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, October 30, 2017

A Weekend Without Football

My observation that the Nittany Lions always play better when I don't watch them was given a setback of sorts this weekend.  I spent the day in a practically empty State College with theam away in Columbus.  Almost no one had awakened by 11:00am as I arrived on campus.

My superstition against watching, (I didn't even listen!) so as to promote a win ALMOST worked for the 11th time in a row.  I find it amusing that although the Lions dropped 5 places in the polls, they rose in the Sagarin Computer Rankings to 3rd from 6th or 7th.  They now reside less than 1 point below Ohio State, which seems to me to be an accurate reflection of reality.

My jaunt around campus was rewarded with a plate of Kung Pao at the HUB Panda Express!

I think that's Hanna Humprey's dad on the mural fishing.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Layers And Layers Of PSU Track Alumni Golfers

“They worked so hard, and they ran gutsy races…it came together at the right time.”
-Mark Haywood.

Our efforts here at the Blog With It All are partially to unite Penn State T&F/XC athletes across multiple decades who otherwise might not know each other.  But then sometimes, other events intervene to bring them together without any efforts on my or the Interns part!  (Even though Mark Haywood and Tim Johnson already knew each other.)

Like when the reporter covering the District 3 XC Championships gets to interview the winning coach of the Class A Girls race... 

Very proud to know both of them, who are among the rest of my PSU Track Alumni (Golfer) family.  The finest people the world produces BTW.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Fit For Fritz: A Guest Post From The Team

The recent story about the near miraculous finding of Fritz Spence's ring by a friend and co-worker at my surgery center has expanded the reach of the blog to a new audience and become the biggest post in the last year.

But behind it all is the miracle and good news of Fritz Spence himself.  Megan McCloskey, a current high jumper for the Nittany Lions is spearheading the efforts to help other families that find themselves in situations that Fritz has now faced twice.

My name is Megan McCloskey, and I am a senior high jumper on the Penn State Track & Field team. I am reaching out to you all to share some information on PSUTF’s main fundraiser each year, Fit For Fritz. If you still keep up with the team, you may be familiar with these fundraising efforts for our beneficiary, The American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge.

Back in December 2008, Coach Fritz Spence (Women’s Jumps & Multis) was diagnosed with leukemia. After receiving treatment, and remaining cancer free for almost 5 years, Coach Spence relapsed in July of 2013. At this time, PSUTF athletes came together to help raise money for Coach Spence and his family. This ultimately became known as the Fit For Fritz Walk-a-Thon. This fundraiser meant everything to the Spence family during their difficult time.

Along with the help of the track & field team, the Hershey Hope Lodge provided Coach Spence and his family a place to stay for free while he was undergoing treatment.  Today, Coach Spence is healthy and looking to give back and help out others who are going through what he and his family went through. This is why we continue Fit For Fritz as an annual event, 4 years later.

We have 2 main goals for Fit For Fritz:
    1) Raise money for our beneficiary, The American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge, in Hershey PA  We raised $11,700 last year. Our goal this year is $13,000.
    2) Get students and community members registered for the bone marrow registry through our partner, Be The Match.

Our 5th Annual Fit For Fritz event will be held November 5, 2017 from 11am-3pm at the indoor track. As part of this event, we will be hosting a 1 mile community walk, along with fitness challenges, karaoke, raffles, and more. We invite you to join us that day and help us support such an honorable and important cause. You can register for the walk through this link: https://goo.gl/forms/ajgfn96TFYsCShlb2 (no registration fee -- just suggested donation!)

If you are unable to attend, but would still like to show your support, we encourage you to visit our donation website, where you can make a general donation to the event, or donate under a current PSUTF athlete's page (by clicking on the list of participants in blue).

For more information on Fit For Fritz, check out our website, where you can read Coach Spence’s story, which he wrote himself.

Please also feel free to follow Fit For Fritz on social media, through the following links:
    our Twitter account 
    our Facebook page
We are very excited about Fit For Fritz this year, and hope you will help us make a difference for individuals and families battling cancer.

Thanks so much!

Megan McCloskey

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Penn State Track Alumni (Golfer) Dominates PSAC XC

It turns out that Austin Pondel had an extra year of eligibility remaining and found himself a home near his childhood home at Edinboro University being coached by another Penn State Track and Field Alumnus, Ryan Foster!

Austin won last week's PSAC Championship at California, PA, helping his team place second overall.

Austin Pondel.

There is a fund raising underway to help continue the great work Ryan, Kara and Austin are doing for Edinboro.  Consider giving at least a little to spread the good word of PSU XC!

Edinboro XC.

Coaches Kara and Ryan Foster.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

We Shouldn't Be Here: A Long Overdue Physics Post With A Spinal Tap Connection

I have been remiss in not having the requisite amount of Physics content on this PSU/Track/Physics/Golf Blog.  Turns out that even the Brainiacs at the CERN Supercollider can't figure out why the Big Bang led to the Universe. (My bet is on the thumb of God!) So let's get right to it...

And a surefire way to crash the Internet is to post Stephen Hawking's Doctoral Thesis for all to read.

And when Stephen Hawking needed protection from bullies at St. Albans Boarding School in England, he ended up offering Tony Hendra math homework for protection.  Tony Hendra ended up as a bigwig at National Lampoon and as the Manager of the rock group Spinal Tap.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

A Decent Weekend

I traveled to suburban Philly on Friday for a 12 Hour stint in the JTP.  Twelve hours in Jenkintown and 3 trips to the best convenience store experience in the nation, WaWa!

I was there to visit another Penn State Branch Campus, Penn State Abington.  Which happens to be undergoing a Renaissance in Cross Country under head coach Jim McClernand.  Jim happens to be a friend of Hugh Hamill since their 3rd grade year in the Suburban Philly environs.  They ran for the powerhouse Father Judge teams in a time before they invented color photos!  hee hee hee

Coach Jim McClernand with Daughter the Younger.

PSU Abington XC, 2nd at the Immaculata Invitational.
And in other Track Alumni News, Coach Ryan Foster backed up his victory in the Kilted Mile with a victory for the Edinboro Fighting Scots in the Womens PSAC Championships over Shippensburg.  The Mens team perfomed well, finishing second.

Ryan Foster, right and Kara Foster, 2nd from left.
And in that other weekend event, everyone needs to thank me for not watching at all, as that ensured the great performance.  I think it is now 11 times in a row that my watching or not watching correlated directly with the performance of the team.  I will be taking donations to ensure I don't watch the next one in Columbus.  Any takers?

An effective use of the Alumni T-Shirt by Bob Hudson.  With Hanna Humphreys, Vivian Riddick and Todd Leggett.

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: http://www.gopsusports.com/sports/c-lionclub/varsity-s-club.html

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...

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