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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...

Friday, September 8, 2017

A Couple Of Mirthful Running-Related Items

Blog Central is on the move again!  This time I will come within a couple of hundred meters of the stadium for the Pitt game, as I visit with Don and Lynn Ziter at their tailgate. Hope to see some other Track alums in a mirthful mood.

But first, here's a bizarre item I will not be duplicating...

And we all remember Rob Whiteside's conquering of the Appalachian Trail last year.  Now the overall unofficial record has been set by someone totally unsupported!  "Stringbean" is a former cross-country runner from Boston College who already has the record at the Pacific Crest Trail.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

I Would Never Hurt This Dog Even If You Don't Donate To Coach Groves' Scholarship Fund!!

This was the second most popular cover for National Lampoon back in the day when humor had broader leeway than we have today.  Imagine the uproar if a theatre tried to show Blazing Saddles today!

But please consider donating to the cause to fully fund a full-tuition scholarship in Coach Groves' name for a future PSU Trackster.  And don't forget to check with your employer about whether they will match your efforts! Thanks to Mark Wimmer for pointing this out.

Also for everyone to note, your donation can be used as your yearly Nittany Lion Club donation, so you can earn NLC points with your pledge.  The GIXGH code can be used to allocate your NLC donation to the Groves Scholarship.  Be sure to see if your company will match your donation as that is an easy way to double the amount the scholarship receives - Mark Wimmer.

Please send donations made payable to: Penn State University, noting the Harry Groves Track/XC Scholarship (GIXGH) in the memo portion of your check, at 147 Bryce Jordan Center, University Park, PA 16802. If you have any questions, please call Kirk Diehl of the Varsity S Club at 814-867-2202.

 If you would like to give online, you may do so at: and then type in GIXGH in the fund area below the amount you select.
Thank you

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Let's All Finish Coach Groves' Scholarship

We are close enough to get it finished before Coach Groves' next birthday in April and certainly before the next Track Alumni Reunion and Coach Groves Golf Tournament!

Co-Administrator Larry Mangan has spearheaded the effort to find donors willing to match every donation made by the rest of us and complete the funding of a full tuition scholarship for an athlete in the Program.

So that means each of us must step up to make it happen.  Every single donation you make will be matched by 13 special members of our group up to a level of $2500.  We must not let this opportunity slip by.  Please consider adding to the effort, share this post and spread the word to everyone you know in our Universe.  It will make our next get-together a real hootenanny and bring a smile to Coach Groves' face!

Our Premier Benefactors
  • Joe DeStefano  (1971)
  • Carol and Steve Gentry  (1969)
  • Hugh and Yunhee Hamill  (1976)
  • Chris Herr  (1985)
  • Doug Kent  (1980)
  • Todd Leggett  (1984)
  • Larry Mangan  (1981)
  • Todd Shenk  (1984)
  • Rod Stahl  (1991)
  • Bob Radzwich  (1992)
  • Tom Shiffer  (1987) 
  • Doug Walter  (1990)
  • Don and Lynn Ziter  (1981)
September 5, 2017

Dear Fellow Track & Field/Cross Country Alumni:

We hope you had an enjoyable summer and are getting ready for the upcoming 2017-2018 Penn State Cross Country and Track & Field seasons. The women’s and men’s programs are perennial B1G favorites, fueled by spectacular individual accomplishments and a great coaching staff. Based on the turn out for the 2017 Big Ten Championships in May, the alumni are really energized and engaged.

The alumni listed below, from a variety of decades in Penn State history and a mix of walk-ons and scholarship athletes, are hoping to capture that energy by taking the lead and asking you to join them to meet a challenge! Coach Harry Groves’ scholarship fund needs approximately $55,000 in donations to exceed the $300,000 necessary to partially endow the position scholarship, which would provide $15,000 in annual tuition support to a student athlete.

The challenge is this – we have pledged to support Coach Groves’ scholarship in the amount of $30,500 to match alumni contributions of that amount (hopefully more)! We ask you to donate what you can in support of our goal to get Coach’s scholarship over the $300,000 hurdle! We are in the homestretch, can you help to get us over the finish line?

