Ding Bao went to seeking out the man he owed his life. Thankful for this visit, the man invited the Governor to dine with his family, preparing what it would become the Kung Pao chicken. Also in this version of the story, Ding Bao was so impressed by the dish to hire the man immediately as his personal chef!

KUNG PAO CHICKEN RECIPE & HISTORY - all you need to know!

Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Chinese
Serves: 4
  • 2 Lb (900 g) chicken thighs or breast
  • 1/3 cup (50 g) dried peanuts (western version: roasted peanuts)
  • 12 spring onions
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp ginger root, grated
  • 6 tbsp peanuts oil
  • 1 cup (235 g) chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp dark rice vinegar (western version: white vinegar)
  • 6 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 6 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp Shaoxing Chinese cooking wine (western version: Sherry)
  • 10 whole dried Chinese chili peppers
  • 1 tbsp Sichuan pepper (western version: black pepper)
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
    First, combine 4 tbsp of dark soy sauce, and 4 tbsp of light soy sauce, and 4 tbsp of Chinese cooking wine (Shaoxing Hua Diao), then whisk. Now, add 1 tbsp of sifted cornstarch and whisk until consistent without any lumps. Finally, cut the chicken into dices and pour them into the sauce. Wrap the bowl and store in the fridge 30 minutes.
    If you opt for roasted peanuts, just skip this step. Otherwise, pour the peanuts oil into a wok and place over medium/high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoky, fry the peanuts until golden brown, stirring frequently. Once ready, raise the peanuts from the oil and dry over paper towels. Save the peanuts oil for the next step.
    Peel the cloves of garlic and crush them lightly maintaining their shape. After that, combine 2 tbsp of dark soy sauce, and 2 tbsp of light soy sauce, and 2 tbsp of grated ginger root, and 1 tsp of brown sugar. Now re-heat the oil in the wok and saute the garlic until pale golden. After that, add the Sichuan pepper and Chinese chili peppers. Stir-fry a couple of minutes more, then add the soy and ginger mixture. Cook about 5 mins more.
    Divide the white part of spring onions from the green part. After that, cut the white parts in half. Reduce a few of green stems into rounds, just to obtain 2 tbsp of greens.
  5. Now, pour the chicken, and marinate, and white parts of the spring onions into the Kung Pao sauce. Stir-fry the chicken 8 mins over high heat, adding the chicken broth a few tbsp at a time. The result have to be creamy, not watery. Finally, baste with dark vinegar and add the fried peanuts. Stir-fry 2 minutes more, then garnish with green onion rounds and serve hot.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Broken Brackets

Tyler McCandless has broken out into the lead in Ken Cooper's Bracket Challenge for bragging rights among Penn State Track Alums.  But his staying power is in question as he has Louisville to win it all.  And that isn't going to happen!  So chances are Tyler will be hitting the Marathon Wall come the final round.  And he isn't alone...

Others from our cadre of regulars among Track Alumni Golfers near the top of the heap are, Jim Clelland (15th), Brian Boyer (16th), Zeb Stewart (18th), Darryl Jones (19th), Michael Gross (20th) and Mark Hawkins (21st).  Brian and Michael have Villanova to win it all (hee hee), Zeb has Duke (ha ha), Mark has Gonzaga, Jim has Arizona, and Darryl has Kansas.  So there will be new names on this list in the next rounds.

In the hunt for the tasty dog bone, Spott Moskowitz (68th) has moved up substantially over Bo Quinn (116th) in the Jack Russell Terrier ChallengeKierrun O'Brien (99th) is slightly ahead of Thomas Bernard Roth (106th).

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Brackets Going To The Dogs

The March Madness is ongoing.  Following the first round of action, several Track Alumni Golfers are near the top of the list.

  • Mark Haywood       28/32
  • Zeb Stewart             28/32
  • Mark Hawkins        27/32
  • Tyler McCandless   27/32
And there are several other dogs joining the first ever Jack Russell Terrier Challange.  Remember, these guys filled out their brackets without thumbs!  Cut them a break!

