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, July 29, 2018

A Nittany Lion In The Very First Olympic Trials Marathon! 50th Anniversary

Amby Burfoot has written a remembrance of the event which has received a fair amount of acclaim, despite misreporting that Gatorade was invented at Florida State University!

Alamosa 1968: The Historic First U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials

The great blog Once upon a Time In the Vest has some of the participants commenting about the article and other things.

But our very own Joe Head actually ran in that marathon after having startied running at Penn State with Coach John Lucas as an inspiration.  His story is riveting, and probably unbelievable to anyone younger than we are!

Joe Head, left,  before the start.
1--George Young, 2:30:48, Casa Grande AZ
2--Kenny Moore, 2:31:47, Eugene OR
3--Ron Daws, 2:33:09, Minneapolis
4--Bob Deines, 2:34:13 (note: originally 2:33:14, almost surely wrong per athlete) Pasadena CA
5--Steve Matthews, 2:34:17 (note: originally 2:33:17), Denver
6. Ed Winrow, 2:34:51, NYAC
7. Nick Kitt, 2:35:09, Los Angeles
8. Doug Wiebe, 2:35:31, Pacific Coast Club
9. Bill Clark, 2:36:14, Quantico Marines
10. Jeffrey Reneau, 2:38:46, Laconia NH
11. Tom Hoffman, 2:41:54, Fort Atkinson WS
12. Ed Cadena, 2:42:25, Bakersfield CA
13. Bob Scharf, 2:42:49, Washington DC Sports Club
14. Tom Heinonen, 2:43:30, Minneapolis
15. Steve Gachupin, 2:43:54, Jemez Pueblo, NM
16. Gary Muhrcke, 2:44:56, Freeport NY
17. Wayne Van Dellen, 2:45:26, Woodlake CA
18. Art Coolidge, 2:45:44, Scotia NY
19. Don Lakin, 2:46:03, Pacific Coast Club
20. Jim McDonagh, 2:46:30, Bronx NY
21. Floyd Godwin, 2:49:21, Denver
22. Gar Williams, 2:49:56, Washington DC Sports Club
23. Darryl Beardall, 2:50:05, Santa Rosa CA
24. Jim Van Manen, 2:50:21, Ventura CA
25. Jose E. Dones, 2:52:43, Santa Barbara CA
26. William Blewitt, 2:53:46, Lawton OK
27. Gabe Petroni, 2:53:55, Santa Barbara CA
28. Jose Barela, 2:54:47, Barstow CA
29. Byron Lawry, 2:54:54, Lancaster CA
30. Charles Comefort, 2:55:24, Dunes TC IN
31: Kenneth Katzer, 2:56:31, Lincoln NE
32. Bill Gookin, 2:57:11, San Diego CA
33. Gerald Smith, 2:57:20, Minneapolis
34. Norbert Sander, 2:57:39, Millrose AA NY
35. Gary Pierson, 2:59:37, Denver
36. Richard Vafeades, 3:01:40, Denver
37. Ed Dodd, 3:02:30, Drexel Hill PA
38. Jim Mathews, 3:02:57, Denver
39. Ed Walkwitz, 3:04:23, Hadley MA
40. Tom Snyder, 3:04:37, Lincoln NE
41. Evan Smith, 3:06:02, Marysville WA
42. John Pagliano, 3:06:30, Pasadena CA
43. J. Peterson, 3:07:43, Lockport IL
44. Bruce Guthrie, 3:07:48, Alamosa CO
45. Peter Hanson, 3:09:22, Colfax CA
46. Robert Lowe, 3:11:25, Denver
47. George Husuark, 3:11:52, Montebello CA
48. Bill Anderson, 3:15:00, Santa Barbara CA
49. John Suarez, 3:16:26, Bisbee AZ
50. Russell Holt, 3:20:13, Springfield MA
51. Tom Findley, 3:21:11, Columbus OH
52. William Peck, 3:22:38, Wasco CA
53. Darwyn Batway, 3:32:34, Spokane WA
54. Bruce LaBudde, 3:37:49, Atlanta
55. Larry Boies, 3:38:22, Minneapolis
56. Jerry Laird, 3:41:54, Houston
57. Albert Sewell, 3:46:36, Fisk Univ, Nashville TN
58. Rick Vasquez, 3:49:18, Pico Rivera CA
59. Pete Mundle, 3:50:56, Santa Monica CA
60. Etwin Gookin, 3:52:05, San Diego CA
61. William Lamb, 3:55:29, Sepulveda CA
62. Alan Bass, 3:57:55, San Marino CA
63. E. Kirkpatrick, 3:58:54, UColo, Boulder CO
Joe Head, 4:40 , University Park PA 

Joe Head with Coach Joe Vigil at the 50th Celebration.

Friday, July 27, 2018

I Don't Really Hate My Sister!

Just the fact that she has retired before me!

Well, she retired from teaching high school skulls full of mush, so who can really blame her?  She may still dabble in a few things, INCLUDING MAKING T-SHIRT QUILTS.

