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...

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Wheelin' And Dealin'

"I feel like the wheel is for more than the current day, it is for the alumni, it is for all the athletes at Penn State, it is for everyone." 
 - Isaiah Harris 

Revenge is a dish best served at the Penn Relays. 

It wasn't just once, it was twice that PSU was denied a "wheel" in the Sprint Medley Relay at the Penn Relays in recent years.  Both times, a team from the second heat beat the winning time of the Nittany Lions in the Championship of America heat.  And whether a team that was late to the Championship heat deserved to be placed into the second heat at all, I am convinced it is not correct. 

                                         We Was Robbed  

And just last year, Jamaican G C Williams did it to us again! 

So, what does one do to make sure it doesn't happen a third time?   Well, how about have your "half-miler " run the third fastest 800M split in relay history! Note Randy Moore's 1:45.5 split from 1985!

1 Penn State 3:15.25 Xavier Smith, Malik Moffett, Kier Miner, Isaiah Harris (1:44.74)

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Birthday Boy!

Our Course Marshall has sent us a photo of Coach Groves and his daughter MariAnne on his 88th Birthday!  Chocolate cake!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Spring Is Springing

Today is Coach Groves' 80-something birthday!*

And that means IT'S PENN RELAYS WEEK!

That's also a sure sign that Spring should be here shortly.

Please keep your memories of PSU Track and Field alive by coming to our 17th Annual Reunion and golf with the rest of us hackers in the Coach Groves Golf Tournament. 

One Person options:

For additional family members, add up permutations in post and use snail mail to:
 Harry Smith
            508 Washington Avenue
            Elyria, OH  44035

* Our Golden Putter Attendant alerts me that it is, in fact, Coach's 88th Birthday!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

A Little Tale Involving Coach Groves. Tangentially. A Lesson Well Learned.

It was the Spring of 1980. A wonderful time in America.  The Iranian crisis was just beginning, but the Gas crisis was over.  College students were overwhelmingly opting to support albino third party candidate John Anderson over B-actor Ronald Reagan and peanut farmer Jimmy Carter. Dorms routinely blared the vinyl hit "Paradise by the Dashboard Lights" by Meat Loaf and Chicken Cosmos were served for lunch at the dining Halls.

In those days, us distance runners ran 100 miles a week or more, even if you didn't satisfy Coach Groves mandate of morning miles before 9:00AM.  We finally had a real Conference Meet, a slapped together mish mash of teams in Joe Paterno's attempt of an Eastern Big Ten.

It was held in Piscattaway, NJ, home of Rutgers University.  No one would ever have predicted that both Rutgers and Penn State would one day end up as opponents in every sport IN THE BIG TEN!

The Coaches Conference (I guess named for JOE P?) included Rutgers, Temple, Syracuse, West Virginia and others...  (help me out, Interns?).  This group of colleges eventually became the Big East, minus Penn State who had to join the Atlantic Ten.

But today, May 25, 1980, was the big day for me, PSU Track Alumni Official Physicist Brian Boyer, 2-time Coach Groves Golf Tourney winner Don Ziter and Noisy Jim Clelland in the opening event on Sunday, the 10,000M.

The day started with Coach Groves summoning us to a very early breakfast prior to the late morning race.  It was only the first time I was berated by Coach Groves that day, as I had a full breakfast of bacon, eggs and home fries while the others ate lightly of carbs and yogurt, like hippies.

Things turned a little for the better for me as I was somehow allowed to ride shot gun with Coach Groves driving the van with only the 10K runners heading over to the track for the first event.  This gave me a unique insight into the complicated mind of Coach Groves as the traffic enveloped us.  Everyone knows how bad Route 1 traffic is in Central NJ.  Usually there is the right turn lane that leads to "All turns from right lane".  But at this intersection, there was a left turn lane with a traffic light.

On this particular morning there was almost no traffic on the road except for those of us trying to turn left off of Route 1.  Imagine 40 cars in line with a red light with no traffic anywhere else.  Now imagine the light finally turning green and letting 2 cars through at a time before another 2 or 3 minute cycle of nothing.  Now imagine Coach Groves' patience and understanding of such situations!
Imagine his disdain for those ahead of him, who hesitated even after the green light finally came!

