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...

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Making Horror Movies Is Scary

Well, I finally did it!  I filmed a walk-on part in the latest horror movie from the great people at Darkstone Entertainment.

As way of history, I first got involved in the film making business when Steve Black related that he was in the teaser trailer for a remake of the "worst movie ever made".  It was filmed in Virginia, where Steve was a part-time actor appearing in numerous episodes on the Investigation Discovery Channel.   See if you can spot Steve running away from zombies!

My thoughts went back to those good ole summer days spent watching Dr. Shock bring us all the classic horror flicks from WPHL 17 Philadelphia in the early 70s.

One of those flicks was the monstrously cheaply made "Plan 9 From Outer Space" by the notorious Ed Wood.  To be able to be involved with a remake of the film meant to honor the previous director AND maintain the fun and humor of the whole thing, was an opportunity I couldn't pass up.  I invested just enough to become an Associate Producer on the film and get my name up on the big screen for the first time ever!

The film caused quite a stir in the horror movie world and was greeted with enough acclaim to ensure that Writer, Director John Johnson had an easier time with funding for his follow-up film, "The Dark Net".  I still invested in the film and was honored with a walk-on role as an Assistant to the Mayor of the beseiged town of Nilbog, with three lines of dialog!

Writer, Director John Johnson. Photo by Barb Black.

Waiting my turn to "shine" Photo by Barb Black.

Filmed on location in Buena Vista, Virginia. Photo by Bark Black.

Makeup artist and camerawoman Mariah Smith Johnson

Let's just say that I am not an actor.  I had "starred" in my Senior Class Play 41 years ago, but I have very little recollection of the whole thing.  I only messed one line up in three performances of the Peter Sellers Classic, "The Mouse That Roared".  Not so with this one, though...

They tell me the several takes are enough to piece together usable film. I don't know how?  I honestly wasn't nervous at all until the word "action" was spoken, and then I was a babbling, forgetful middle-aged podiatrist way out of his league.  Oh well, I did this in a homage to Steve Black, who would have made a very fine star in either of these films.  He's laughing at me now from above.

The Premiere of the film will be in June, with VOD and DVD sales to follow.  I will keep all of you up-to-date.   I have arranged a viewing in York with the Director following its first showing in Virginia.  Maybe a few lucky members of our group can make a party of it that day?  I will be in an uncharacteristically good mood.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

2018 Performance of the Year

Wow, it was a glorious year for Penn State Track and Field and all in our Alumni group.  To think that Darrell Hill's USATF Championship in the Shot Put garnered only third place with 13% of the vote this year is sorta kinda unbelievable.  The Big Guys have won the last several years, so I'm sure they won't be too upset.

And to think that an NCAA Championship in the Weight Throw came in second with 26% of the vote is equally astounding.  David Lucas stunned everyone except observant members of our group with his Herculean heave.

But the winner in a runaway was Isaiah Harris's long awaited NCAA Championship in the 800M with 49% of the vote.

PSU IS 800U! 

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Alumnus Of The Year

Our soon-to-be regular poster and current Blog Laureate Lawrence Mangan wrote this post on our Facebook Page, so I am reposting it here so everyone can see it. 

Person of the Year.

As another year draws to a close and we celebrate the very worthy athletic accomplishments of current and former Nittany Lions, I think it's important to recognize a very significant off-the-field/track performance. Ben Franklin said that nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes. But before this lovely thing called life slips from our grasp, some of us transition in varied ways. Our Coach is in such a transition, and one person from our ranks is honorably resolute in being his able guide. Despite the fact that he would deflect and be uncomfortable with such attention or any compliment, I nominate Greg Fredericks as our Person of the Year. If we had such an award, Greg would have won it for at least the past decade, maybe even as long as his 5K and 10K records have stood the test of time (46 years in case you just landed on this planet), and will get my nod for as long as he keeps hanging around being an all together fine human being.
David Foster Baskwill I apologize yet again for failing to post this on the Glob..Golb...Blog. It will be my New Years resolution to acquire the requisite skill set! For the rest of us, be sure to pay special attention to that older person in your community who may not have such a special guide. Maybe you could try to be like Greg.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Performance Of The Year 2018 Finals

That's right, FINALS!