Coach will turn 88 in April 2018 and we would love to present him with an early birthday present, and add to his great legacy, before the end of this year. We know from Greg Fredericks that Coach is excited about this effort. Please join us in meeting this very important goal. Thank you and We are…..Penn State!

Please send donations made payable to: Penn State University, noting the Harry Groves Track/XC Scholarship (GIXGH) in the memo portion of your check, at 147 Bryce Jordan Center, University Park, PA 16802. If you have any questions, please call Kirk Diehl of the Varsity S Club at 814-867-2202.

If you would like to give online, you may do so at: and then type in GIXGH in the fund area below the amount you select.
Thank you.

Joe DeStefano (’71) Carol & Steve Gentry (’69) Hugh & Yunhee Hamill (‘76) Chris Herr (’85)
Doug Kent (’80) Todd Leggett (’84) Larry Mangan (’81) Todd Shenk (’84)
Rod Stahl (’91) Bob Radzwich (’92) Tom Shiffer (’87) Doug Walter (’90)
Don & Lynn Ziter (’81)

Monday, September 4, 2017

He Puts The Labor In Labor Day

I learned a new thing today when I took Daughter the Younger to Gettysburg College for a prospective college student visit.  Turns out Private colleges like Gettysburg are in session as the rest of us contemplate hot dogs and hamburgers after sleeping in.

Among the bustling activities on this non-holiday for the Gettysburg inhabitants, was the activities of the Gettysburg College Admissions Staff, with Senior Director Darryl Jones in charge.  Getting a teammate hug at the beginning of the day from Darryl helped take the sting out of the tuition/room board numbers for next year.

All of you know I am prone to hyperbole at times, but I must say that Darryl is as good at his job as anyone I know on this planet.  His speech was a thing of beauty.  Honest, straight-forward and devoid of anything that could be called political correctness.  And I came out of there knowing that my daughter would be in the best of hands during the application process.

I have said before that PSU Track Alumni (Golfers) are the most interesting, intelligent and accomplished people I have ever met.  Darryl Jones is all of that, and more.  And even better, if my daughter decides to matriculate at Gettysburg, I know her hurdles coach!

Darryl Jones

Sunday, September 3, 2017

A Return To Heavy Metal

“I’m really looking forward to getting back to making some loud music and doing some long overdue live dates with the band.”
-Paul Souza 

Penn State's high jump record holder Paul Souza has reunited with Meliah Rage for its upcoming album and tour.  Paul was previously their lead vocalist in the early 2000's.  Although his PSU era long locks are replaced with a contemporary sophisticated slick sheen, the voice is still in top form.  Now if we could just get him to one of our reunions!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Blog Central On The Move

The mobile Blog Central made its way toward State College for the first weekend of the football season as the Nittany Lions prepare for their battle against the Blind Sisters of the Poor.  Most of you know I won't be at the game, but will be at a tailgate and then browsing the empty downtown State College during the game.

In addition I had the opportunity to eat Brother's pizza with Greg Fredericks and his wife Anne last night in beautiful downtown Centre Hall.  Blog Central is stabled at the Grange Fairgrounds with a sweet set-up with 30 amp and water service in a spacious flat site.  Showers, bathrooms and a shuttle service is available for transportation to the stadium.  A real good deal overall for $60/night.  And they are available all year round!

And I am now featured on their web site as the Nittany Lion was there to greet our arrival!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Another World Champion! Diamond League Victory

In a stunning final throw, 53 cm beyond his previous best, PSU's Darrell Hill won the Diamond League Final in Brussels on Thursday with a 22.44M toss.  That 73' 7 1/2", a PR and a fine way to pocket $50,000 and put an exclamation point on the season.  The Americans also finished in 2nd and 3rd with Ryan Crouser in 2nd and PSU's Joe Kovacs in 3rd!

We have seen him triple jump, but now the high jump?

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