  • Thomas Bernard Roth    (St. Bernard)   26/32
  • Kierrun O'Brien    (mixed?)                     25/32
  • Spott Moskowitz  (Jack Russell)             23/32
  • Bo Quinn   (Jack Russell)                        21/32

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Still More Honors!

The middle distance corps has garnered even more individual honors in the final Big Ten Indoor Awards!

Big Ten Womens Freshman of the Year - Danae Rivers!

Big Ten Mens Track Athlete of the Year - Isaiah Harris!

And don't forget to make your arrangements for the Reunion and Golf Tourney!!!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Big Ten Outdoor Championship Tickets For Sale

Now that you signed up for the Reunion and Golf Tournament, you will need something to do on Friday before the Reception and Sunday for the Finals of the Meet.  So get your All-Session tickets for the whole Meet.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A Second Snow Day Means You Have Time To Respond Now For The Reunion And Golf Tourney During The Big Ten OutDoor Championships!

I'm back at work this AM, but not many people are trickling in for their foot problems.  I suppose many of you are milking the "Storm of the Millennium" for another day off work.  That means you have time to enter Ken Cooper's Bracket Challenge and also get your funds in to Event Coordinator and Keeper of the Cup Harry Smith for the Reunion and Golf Tourney Weekend.  Remember, this is to honor Coach Groves and there are a finite number of chances to share these with him.  We would all love to see you there.

And in a way to make those non-golfers and horrible golfers out there decide to join us on the links, here is my finest moment on the course from early in the tournament history.  I only had a handicap once in my golfing career and it was north of 30 (34, I think?).  So chances are, some of you that have never held a golf club before are actually a better golfer than I.  And if all you can do is putt, you can still be a valuable member of your foursome.  Take a chance, why don't you?

Here is Coach Groves putting first and showing me the line.  Paul Mundy and Nick K. cheer me on for the unexpected birdie!

And who can forget Coach Groves' speech that same year at his Retirement celebration at the Ashenfelter Complex?

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

God Gave Us A Snow Day So We Can Fill Out Our Brackets

Yes, it is that time again.  Time to enter Ken Cooper's Bracket Challenge!  And this year's battle will also be the setting for the first ever Jack Russel Terrier Match-Up.  My very own Spott Moskowitz will be up against Director of Fun's Bo Quinn If there are any other Jack Russells out there, you are invited too.
Mercedes, Bo and Teddy Quinn.
Spott Moskowitz in his natural habitat.

Welcome to the 23rd Annual Penn State XC/T&F March Madness Pool. 

Already the Cheeseheads are complaining about getting a lower seed than the U of Minnesota Gophers.  Suck it up and just play.

Congrats to Northwestern, who scored a ticket to the dance for the first time ever.  Can they make a run?

Everyone is in the Pool.  It is free and pride only.  Last year we had 149 people.  Feel free to include kids and pass along to other friends of Penn State. 

Picks due by tip off of first Thursday game.

Monday, March 13, 2017

This Gem Brings Me Both Joy And Shame

Our superb William and Mary Connection and current coach of Gettysburg High School, Brian Mount somehow dug up a gem of an article from the Centre Daily Times from the days before color was invented, 1978.

This article includes me and gives me both joy and shame at the same time.  As most of you know, I am not afraid to point out my poor performances whenever I can, but this one probably can't even be called one of them!  This was during my "great groin pull" (now known in medical circles as a high ankle sprain, I believe?) of 1978 from a stupid choice of fencing as a Phys ed class.  (I did end up taking second place in the class tournament with a superb 3-phase parry and thrust to win my Semi-Final and earn an "A" in the class. Can't remember the world renowned fencing coach who ran the class, but he said it was a great showing that last day.  So I got that going for me anyway.)