There was a big decrease in nominations this year, possibly because of the quality of performances early in the year.  Regardless, there were ten nominations, so we will put them up to a vote all at once.

Please vote for your top 2 Performances this year!

Voting will end on Christmas Day.  Spread the word far and wide!

Vote for the Performance of the Year 2018 (Vote for 2)
David Lucas - NCAA National Champion  35 lb. Weight Throw.
Womens team makes it 4 top twenty finishes in a row NCAA XC.
Maddie Holmberg All-American NCAA Pentathlon.
Darrell Hill nominated for USATF Field Athlete of the Year.
Isaiah Harris - Sixth 800M Big Ten title in a row (Indoor and Outdoor).
Two Nittany Lions in the top 5 in the Shot Put and 2 in the top 8 in the Javelin at the USATF Championships.
All American David Lucas in the Discus.
Darrell Hill - USATF National Champion Shot Put.
All American Morgan Shigo Hammer Throw.
NCAA Championship in the 800M for Isaiah Harris.
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    Wednesday, December 12, 2018

    PSU Is 800U: World Record Edition!

    We have highlighted PSU's half-mile and 800M prowess many times, from the turn of the previous Century to this year's NCAA Championship.  But here's one I didn't know about.  And the greatest Track and Field Museum Curator Mike Fanelli, just dug up another one!

    Following the 1952 Olympics where Horace Ashenfelter set the world record in the 3000M Steeplechase, the team headed to Jolly Ole for a battle of Revolutionary importance.  The US team bested the Brits in a head-to-head matchup for all the marbles.

    In that crew was Horace's brother Bill on the 4 x 880y team.  And they won against the home team in a world record time of 7:29.2

    Thursday, December 6, 2018

    A Frivilous Post Just Because

    Paul Newman's self-professed favorite movie.  It gets better each time it is watched.  Written by a woman who's brother was a minor league hockey player.  The ultimate movie to explain what the '70s were really like.  And some people you probably know were extras in the movie.  Half of State College drove to Johnstown for the rink scenes.  I once dressed in the arena just below the Managers Office for the Johnstown 10K, my all-time 10K PR.  Even won a pair of shoes in the post race raffle.

    Tuesday, December 4, 2018

    Indoor Memories

    The more recent Nittany Lions have reveled in the glory that is the ultra-modern indoor track at the Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Complex.  But things weren't always so easy or beautiful like they are now!  Some of us toiled in what would now be called primitive conditions.  Somehow, we still had fun, learned things and excelled anyway.

    The world's greatest Track and Field Museum curator, Mike Fanelli, recently posted an old photo of a high school indoor meet in the 1960s.  It did not fail to get a rise out of many people, including our very own Chief Morale and Laundry Officer, Larry Mangan.  I just wish Larry would write these things down for the blog instead of making me steal them from the other intertubes!
    At Penn State my freshman year, we worked out on the "track" in the rafters (asbestos anyone?) of Rec Hall. That rectangular torture device basically had one and a quarter lanes. You did your recovery hugging the inside railing (yes, railing) while all types of sprinters and middle distance runners blazed by on your right as they completed their workouts. As your fatigue increased, your chances of weaving to the right increased, as did your chance of getting run over by Paul Lankford or Gary Schwartz (why was the throws coach running on that "track"?). We actually held an intrasquad meet on that damn medieval surface. Fortunately, Penn State's athletic administration, in all its glorious wisdom, moved us to the Greenberg Indoor Sport Complex, lovingly referred to as the Ice Palace. The surface of this unheated (yes, unheated in Central PA - wisdom) facility, which also had leaking skylights (yes, skylights in an unheated facility), was a hard, green, pebbled finish. Oh, and it was a flat, 13 lap to the mile circuit. The 20 meter straightaways provided a brief respite to everyone's screaming Achilles's tendons. My favorite part of the warm up was using our racing spikes to chip away the ice that formed on the track when the aforementioned skylights failed to hold their water. I would have much preferred to run outside on a creaky old board track.