She just finished Daughter the Younger's Running T-Shirt Quilt in time for her to take it to her dorm room at Hartwick College.  The daily reminder of past races run may provide her some incentive for her Cross Country exploits in Upstate New York!

The quilt turned out far better than my original one purchesed from an ad in Runners World 30-some years ago.  It costs less too!  You may want to drop me a line to inquire about getting her to make one for you.  She may say yes!  (You know Spouse the Better has been getting all over you for the clutter in all your dresser drawers anyway).

Thursday, July 26, 2018

New Pro Team Signs Lioness

Our Tennessee connection and native York Countian Dick Geiger alerted me to the news of another Nittany Lion going pro.  Thanks Dick!

The big news was that Syracuse coach Chris Fox was lured away from recent powerhouse Syracuse to head up the new professional team sponsored by Reebok.  They also snagged Syracuse's NCAA champion and Canadian Justyn Knight as the star of the new team to be based in Charlottesville, VA.

But joining them in rural Virginia will be Tori Gerlach, who will continue her running career and steeplachasing talents.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Consistency And Fastidiousness Are Nittany Lion Atrributes

Fastidiousness: a very careful attention to detail.

Despite Greg Frederick's aversion to Social Media, he became aware of the recent Facebook poll on whether he should grow his mustache back like he had in the 1970's.  Needless to say, quite a few of my hundreds of readers responded positively that he should, with some advocating for even more with a goatee!

In previous discussions with him, I knew that it wasn't ever going to happen. It was all in good fun.  Even his wonderful wife saw the humor in the situation.

One of the respondents advocating for a return of "the Magnum P.I. look" was 1969 teammate Howard Epstein.  Greg has responded by supplying us with a picture he took of Howard as he was leaving for the Penn Relays that year.  Coach Groves was a proponent of looking dapper when representing the team, and thus the fastidious look of Howard and teammate Joe Neibel.

 Consistency: reliability or uniformity.

When I first saw Darrell Hill in 2013 at an indoor meet at PSU, I was impressed with his consistency in technique.  Since then, I have been impressed with other consistencies he has demonstrated.

His consistency in yearly improvement:
2012  17.53   Houston, TX (USA) 24.03.2012
2013 19.13University Park, PA (USA) 03.05.2013
2014 20.57West Lafayette, IN (USA)18.05.2014
2015 20.86University Park, PA (USA)08.05.2015
2016 21.63Eugene, OR (USA)01.07.2016
2017 22.44Bruxelles (BEL)31.08.2017
2018 21.72Monaco (MON)19.07.2018

His consistency this season (2018) has been remarkable also:

Shot Put26.05Eugene Prefontaine Classic5.21.19
Shot Put07.06Oslo Bislett Games3.21.20
Shot Put23.06Des Moines USA Ch.1.21.57
Shot Put05.07Lausanne Athletissima4.21.04
Shot Put19.07Monaco Herculis2.21.72

And finally, his consistency of 6 throws (none of them a foul!) in the latest Diamond League meet was remarkabe.


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

PSU Is 800U: The Quickening

Sure, we lost a 6-time B1G 800 meter Champion and an NCAA 800M Champion in Isaiah Harris, but look at the Freshman Class of incoming 800M replacements in alphabetical order!
  • Ben Bulkeley
    Hometown: Fairport, N.Y. | High School: Fairport
    Event(s)-Personal Best(s): 800-1:50.96
  •  Elijah Claiborne
    Hometown: Northport, N.Y. | High School: Northport
    Event(s)-Personal Best(s): 800-1:52.24
  • Isaiah Claiborne
    Hometown: Northport, N.Y. | High School: Northport
    Event(s)-Personal Best(s): 800-1:51.62
  • Hudson Delisle
    Hometown: Quakertown, Pa. | High School: Quakertown Community
    Event(s)-Personal Best(s): 800-1:52.01
  •  Drew Maher
    Hometown: West Long Branch, N.J. | High School: Shore Regional
    Event(s)-Personal Best(s): 800-1:49.16
  •  Malual Mu                                                                                                                   Hometown: Trenton, N.J. | High School: Trenton Central                                              Event(s)-Personal Best(s): 800-1:51.14
I didn't originate the moniker "PSU Is 800U", and I don't know who did.  But I did help spread it to a wider audience even before FloTrack picked it up.

It isn't a taunt or a brag at all.  It is a lot like the Dallas Cowboys calling themselves America's Team in the 1970s.  It gets a lot of people riled up, but it gets listened to and ends up being a positive thing when it gets backed up by sustained excellent performance.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

A Lion In Hiroshima

Our intrepid Coach Groves' caretaker Greg Fredericks passes along the news of the death of Polish Gold Medalist Irena Szwinska

Greg got to meet Irena during a trip to Japan during those heady days when he had a mustache!  No news about how he did in the two races he ran in the Land of the Rising Sun!  But then I can't remember what I had for dinner yesterday...

Irena with son Andrzej.

Greg with other foreign stars in Hiroshima.
Greg only remembers that the Indian athletes were horizontal jumpers.  (Much like my experience with the Pole Vault...)
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