He taught me the first life lesson that day while telling me how 6 could get through the light if everyone just started ahead when the light turned green instead of each successive car hesitating after each of those ahead of it pulled forward. This little maneuver has probably saved me hours and hours of time in traffic over the years.  And almost caused 30 accidents, too!

I was in a phase at that time where I was experimenting with no warm-up prior to a race. (As well as no stretching. I was ahead of my time!)  So I avoided the others when they headed out.  No stretching and no warm-up was not in Coach's wheel-house, so I had to avoid him as well.

With the temperature in the mid-90s already, warming up really was unnecessary except to raise the heart rate with a single slow lap of the track before the gun.  At the start line we were told that the NCAA had given us permission to be hosed down during the race. I never availed myself of that.

The race was off, and somehow the heat didn't cause me any distress, while I noticed others were bothered quite early.  I ran with the lead pack for the first time in my life in a track 10K, trying to click off even laps as I had done the week before in State College when I ran my PR.

Halfway through the race, I noticed that Coach Groves was actually acknowledging me on each lap.  The lead pack had dwindled a lot and I never saw any of my teammates during the race.  I was still with the leaders with 2 laps to go, when the 2 guys from another team surged, and I hesitated and didn't go with them.  I hung on somewhat and had a little left and actually finished 3rd in a Conference Meet.  I thus scored 6 points for PSU, the first of my PSU "career".  I never saw my teammates during the race, but saw Jim Clelland finish not far behind me.  Don and Brian had pretty good races too, if I remember correctly.

I was tickled about my finish.  Not totally satisfied, as I knew that if I still had my high school competitiveness, I could have won the race.  But it was still my best finish in a PSU track race, I scored points for the team, and I had beaten at least one All-American that day.

So, of course, Coach Groves was there to straighten me out and put my world into sharp focus.  He came by me during my recovery jog and called me a part of the female anatomy that is below the waist. He too knew I could have won the race.

He was correct, of course.  Sometimes, life lessons are tough.  And Coach was never hesitant to render such life lessons.  I have thanked him many times for that since.  He may be the only man who has never lied to me.  And I have achieved some difficult things in life remembering that there is always more to give and a chance not taken is a chance that is lost.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Only One Month To Go

Wow.  Can't believe there is only one month left until the 17th Annual Penn State Track and Field Alumni Reunion.  And the 17th Annual Coach Groves Golf Tourney.  Be sure to make Coach Groves happy and come visit with us!  Changes this year include A DOWNTOWN HEADQUARTERS!

The itinerary:

17th Annual Harry Groves Golf Outing / Track and Field          Alumni  Gathering
                                   (MAY 18 – 19, 2018)

FRIDAY’S (MAY 18th) EVENTS:                                                                                                                                                                                                               
7:00pm – 11:00pm   Meet and Greet (cash bar - with the exception of kegged beer with hors d ‘oeuvres)                                                                                                                                  
Days Inn (240 South Pugh Street).  This is where both receptions will take place -


Picking of the foursomes, 50-50, Putting contest, other craziness will also take place
Mad Mex is located right next to the reception hall making it convenient for Margarita nightcaps.

9:00am – 10:30am   The Alumni "run" will take place starting at the outdoor track for anyone interested in a short jog or a loop around campus (accompanied by coffee and donuts for those who don’t run!).
12:00pm – 5:30pm   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. If you need clubs, there are always folks bringing extra sets so you don’t have to worry about renting (be sure to let us know when you register so we can plan to have them there).

1:00pm – 3:00pm   Activities for those not golfing.  Depending upon weather and volunteers, we usually have a group gathering to hike Mt. Nittany or take a campus tour (either to the Creamery or the Sports Museum (may be an additional cost).  Meeting spot(s) and tour guide(s) to be announced – leaving from the hotel lobby.