    My favorite memory of the Rec Hall Intrasquad Meet was the 400M.  Each heat had two athletes who hated each other.  One or the other ended up "over the rails" or "into the wall" in every dual.  Highly entertaining for a skinny Freshman looking to survive the spike injuries and sore throat to come in his 2-mile race!

    Larry Mangan leads the Mile!

    And let's not leave out the Greenberg Complex, which we have dealt with before...

    Sunday, December 2, 2018

    Indoor Season Has Arrived

    Some Nittany Lions saw their first action of the season at the Bison Opener at Bucknell. The six total athletes combined for seven first places!

    But I am not here to bring you the particulars of that meet.  I would rather tout the opening season exploits of one of our very own.

    Phil Cararher opened his 30th-whatever season with the longest throw ever by a 49 year-old American!  His best put landed 50' 7.5" from the circle at the Appalachian State Open.  Well done, Big Guy. And he is looking for much more this season.

    Phil overseeing an athlete at his fitness facility.

    Sunday, November 25, 2018

    Something We May Have Never Seen Before!

    For what may be the first time ever, Penn State has had its recruiting class rated as the Number 1 team in the nation.  The Track and Field News is the source:
    And here's our rating of the year's top women's recruiting classes. The First 5: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
    There may be some exciting things ahead for all of us.

    1. Penn State

    It’s a rare haul for John Gondak as the Nittany Lions score a rare quadrifecta—including 2 No. 1s—of All-America talent: No. 1 quartermiler Alexis Holmes (51.21 HSL for No. 7 on the all-time list, plus 23.46), No. 1 putter Payden Montana (51-0 HSL, plus 164-11), No. 3 hammerer Gianna Rao (189-1) & No. 4 long jumper Breana Gambrell (20-4½/20-8½w). And for good measure, top 20 discus thrower Piper Klinger (160-0) as the Penn Staters make only their second First 5 appearance ever (they were previously No. 4 in ’03).

    America's #1 400M runner, Alexis Holmes.

    Monday, November 19, 2018

    NCAA Div I XC: Another Top 20 Finish

    That makes 4 top-20 finishes in a row for the Nittany Lion Women.  And that makes us one of only 8 teams that can claim that statistic!


    Saturday, November 17, 2018

    Some More Pics From The NCAA Regionals

    Greg Fredericks sent me some exclusive photos from his vantage point at the Meet.

    Alison Willingmyre
    The PSU 1, 2 Place Finishers.
    Turns out that Danae Rivers did not beat Alison Willingmyre at the Regionals, as Alison outleaned Danae at the finish.

    I can't wait to talk about the many races that Greg had with my newest friend on the Interwebby thingie.  More to come...

    Thursday, November 15, 2018

    A Personal Tribute

    Figuring that this is my blog, as well as OUR website, this is a tribute to one of the best dogs to have ever lived.

    Peke Pom (aka Cinnamon) was a 5-pound Pekinese Pomeranian mix that has delighted everyone she has met over the last 15 years.

    Peke Pom (Cinnamon)

    Despite her size, she bacame the Alpha Dog following the death of her long-time companion Pookie seven years ago. She also somehow ran the separate Universe of 5 cats that inhabit my home (Camp Snoopy, as it is known).  I'm not sure how any of that worked, but she ran the show with incredible precision and uncanny abilities.

    She was a true Princess, and knew it.  But she treated everyone with kindness and good cheer all of her days.  She delighted in frequent sleepovers at neighbor's houses even when we were around.  There were tears in many people's eyes with her demise.

    Her beauty was enhanced by a double coat of fur, combining the best of a Pomeranian and the silky long hair of a Pekinese.  She even had natural crimping of her ear fur, a look that was much sought after in the 1980s.

    Artist's conception of Peke Pom as a human.

    Luckily, we were able to have her cancerous mouth tumor excised and lased, which gave us 3 months to stage a goodbye tour of all of her favorite places.  She was treated with any food she wanted, and sat at a large window every day to rule over her expanded domain.  She never suffered as the tumor slowly grew back.  We can tell she appreciated all we gave to her, which was just a smidgen of what she has given our entire family.

