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.

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