  • The mentions of great friends Ted Lyon, Jim Clelland, Kevin Kelly O'Brien, Pete Bortolotti, Brian Boyer, Gary Black and Tim Backenstose. Both Glenn Chumley and Mark Stephenson were friends, but I did not know them as well as the others.
  • Only the second race that I can confirm beating Gary Black.
  • The mention of my daughter's namesake and great friend Martha White (Collins) and Nittany Lion great Kathy Mills (Parker).
  • Again losing out to Kelly, Jim, and even Ted.  I swear I beat them some of the time, but no one ever produces evidence of those times!   hee hee hee
  • Placing right behind Glenn Chumley, An HALF-MILER!!!  Glenn was famous for running a 1:53 half on Wednesday at practice and then 1:55 for the meet on Saturday. (hee hee hee)  That, AND making the front page of the Collegian by streaking during a snow storm.  Coach could never prove it was him because the photo was from behind, but we all knew just by his running style.  One time years later, I saw him ahead of me jogging in Fairmount Park.  I caught up with him and it was certainly him.  I recognized him by his distinctive running style even after a few years.  Someone out there will comment on just what this was.  I can't seem to place it in words right now.  Anyway, Glenn, I tip my hat to you for beating me in an XC race.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Finishing Up With 3 More All-Americans

Danae Rivers again solidified her Freshman season as one for the ages in the first track event of the final day of competition at the NCAA Indoor Championships.  Having already run a heated prelim in the Mile and a leading 1200M leg in the Distance Medley Relay the night before, one would think she would be sluggish at the start of the Mile Saturday.

But you would be wrong, as Danae led the Mile in the early stages, obviously going for broke in the event with several favorites seeded ahead of her.  She held on and even had a very fine final 150M to place 3rd in the event!  That tops by one place for the best finish in the event in PSU history by a friend and great Nittany Lion Patty Murnane in 1982.  Time flies, Patty, but I remember those days like they were yesterday.

1.Karisa NELSONJRSamford4:31.24

2Elinor PURRIERJRNew Hampshire4:31.88

3Danae RIVERSFRPenn State4:33.89

And another All-American finish was accomplished by Triple Jumper Danielle Gibson, who bettered her 12th seed in the event with an 8th place finish, scoring one point for the Lions.  That gave the Women's team a tie for 10th place nationally with Stanford (where emeritus Energizer Lion Jess Riden now abodes).

8.Dannielle GIBSONSRPenn State13.23m (43-5 )

Finally, Isaiah Harris raced against the current Freshman sensation Emmanuel Korir of UTEP. Previously, Isaiah had eclipsed the 600M Collegiate record from Korir at the Penn State National meet where Casimir Loxsom had set the World's Best indoor mark of all time.

This time out, Isaiah ran a fine race but didn't have enough to stay with Korir at the finish, letting 2 others nip him at the wire.  His fourth-place finish was the best at the Indoor Championships since Loxsom's runner-up finish in 2012.

1.Emmanuel KORIRFRUTEP1:47.48

2Drew PIAZZASRVirginia Tech1:47.62

3Joseph WHITEJRGeorgetown1:47.79

4Isaiah HARRISSOPenn State1:47.94  

Two other events saw close-but-no-cigar attempts at All-American status. Tessa Barrett doubled back from her 5th place finish in the 5000M to place 10th in the 3000M. And the Mens 4 x 400M Relay squad finished in 10th also. Notable among the stats was a 45.72 split by Xavier Smith, my current favorite meme of the blog.

10. Tessa BARRETTSOPenn State9:16.50 

Penn State3:07.43

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Five New Nittany Lion All-Americans!

Tessa Barrett made good in her return to NCAA Championship action at the Indoor National Championships.  The Sophomore ran with the lead pack and finished in a fine 5th place, garnering 4 points for the Womens team.

1..Karissa SCHWEIZERJRMissouri15:19.14

2Erin FINNJRMichigan15:27.36

3Anna ROHRERSONotre Dame15:29.83

4Allie BUCHALSKIJRFurman15:41.69

5Tessa BARRETTSOPenn State15:42.29

And to finish the night, the Womens DMR team bettered their 10th place seed by finishing in 6th place.  Three more points for the Women! (Danae Rivers, Tichina Rhodes, Rachel Banks, Julie Kocjancic)






Penn State11:04.89

Friday, March 10, 2017

A Darn Good Way To Spend Spring Break!