    Can't wait to be reunited with her to learn how running an even bigger show has been for her!

    Peke Pom and Daughter the Elder.

    Wednesday, November 14, 2018

    1978 NCAA XC Championships

    This is a repost of Larry Mangan's post to our Facebook page.  This way even the non-FB readers will get to enjoy the goodness!

    On a cold (18 degrees), windy, day back in 1978, on the Yahara Hills Golf Course in Madison, Wisconsin, seven intrepid Penn State harriers jumped off the line to begin the start of a fine, three-year period in PSU cross country history. We finished 4th that day in Madison, and would take bronze in each of the next two years. Each Nittany Lion was of regular college age and from NY, PA and OH. Bordering our corral at the start were the very over-aged Cougars and Miners from Washington State and UTEP. Coach Groves was quite delighted when one of his charges, who will go unnamed, in a fit of anxiety and hypothermia, "politely" asked the folks on either side of us to "speak f***ing english". How did 40 years pass so quickly?

       9 Snyder, Robert 29:48
     54 Ziegler, John 30:36
     61 Mangan, Larry 30:41
     73 Baden, Bruce 30:50
    113 Rapp, Thomas 31:11
    120 Scharsu, Alan 31:19
    129 Wyatt, Michael 31:27

    Bob Snyder, running with the Big Dogs!

    Tuesday, November 13, 2018

    NCAA XC Regionals Weekend

    There was consistently cold and windy conditions across the East.  The weather added an extra challenge for the Nittany Lion Women.  But they came through and attained their 9th out of 10 years moving on to the Finals.

    And Danae Rivers has added to her already great resume by placing first for the Women despite falling in the early race.  With her newly aquired range, she is becoming one of the greats of PSU Middle and Long Distance running.

    Photo by John McGraw.
    Oh, the carnage I! John McGraw photo

    Oh, the carnage II! John McGraw photo

    Brave and dedicated Alums! John McGraw photo
     In other news of the weekend...
    • Mary Cate Curran's St. Lawrence team advanced to the Division III Finals at Dream Park in Southern Jersey.  I saw her at one point, but was unable to say hello.
    • Daughter the Younger ran in her first XC NCAA race and learned the valuable lesson about going out too fast!  Hartwick improved on last year's performance.
    • Rob Whiteside's daughter Phoebe placed highly in the Mid-Atlantic Regional in Bethlehem,  PA for her Swarthmore team.
    • Martha White Collin's daughter Valerie also placed highly in the same race with her Carnegie Mellon team moving on to the Finals.
    • John Ziegler and I suffered mightily through a long weekend of Podiatry CME lectures.  John's rewards were many, however.  I took him to lunch at Wegman's for Kung Pao Chicken and got him 50% off on a new pair of shoes at the King of Prussia Roadrunner Sports store! 
    Daughter the Younger before the start.

    Spouse the Better and John Ziegler.

    Friday, November 9, 2018

    A Wintry Mix

    We all have been there. Snow, sleet and freezing rain. AND 10K to go if you're running. Maybe worse when you aren't!

    Bob Radzwich and Jake Bartholomy braved the conditions to watch the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional at Penn State. Looks like the Women will move on...

    Tuesday, November 6, 2018

    70 Years Ago!

    Horace Ashenfelter III placed 2nd in the NCAA IC4A Cross Country Championships in Michigan NY the highest ever finish by a Nittany Lion. (Curt Stone also 2nd in 1946 NCAA XC Champs.)

    Photo from Mike Fanelli, T&F museum.

    Monday, November 5, 2018

    A Tri Umph!

    Our Erwin Shroedinger Endowed Chair for Advanced Physic's daughter finished second in the NCAA Division III Triathlon Championships.  Elizabeth Moore also was named Freshman of the Year.  Congrats to the entire crazy family!!!