Some of the present team members will be in town and possibly at the morning run at the track.  Some may join us at the evening reception.

7:00pm – 11pm   Dinner reception and awards ceremony for golf outing

Will the change of venue and its proximity to campus, the fees had to increase this year to $200 for those attending the outing and both receptions – add a significant other (or another family member) $300 (if not planning to golf $250).  More Immediate family members than that, add $100 if golfing, $50 if not (children $25).  Friday and Saturday receptions without golf $130, add significant other $175, add additional $50 for each additional immediate family member ($25 for children).    Friday night reception only - $40 add significant other $75 – add $25 for additional immediate family members.  Saturday only reception $100 add significant other $150 – any additional immediate family member $50.  Saturday reception with golf included $150 – add a significant other $250 if golfing ($200 if not) – additional immediate family members $75 if golfing, $50 if not.  If you have graduated in the past three years, dump 20% of the tab. (Who knew so much math was required?)

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

Please send checks or money orders to:
            Harry Smith
            508 Washington Avenue
            Elyria, OH  44035

PayPal and credit card options this year on the Blog or Facebook page as a matter of convenience.
(I know, about time, right!) – if utilizing PayPal  another $5 will be added to your total to defer the charge.
If you should have any other questions or comments, please let me know – Hope to see you this year! 

One Person options:

Or use snail mail to:
 Harry Smith
            508 Washington Avenue
            Elyria, OH  44035

 It was just too hard to include options for every permutation for additional people!

Clark Haley ‘85

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Singing (And Running!) In The Rain

 "It was miserable."
-Doreen Startare McCoubrie. 

Conditions at the Boston Marathon yesterday were about as bad as they have ever been.  Temps in the 30s and 40s with constant rain, sometimes quite hard, were coupled with wind gusts in the opposite direction from that year that Ryan Hall ran under 2:05.

The conditions scattered the usual East African dominance, and American women captured 7 of the top 10 positions, including first and second place.  A Japanese runner won the Mens race.

And through it all, Penn State Nittany Lion Doreen Startare McCoubrie ran her usual race, placing second in the Womens 55-59 age group in 3:17:26.

Be sure to get your entries in for the upcoming Reunion and Coach Groves Golf Tourney on May 18-19!  You can use snail mail to Harry Smith or take just a $5 hit to send them in via PayPal or credit card.  We need you there.  And this year we are DOWNTOWN!

One Person options:

For additional family members, add up permutations in post and use snail mail to:
 Harry Smith
            508 Washington Avenue
            Elyria, OH  44035

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Nittany Lions In The News

First up is Ricky Garcia with a C-Span 3 documentary about George Washington's Alexadria Home, which Ricky just happens to live in.

The documentary will air this evening at 6:00PM and 10:00PM (ET):

Archaeology at George Washington's Alexandria Property

George Washington owned a townhouse in Alexandria, Virginia. We visit the property, currently owned by Rick Garcia, to hear about his family’s connection to the Washingtons and the archaeology of two recently-discovered wells in their basement.
Airing Sunday, Apr 15 6:00pm EDT on C-Span 3

And second up is Megan McCloskey with a 2018 John Oswald Award!

Megan McCloskey, who is majoring in advertising and public relations in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications*, was one of 20 Penn State students selected in 2017 to the Parmi Nous honor and tradition society. Students are selected for exceptional involvement with the University.
She is team captain of the varsity track and field team where she was twice selected as academic All-American, Big Ten Scholar, Big Ten Conference Championship High Jump Medalist and NCAA Championship Qualifier.

As president and events coordinator for the Fit for Fritz fundraiser, McCloskey was responsible for planning, promoting and executing an event that raised more than $40,000 in four years. The event honors assistant coach Fritz Spence and assists people battling cancer.
McCloskey was a marketing intern in 2017 for SEI Investments Company and in 2016 for Chartwell Investment Partners.
Her leadership opportunities include:

● NCAA student-athlete voting representative for the Big Ten Conference

● President and special events and outreach chair for the Penn State Student Athlete Advisory Board

● President of Penn State Athletes Take Action, a group that works with middle school students to enforce the importance of positive communication at an early age
“Megan has the gift of communication, leadership and team-building, and she has chosen to share those gifts with Penn State and those around her,” a nominator said. “She is the person I think of when I hear people talk about Penn State’s inspired doers. Megan will surely go on to do great things in her career and life. And she will continue to be a fine representative of the very best of Penn State.”
Megan McCloskey also won the high jump yesterday at the Bison Invitational at Bucknell with her leap of 5' 10"!