I never went anywhere for Spring Break.  In fact, back in the day with a Term System, we never really had much of a break at all.  We kind of ended our Finals one week and then started classes again the next week for the next term.  And we kept going until the second week of June! 

Hence, when I see news reports of student's using their student loans on exotic vacations around the world, I cannot relate at all.  I certainly can be envious, but not relate to it in any way.

But a pretty good way to spend a Spring Break would be as a member of the top 16 in an Indoor Track and Field event in the nation.  Or one of their coaches getting honored!

Top 16 Penn Staters:
Tessa Barrett - 1st (5,000-meters) | 16th (3,000-meters) 
Danae Rivers - 3rd (Mile) 
Men’s 4x400-meter - 4th (Dan Chisena, Xavier Smith, Sam Reiser, Harris)
Isaiah Harris - 7th (800-meters)
Women’s DMR - 10th (Julie Kocjancic, Tichina Rhodes, Banks, Rivers
Dannielle Gibson - 12th (Triple Jump) 
Malik Moffett - 14th (200-meters) rhodes
Honored Coaches and Athletes:
John Gondak - Mid-Atlantic Womens Head Coach of the Year
Erin Tucker - Mid-Atlantic Mens Assistant Coach of the Year
Angela Recker -  Mid-Atlantic Womens Coach of the Year
Bryce Williams - Mid-Atlantic Field Athlete of the Year
Danae Rivers - Mid-Atlantic Track Athlete of the Year

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Our Official Physicist* Moved 7,000 Miles Away, But He Still Can't Shake Us!

Brian Boyer moved to Vienna, Austria to join the IAEA team several years ago. Yet he gets constant reminders of his Happy Valley roots by hiking the streets of his adopted town. And a hearty hello to Brian from me!

Yet another former Penn State XC teammate has his own street.   Tom Rapp 1981. Ironically O'Briengasse (Kevin Kelly O'Brien 1980) is a block away. Both in 21st District Vienna.  Zieglergasse (John Ziegler 1980) and Stemmerallee (Paul Stemmer 1977)  I knew of years ago.  Could be more.

 * Actually a nuclear engineer, but still smarter than us.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Sooooooo Close!

800U and Shot Put U were well represented at the USATF Indoor Championships in New Mexico over the weekend.

Rachel Fatherly placed 11th in the Shot Put, and Olympian Darrell Hill placed 4th in the Mens version of the event.

On the track, World Record Holder Casimir Loxsom was the favorite in the 600M, but couldn't quite catch his frequent competitor Erik Sowinski. It is a good sign that Cas had a better last 200M time than Erik. His strength training is starting to show results!  It is notable that Shaquille Walker and Donavan Brazier placed 3rd and 6th behind him.

A little disappointed.

Casimir Loxsom
Pl: 5
Pl: 5
Pl: 2

In the 1000M, Brannon Kidder ran a very strong second place but couldn't close on the winner, Clayton Murphy.  Again, it is notable that Olympian Robby Andrews was well back in the field

Brannon Kidder

Pl: 7
Pl: 7
Pl: 7
Pl: 3
Pl: 2

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Founder Clark Haley Has Done All The Work. Be Sure To Thank Him!

16th Annual Harry Groves Golf Outing / Track and Field Alumni Gathering –
In case you have not been following the Blog or the Penn State Track and Field Alumni Golf Facebook site, here’s                    the agenda for the Weekend (awaiting response from Coach Gondak about tickets if interested in sitting at the track):
FRIDAY’S (MAY 12th) EVENTS:                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
Big Ten Meet begins – Tailgate on the hill of the backstretch (need volunteers to park some cars up there on Thursday Night or early Friday to secure the sight!) – Rain pretty moves that to another setting
Meet and greet at the Ramada (1450 South Atherton Street) from 7:00pm – 11:00pm (814) 238-3001
Picking of the foursomes, 50-50, Putting contest (prepping for the next day), Texas Hold ‘em Tourney (will start at 9:00 and limited to the first 20 players registering - $25 entry, 50/50 pot between winner and fund)
Will be a bar crawl afterwards – destinations TBD… 

The Alumni run will start at the LION by Rec hall at 9:oo am (because of the Big Ten track meet) for anyone interested in a short jog or a loop around campus. 