    E(lizabeth) was 2nd place Div 3. Tough day - puked 4 times in first km of run and had to serve a 10 sec penalty. “Sh*t happens.” Way to grind .

    20K bike loop.
    2nd Place overall.
    Freshaman of the Year.

    Friday, November 2, 2018

    Another Mish Mash of Submissions

    My posting has been erratic at best, and quite pitiful at worst.  I have received submissions that I couldn't get to in a timely fashion.  And I'm lazy besides...


    First up, a submission from KKOB which brought to mind the yearly realization of small game hunting season only as we heard gunshots very near to us while running in THE GAME LANDS in early October!

    These guys actually saved a lost hunter while out on a run!  (Thanks, Kelly)

    Next, another a submission about a high school team coached by from Friend of the Group Martha White Collins in Wellesley MA, the halfway point of the Boston Marathon. Martha coaches the girls team. The boys are actually coached by former Olympian Tim Broe! And Here. These students don't do the old-fashioned blogging like this curmudgeon.  They put together videos about their exploits on a You Tube Channel, The CoolDown!  Good job, Jason Norris.

    The CoolDown

    In this epidode, they torture a sprinter while trying to get him to run a 7-Minute Mile. Hee hee hee 

    Last but not least, Greg Fredericks sent along word of another member of our group retiring.  This time it is from his job, not the track.   Congrats to Joe DeStefano on retirement from the Penn State Justice and Safety Institute.  Joe was a highly recruited discus thrower from Waltham, MA who graduated in 1971.

    Joe DeStefano.

    Monday, October 29, 2018

    Retirement Is Bittersweet

    Casimir Loxsom, World Best Indoor 600M, 1:14.91

    No one has done more to make PSU Is 800U than Casimir Loxsom. Sure, there were champions before him and champions have come since, but no one was there for as many big moments and for longer than he has been.

    Cas announced his retirement from professional running over the weekend:  (Thanks to Ken Brinker for delivering his statement in suitable format.)

    In 2005, I was convinced to run indoor track to stay in shape for my first love of soccer. I was going to be a 55 meter runner and hated every second of it. My coach had other plans and anchored me on the 4x800 in my first meet, and I ran 2:07.

    Over the next 13 years I developed a love and passion for our sport that I worry sometimes won’t ever be rivaled by future endeavors. I say “our” because what I fell in love with was the special community of human beings who choose this life.

    Over the last year and a half, I’ve gained two things. The first is a tremendous amount of respect for each and every person that pursues Track & Field at the highest of levels. It’s a smaller community of humans that understand what it takes to be the best and how hard it is, and also how much is sacrificed in the process. I’ve also gained an incredible amount of empathy for those who choose that it isn’t a path they want to walk (or run) anymore.

    When I graduated college and signed a professional contract, I wrote myself a letter. I decided that I’d never take a set amount of time off after a season. I told myself I’d start training each year when I felt motivated to. I knew the fall it didn’t come back would be when I’d decide to hang up the spikes.

    I made the decision in the past few hours, but really I’ve felt this way for a few months. Today, I am a former professional Track & Field athlete. I can’t believe it’s now, but really there will never be a good time. The decision was made with a very heavy heart, but also with optimism.

    I will never be too far from the community or the sport, and truly believe I can play a part in making it better while helping a lot of people in the process.

    So thank you, everyone. It’s been a wild ride and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I’ve been truly blessed to experience the things I have, both good and bad.
    I must say I enjoyed watching him run more than anyone I know.  Even Seb Coe, who I often compared to him.  His stride was magnificent and his pacing was always as even as anyone can be in the 800 meter range.  I will let others chronicle his highlights and awards.  I just want to say "Thanks" for all the thrills he gave this washed-up former second-stringer...


    Tuesday, October 23, 2018

    Nittany Lions Are True Leaders

    Again, I apologize for the lack of substantial posting.  I have many submissions from my hundreds of readers that I haven't gotten to yet.  Your mother told you, "Patience is a virtue!"

    But I needed to post this one first.  Greg Fredericks sent this along and it dovetails with all the talk of the 1968 Olympic Trials we have had lately.