* I have told the story before of meeting Donald P. Bellisario in my elective 400-level documentary film class in 1981.  I famouslyy asked him if he was embarrassed to be working in a medium that was interrupted every 7 minutes to sell products?  The class gasped, turned around to stare at the idiot they did not know (I was a biology major) who had asked such an insolent question of one of Penn State's largest benefactors.  Mr. Belliasario chuckled and replied immediately that he thinks 7 minutes with a break is all human beings are able to tolerate.  I smiled and sealed my "C" in the class, despite earning a "B".

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Tick, Tick, Tick

One Person options:

For additional family members, add up permutations in post and use snail mail to:
 Harry Smith
            508 Washington Avenue
            Elyria, OH  44035

Monday, April 9, 2018

Like The Days Of Yore!

I have always said there should be more scored meets in college track and field. Preferably they could be dual or tri-meets, but any kind of scored meet other than the National type of meet where just a fraction of the top 1% of athletes score would do.

Sadly, the paucity of scored meets is even beginning to infringe on the high school variety.

But the past weekend saw the Nittany Lion Men win a 4-team scored meet in Baton Rouge!  The Battle of the Bayou at LSU was my kind of meet.  The kind of meet where otherwise unheard of athletes made big contributions to the success of the team.

My nomination for Athlete of the Meet is Freshman Owen Wing, who won the 1500M and the 5000M, gathering 18 points for the Nittany Lions. The times may have not been stellar in this early season, but two wins in a meet is always a notable achievement. And a good motivator for the future!

Thursday, April 5, 2018

It's Never Too Early For Penn Relays Or Cross Country

It is hard to believe that Penn Relays is only 3 or so weeks away!  Be sure to check out the invitation for all of us to attend a reception at the team's Philly Hotel.  RSVP to Owen Dawson.

And even though it is a little further away, Michael Gross wants to invite youth teams and especially their Nittany Lion coaches to the East Regional XC Youth Championships, also in Philly.  He points out that alums are invited to the Open Division, especially if they wear their Alumni Singlets!

If you want to try something different this fall why not try a cross country race? Sunday November 4th, 2018 in Tyler State Park. We have both the youth championship and an OPEN 5K for adults over 18. For more information and to register see below!

Hosted by the Ambler Olympic Club (AOC)

The CCCNYC Eastern Regional is a quality end of season meet for youth ages 14 and U and a chance to race at the CCCNYC National Youth Championships November 17th, 2018 in Tom Sawyer State Park, Louisville KY.

Youth Championships: https://pa.milesplit.com/meets/300243/info#.WsS9W2aZNuU

Open 5K:

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Official Physicist Vies For Third Title!

Our Official Physicist Brian Boyer will travel to the States for a chance at a third Coach Groves Golf Tourney Championship.  He will come by way of Idaho from Vienna, Austria.  Your excuses are probably not going to be accepted, so you better sign up NOW!



One Person options:

For additional family members, add up permutations in post and use snail mail to:
 Harry Smith
            508 Washington Avenue
            Elyria, OH  44035

Monday, April 2, 2018

The Alpha and the Omega

With the Villanova trouncing of Kansas last night, Spott Moskowitz was relegated to "a little left of the Bell curve peak" in the PSU Track Alumni Bracket Pool.  He would have finished in the top 10 had Kansas been able to upset Villanova.  C'est La Vie.

Spott is seemingly unfazed at his Bracket loss.
 And here's our Undersecretary of Fun Billy Cvecko rabbitting the 800 at the Texas Relays!

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