The Golf outing will be held at the Mountain View Country Club (old Elks Club) again this year with the putting contest taking place at 11:15 followed shortly thereafter with the golf outing beginning at 12pm.  Those not golfing, we usually have a group gathering to hike Mt. Nittany or take a campus tour.  Meeting spot and tour guide to be announced, usually meet at high noon in the hotel lobby.

Social gathering with current team members at the Pegula Club Level 7:00-8:00 we need to be out around 7:50 so they can have their team dinner.
6:30 – 11pm Dinner and awards ceremony for golf outing – dinner at 8:00 for those returning from Pegula 
We have a block of rooms reserved (under the Harry Groves Golf outing or the Penn State Track and Field alumni) at the Ramada for $75 / night (1450 South Atherton Street (814) 238-3001)  which will only be held until May 5th. 

The fees this year will be - $175 for those attending the outing and the receptions – the “loan strapped graduate rate” (anyone graduating from 2011-16) will be $125.  If you choose to attend the Friday night function alone, the fee will be $35 – Saturday alone, $55.  Costs for those with children (under 18) attending the reception(s) - $10 on Friday night and $20 on Saturday.  Family members / Significant others / Friends with benefits (!), joining you on the course will be charged $100 (includes golf and receptions).  If you’re planning only to golf, the fee will be $100.  If you’re planning to golf and only attend Saturday’s function, your fee will be $150.  Any scenario I’ve missed, pay whatever (as I’m sure I’ve probably missed 13 other scenarios)…

This event is open to men, women, and friends of PSU alumni - the more the merrier!  This is all about the laughs, not scores, and you have three other hackers to laugh at so don’t worry about how bad your game may be! 

The membership committee of Dave Baskwill, Harry Smith, Brian Fuller, Artie Gilkes and Ken Brinker have all graciously agreed to accept your ideas / complaints for the upcoming event – so feel free to yell at them for whatever reason you’d like!    Contributions for the Harry Groves Endowment fund, the track and cross country program, or the golf outing are gladly accepted!
Please send checks or money orders to:
            Harry Smith
            508 Washington Avenue
            Elyria, OH  44035

If you should have any other questions or comments, please let me know – Hope to see you this year!     
Clark Haley ‘85

Friday, March 3, 2017

Ten Questions: PSU Is 800U Edition (Part 1?)

 As most of you know, the 800M is my favorite event in Track and Field.  I wasn't particularly good at it, with a PR in high school of 1:58.4 for the 880Y, but I won all those I ran in my Senior year except the last one I let a teammate win for his only event win of his career. And even though my interest in the other events is constantly expanding, I still fall back on the event as a meme on the blog. It's easy with the perennial excellence of the middle distance runners in recent years at PSU.

Recently I have tried to reintroduce the 10 Questions Posts to the blog without much success.  My recent efforts have centered around asking the same 10 Questions to PSU middle distance runners of varying ages and decades.  I have heard back from some of the Honorary Members of 800U also, but not their responses to the questions.  I think the answers will be of great interest to those who share my love of the event.

The first to respond is Ryan Foster, the new Head Cross Country Coach of the Edinboro Fighting Scots of the great Division II PSAC.  Ryan and wife Kara (Millhouse) Foster are both Assistant Track Coaches. Ryan's running pedigree is well known to most of us, but my favorite highlight is the first Tasmanian to ever run under 4:00 for the mile! Take that devils!

With the end of his first successful season, Ryan took the time to respond in great detail to the questions that  both PSU Outdoor Mile Record Holder Larry Mangan and I (PSU record holder for the most "strawberries and bananas cups" ever eaten in the dining hall for dessert in one sitting!) asked.

My extreme thanks to him for responding, and both of us are throwing down the gauntlet to the others in the queue to respond also.