    Turns out that the former mayor of Lancaster, Art Morris,  was a PSU middle distance star when Greg was just getting started.  He ended up participating in groundbreaking Altitude Training Testing in Peru and Colorado.

    Art Morris.
    In 1965, Art Morris, a sophomore distance runner, was among a group of six Penn State track athletes who were recruited to undergo testing at high altitude in Nunoa, Peru (13,000 feet), and Mount Evans, Colorado (14,264 feet).
    The study, “Physiology and Performance of Track Athletes at Various Altitudes in the United States and Peru,” was underwritten by the U.S. Olympic Committee, the U.S. Army and Penn State’s Human Performance Laboratory (now Noll Laboratory) under the supervision of noted physiologist E.R. Buskirk.
    Art related that despite the high-altitude training, it did not result in better times when they returned home, closer to sea level.

    Art eventually ran a 4:07 mile for the Lions.  Huzzah for a pioneer!

    Monday, October 22, 2018

    The Way, Way Back Machine Is Rusty

    Sorry for the dearth of posting lately.  Work is a four-letter word that ends in K.

    But it was 41 years ago that we first heard of the plane crash that decimated Lynyrd Skynyrd.  I remember exactly where I was when we got the word over the radio.  We were nearing the hotel in Williamsburg, VA on a Friday evening in the cross country van driven by Coach Groves.  I was seated in the next to last row between Ray Krombel and Kevin Kelly O'Brien.

    Also in the van were Captain Bruce Baden (in the shotgun seat) and Captain John Ziegler.  Others included Jim Clelland, Frit Cooper, Mike Wyatt, Larry Mangan and his Freshman roommate Tom Rapp.  (Did I miss anyone?)  Of course I did!  Campbell Lovett, Dave Felice and Brian Boyer were there too!  Bob Snyder was injured.  (no wonder the van was uncomfortable. 14 of us was too many!)

    We were on our way to a meet with Willam and Mary and Georgetown on the grounds of the insane asylum next to the campus.  Coach Groves told us a few stories of escapes from the place. Nice to know when you were alone in the woods during the race.

    Our warm-up that day was to run the entire 10K course.  Then the race.  And then the warm-down turned out to be the entire 10K course!  I actually fainted during the warm-down and, as always, the only person who noticed was Mike Wyatt, my guardian angel those first 2 years. I think we won the meet, but I hope others chime in with more.

    Incidentally, I became a fan of Lynyrd Skynyrd that day when I learned they named the group after their mean gym teacher, Leonard Skinner at Robert E. Lee High School.  hee hee hee

    Saturday, October 13, 2018

    Homecoming Means Coming "Home" And A Visit With Coach Groves

    A Home meet during Homecoming week means a Friday meet.  That means many of us can't swing it. But many certainly did!  Yesterday's Penn State National attracted many Track alums.

    The meet went well, especially for the Women, who topped all teams, multiple ranked teams.
    In her fourth race donning the Blue & White, Julia Paternain crossed the finish line in 20:30, which marks her third win of the season, two of which have come at the Blue-White Golf Course. Just 11 seconds after Paternain finished the race, sophomore Alison Willingmyre (Wernersville, Pa.) completed the 6k course in 20:41 to finish fifth overall.
    Along with Paternain and Willingmyre, Danae Rivers (Derby, Conn.) and Kathryn Munks (Chester, N.Y.) both tallied top-15 finishes. For Rivers, she ran 20:48 to place seventh and Munks took 15th in 21:01. Moria O'Shea (Greensburg, Pa.) rounded out the scoring for the Blue & White as she ran 21:16 to finish 35th.

    In the men's 5.2-mile run, the Nittany Lions ran to a 10th-place finish as a team with a score of 252 points. Individually, Colin Abert (Easton, Pa.) paced the Nittany Lion harriers as he placed 10th with a time of 25:17.
    In addition to Abert, Alex Tomasko (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) finished 43rd with a time of 25:47 and John McGowan (Northport, N.Y.) took 53rd in 25:54. Underclassmen Isaac Davis (Cogan Station, Pa) and Owen Wing (State College, Pa.) rounded out the scoring as they finished 71st (26:08) and 87th (26:14), respectively.
    Homecoming Visit: Steve Walsh and Dan Curran. Photo by Greg Fredericks.

    Julia Paternain. Photo by Tom Shiffer.

    Womens Start. Photo by Tom Shiffer.

    Steve Shisler, Bob Hudson, John McGraw and Tom Shiffer.

    Tuesday, October 9, 2018

    The Windy City Makes It Difficult

    Tyler McCandless placed 20th (7th American) at the Chicago Marathon on Sunday.  The cool, windy and rainy day made it difficult for many runners. His 1:06:36 split led to a gritty second half fighting the weather conditions. Still, Tyler was within 2 minutes of his career best, and in a major Marathon.


    Monday, October 8, 2018

    "The Michigan" Results

    I had the pleasure to make it in time to see the Division III Hartwick Cross Country workout on Friday during True Blue Weekend.  I suppose its like a combo Parents Weekend and Homecoming all rolled into one.

    With 2 weeks off of meets, it was a good time for a big workout for all of the athletes in preparation for Championship Season.  And I would have to say that Coach Tom Hartnett had them well prepared for the whole thing.  Each of them had a thorough understanding of the goals and methods of the workout.  Each athlete had their own pace schedule for the 1600/1200/800/400 workout even including the intervening tempo miles!  That ensured the maximum benefit for all the runners from first to last.  In my day, trying to keep up with the top runners ensured a horrible 10K race in mid-week and a collapse for the real weekend race to come.

    The workout started and groups of 2 or 3 took off on their own schedules.  And it was remarkable how close everyone was to their prearranged goals.  The resultant scene was choreographed pandamonium.  Here is video I smuggled out from under the watchful eyes of security:

    Daughter the Younger held on for the hardest workout in her young career.  All the other runners also survived.  Smiles were everywhere at the finish as the next day was a rare rest day!

    The warm down brought out the smiles.

    Coach Hartnett keeping track of the pandemonium.

    Daughter the Younger hangs on in her 800.

    Our Michigan Friend, Jonathon Cross remembers being in the original "Michigan" workouts in Coach Ron Warhurst's first years at U of M.

    "Yes. We did that workout in my last couple of years at Michigan.  Those were the first two years Warhurst coached too.  We did a hard mile on the track then ran on the roads (sometimes over to U of M golf course) followed by another hard mile on the track.We went out a gate at the end of Ferry Field from the track."
    He added:
    "Getting tired thinking about that!"

    Friday, October 5, 2018

    The Hardest Workout Of Them All?

    Daughter the Younger's Division III Hartwick Hawks Cross Country team has 2 weeks off until their 3 season-ending Championship Season meets.  As part of the school's Parent's Weekend, the team will host parents and Alumni for a workout on Friday at 4:00PM.

    The workout chosen by second-year head coach Tom Hartnett is "The Michigan Workout" from Head Coach Ron Warhurst.  Tom has invigorated both the Men's and Women's teams by regaling them with the mystique and history of the endurance test he ran while at Division I Sienna.