 800M Questions: 

1. What was your hardest and your favorite workout ever? (Larry Mangan question) 
Hardest and favorite would be 1x800m… outside of that, I always enjoyed The Ladder (3x200, 2x300, 400, 2x300, 3x200, with 90sec rec). Hardest was 3000m of 200 in 30sec, 100 in 20sec. Only did that one once and it was a bit of a flop. 

2. What 200M in an 800M race was your focal point? (Larry Mangan question) 
All important for different reasons. Probably from 300 to 500. It always felt the longest from home because I was starting to feel the pinch and had to focus on staying relaxed. Once I got into the last 300 it was just counting off the distance until it was done. 

3. Describe your training in your best season from base to peak? (Larry Mangan question) 
Around 60 miles a week. Substantial amount of work at mile pace. Most workouts finished with some type of speed component. Nothing overly complex but consistent and aerobic focused. 

4. What workout was the most common during your training? 
The Ladder (see above) 

5. What aspects of training other than running do you feel was most important, and why? 
I lifted a lot before getting to PSU and I feel that the residual strength from that was why I was more successful in the 800 as a sophomore. As a coach, I fit lifting into the schedule as I think the more explosive and more athletic you are the better. 

6. Who were your idols or mentors in Track and Field (Athletics)?
Growing up I was a big Hicham El Guerrouj fan. I remember tearing up when he finally won in Athens. “The greatest never to the greatest ever” was how Bruce McAveny called it. My high school coach Max Cherry was my number one mentor. He was a Percy Cerutty disciple and followed a lot of Cerutty’s ideas closely. It was a holistic, self-sacrificing approach that was the foundation that I’ve really built off of ever since (in training and life). 
7. Is there anything you would change about your training if you had the opportunity to live it all over again? 
Sure. Maintaining the lifting routine I had before PSU. Maybe wait another year before moving up to the 1500m/mile. A few more race model workouts to work on kicking harder and later. Who knows though. It’s easy to look back in training and see areas to improve but the reality is you just don’t know if it would be better or worse. I’m happy with what I achieved. 

8 . How do you see training for the 800M changing in the future? 
I’m not sure. Training is always changing with new fads. Coaches tend to try and pull from what the best performing athletes are doing at the time. I don’t always think that what is good for the goose is good for the gander so the way I coach athletes won’t change drastically. 

9. In the entire history of Track and Field (Athletics), who do you admire the most? 
Herb Elliott. He did it all and then had the balls to walk away on top. That’s an incredibly difficult thing to do. 

10. Other than Track and Field (Athletics), what other sport would you have excelled in? 
I was a good field hockey player. I think I could be a solid Australian Football player in the current game. It’s become a lot more running based so would suit someone like me.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Big Ten Awards

Coach John Gondak again was named the Big Ten Womens Indoor Track and Field Coach of the Year.  It gives me great pleasure is seeing him honored, as he has been with our group from his very first days as an assistant coach.  He is also a very good golfer!

One special note of award grabbed my attention and gives me faith in the goodness of Man and the goodness of the Penn State Track family.

I have especially noted the achievements of Xavier Smith during this Track season and he has been named my choice as Performer of the Meet several times.  But seeing him named as both a First Team Big Ten member and Sportsman of the Year by the Big Ten makes me especially proud to be a Nittany Lion!  Not only is he an excellent competitor and now School Record Holder, but he also has demonstrated and been honored for good academic standards and good citizenship outside the world of track and field.  Congrats Xavier, I am a big fan.  Always continue to elevate the standards to which all the rest of us Lions aspire.

Other Honors:

First Team
Rachel Banks, Penn State
Dannielle Gibson, Penn State
Julie Kocjancic, Penn State
Tichina Rhodes, Penn State
Danae Rivers, Penn State
Xavier Smith, Penn State
Dan Chisena, Penn State
Samuel Reiser, Penn State
Isaiah Harris, Penn State
Second Team
Tessa Barrett, Penn State
Megan McCloskey, Penn State
Alyssa Robinson, Penn State
Bryce Williams, Penn State
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