    The workout isn't your typical "intervals" workout, as it is one that requires a recovery almost as lengthy as a 10K race if run properly.  Here's a summary of a classic "Michigan Workout" from Competitor Running:
    Here’s how to do a standard version of The Michigan:
    — Warm up with 2-3 miles of easy jogging followed by 4-6 x 20-second strides.
    — Run 1 mile (4 laps) on the track at your current 10K race pace.
    — After the mile on the track, jog 2-3 minutes off the track to the start of where you’ll run a mile at your tempo run pace. An out-and-back stretch of road or dirt loop will work well for this part of the workout.
    — Run 1 mile off the track at your tempo pace, or roughly 20 seconds per mile slower than the mile you just ran on the track.
    — After completing the mile off the track, jog 2-3 minutes back to the track for the next interval.
    — Back on the track, run 1,200m (3 laps) at your current 10K pace, aiming to hit the same lap splits you ran for the first mile of the workout.
    — After the 1,200 on the track, jog 2-3 minutes off the track back to the start of where you’ll run your second tempo mile.
    — Run 1 mile off the track at your tempo pace.
    — After completing the mile off the track, jog 2-3 minutes back to the track for the third interval.
    — Back on the track, run 800m (2 laps) at your current 5K race pace, or roughly 4-5 seconds per lap faster than you ran your first two track intervals.
    — After the 800 on the track, jog 2-3 minutes off the track back to the start of where you’ll run your third (and last) tempo mile.
    — Run 1 mile off the track at your tempo pace.
    — After completing the mile off the track, jog 2-3 minutes back to the track for the last interval.
    — Back on the track, run 400m (1 lap) faster than your current 5K race pace, or as if you were finishing the last quarter mile of a race. Focus on running fast but relaxed—hold your form!
    — Cool down with 2-3 miles of easy jogging, stretch, refuel.
    Coach Groves adapted this workout for use (or misuse!) by Nittany Lions.  We ran a few in 1979 and 1980.  Our version entailed a 3 mile warm up from Rec Hall (1979) or Beaver Stadium visitor's locker room (1980) to the new track in its current location absent the Indoor Complex.

    A timed mile was then run as one group, immediately followed by a tempo run of 2 miles to the Observatory fields past the Deer Pens for the second timed mile.  Immediately after the second timed mile, runners return to the track at tempo pace for the last timed mile, this time in scattered, bedraggled groups.

    For those of us in the middle or back of the pack among the large number of distance runners in that day, keeping up with the leaders on the "tempo" runs between timed miles, was not an option.  Merely trying meant running essentially a 10K race (usually on a Wednesday).  This almost guaranteed a horrible race on Saturday if one was on the schedule!  I have to check my logs to see if I have any of these workouts documented with the surrounding races?  Or any of you can check yours and chime in!

    Gary Black remembers one of these workouts with Tom Rapp clocking a 4:14 on the final mile, to the taunts of those coming in behind him.  I was nowhere near this event, as I could not keep up with the leaders following the second mile.  But I wasn't in the last group either, and I'm kinda sorta proud of that!

    I have reached out to Ben Flanagan, Michigan's NCAA 10K Champion to opine on his remembrances of any Michigan Workouts.  I hope to hear back soon.

    I had breakfast with Ben at 2017 Big Ten Champs.
    Jonathon Cross, Michigan Alum and Friend of the Group, ran for the first years of Coach Ron Warhurst and may offer some great insights also!

    Monday, October 1, 2018

    Progeny In The Endurance Ranks

    This post features the offspring of friends continuing family athletic exploits in Division 3 Endurance Sports.  I have to say Endurance Sports because noted crackpot and our Erwin Shroedinger Endowed Chair for Advanced Physics has a daughter who apparently received slightly more than 50% of her genes from him!   (Just kidding, Ron Moore.  Ultra-Trail running isn't even slightly crazy.  Wink Wink.)

    First up is Elizabeth Moore, who is a triathlete in the new sport of Women's Triathlon at Transylvania University in Kentucky .  She has won all three events so far as a Freshman, and is qualified for the National Championships.  I have a feeling we will be seeing more of her in the future.

    Elizabeth Moore

    Second up is Phoebe Whiteside, who we all know from her trek of the entire length of the Appalachian Trail with her dad, Rob Whiteside, 2 years ago! Remember, I have also trekked the entire width of the Appalachian Trail and have a t-shirt to prove it. She runs for Suburban Philly Swarthmore College.

    Phoebe Whiteside

    Third is Valerie Collins, daughter of Group Friend Martha White Collins.  She runs for the Tartans of Carnegie Mellon University in the Burgh.

    Valerie Collins, 87

    Last, but not least is Anne Baskwill, Daughter the Younger, who has found a new love for running at Hartwick College near Cooperstown, NY.  With her previous hurdling activity in high school, she may just run the Steeplechase for the first ever year of Track at Hartwick.

    Anne Baskwill, front left
    Please forward news and pics of any more progeny in the college athletic ranks!
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