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...

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

1972 Cross Country Team

Things were heating up in the nation during this time.  The "plumbers" were breaking into the DNC headquarters in the Watergate Hotel.  The Dow closed above 1,000 for the very first time. The very last troops were withdrawn from Vietnam.  And gasoline prices rose to 55 cents/gallon!

Notable (at least to me!):
  • Captains Matt Chadwick and Jim Allahand
  • Howie Triebold
  • Friends Jim Bray (another Podiatrist) and Steve Miller (York Countian)
  • Charlie Maguire
  • Bob Hillman
  • Carl Bechdel
  • Dixons and Pastors!
  • George Christopher (PSU Marathon record holder)

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

They Chose To Climb

In the early 90s, I had the opportunity to visit Zermatt, Switzerland for 2 days.  It was a good trip, even with the migraine headache from altitude and the fog-enshrouded Matterhorn, which I never did see.

I saw the town's cemetery, where many are buried who didn't quite make it to the top and back.  The best epitaph I saw was "He chose to climb", which echoes all the statements from relatives of deceased Everest climbers lately.

But these hardy climbers DID make it to the top and back (of Nittany Mountain!), renewing and strengthening the tradition of Penn State Track and Field Alumni (Non-golfers) started by Spouse the Better some years ago.  They have augmented the festivities by inaugurating the certification of success with a signature on a special t-shirt just for the bestest among us!

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Coach Artie Gilkes Gets A Double

The State College Boys team won the PIAA Class 3A team title yesterday at Seth Grove Stadium in Shippensburg.  They exceeded their expected point total with 47 overall points.

That makes Coach Artie Gilkes the State Champion Indoor and Outdoor Coach of 2019!  Needless to say, Artie has the team believing and performing at their optimum level.  Those of us who know him best, saw this coming.  Having a mentor like Coach Groves and the support of the "soon-to-be largest and most active track alumni group in the world" gives great dividends.  Artie is aided by several other PSU Track Alumni (Golfers) including Chris Cipro, Tom Kleban, Matt Groves and Nick K.

The story of the 41st and title-clinching point shows what Artie brings to the table for the athletes he is charged with mentoring.  There are numerous future Nittany Lions coming through his tutelage. Congrats Artie.

Monday, May 20, 2019

We Are The Champions!

Yes, for the second year in a row, I helped win the Coach Groves Golf Tourney.  Currently, I am the hottest golfer in our group.  

But in all seriousness, I had the opportunity to golf with the best overall foursome ever.  Tom Brown, current PSU Sophomore and progeny of last year's winning foursome member Steve Brown, is an excellent golfer.  He is also smart enough to be studying Accounting. Tom also won the longest drive of the day.

Paul Mundy made it back into the fold for the first time in a few years.  Despite not golfing much in the interim, his frying pan of a driver still provided some excellent shots off the tee! And they changed hole #4 so he couldn't hit another tractor-trailer on 322.  Paul also won the Numb Nut award.  More on that in the next post.

But the MVP of the day was good friend and classmate Bob Gabel.  Despite being a group leader in the pharmaceutical business, he must have found some time to hit the links.  He hit shot after shot of precise, long shots off the tee, pinpoint shots from the fairways and was putting with the finesse of a Tiger.  Hats off to the man who arranged for my Independent Studies Classes back in the day.

Tom Brown, Paul Mundy and Bob Gabel, 2019 Tourney victors! Photo by Kay Warfel.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

2019 Numb Nuts Award

Each year, Clark Haley selects a unique event or bone head maneuver for the Numb Nut Award. There is never a paucity of potential choices. 

Paul Mundy poses next to the parking lot light pole he hit off the #9 tee.  The ball then richoceted through the cart of Steve Balkey sitting innocently in his cart out of sight of Paul. No one was hurt in the making of this numb nut! 

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Last Minute Golf Tips

These tips may be in order for our group from the legendary Tim Conway and Vincent Schiavelli.  May both RIP

Vincent Shiavelli as John O'Conor, center.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Forecast and Travel Warnings For Reunion and Golf Tourney

It looks like we are in the clear for another good weekend of fun and camaraderie this  weekend.  Hope you can join us.  The more the merrier.

The weather forecast from the Weather Underground shows some storms earlier on Friday but ending by the time of the Meet and Greet and Pub Crawl for the hardiest among us.

Saturday morning should be cloudy but without rain for the festivities at the Track.  And all clear but cloudy for the golf tourney. That means we should be able to finish the 19th tourney in a row.

Scattered Thunderstorms

73° | 53°
0.06 in
71° | 55°
There will be continued construction on 322 at the Seven Mountain Area with significant delays on Friday.  That should end by 3:00PM on Friday.  Rest assured that final construction should be finished for the 2056 football season.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

1971 Cross Country Team

Even though the rules were changed by the NCAA to allow Freshman to compete, Penn State must not have had enough singlets for the whole team and the Freshman had to endure the dreaded "Freshman" or Freshmen" versions for still another year!

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Forty-one Years Is Long Enough

Friend of the group, Martha White Collins (U of Virginia) ran 10:09.2 for the 1978 two-mile State Championship.  The PA record stood for the past 41 years until Marlee Starliper ran a 9:54.75 3200M (9:58.2 2-Mile) yesterday at the Glenn D. Loucks Games in White Plains, New York.  (Doesn't a PA record have to be run in PA!!!)

On that day in 1978, Gary Black won the 1-Mile State Championship leading to the headline...

Black and White Win Gold!

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

You, Yes YOU, Can Still Come To The Reunion And Golf Tourney

Of course, the golf is always optional, but highly recommended.  Even if you haven't signed up yet, you are still welcome.  The more the merrier!  Just show up and our crack staff of hammer throwers will rough you up for the requisite payment.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Another Mile Post Along Memory Lane

Penn State Cross Country 1970!  Coach Groves had already had his film projector "borrowed" by Coach Paterno from the office next door, and never returned!  He related this story to me more than once, and I think it was one of the earliest occurances that cemented his non-love for the gridiron coach.

  • Some of the athletes still look older than Coach Groves.
  • Friend Steve Miller at his dorky best! (That's a compliment BTW).
  • Murderers Row of Bruce McLanahan, Gary Gittings, Greg Fredericks and Bob Hillman in the second row.
  • Youthful looking Jim Allahand and Charlie Maguire.
  • Dick Geiger somehow looking smaller than usual!

Sunday, May 5, 2019

A Thirty-One Mile Traipse Through The Woods

This weekend's track exploits were boring, so we had to travel to the most desolate western section of Virginia for a post.  It also happens to be the highest elevations of the state.

Our Erwin Shroedinger Endowed Chair for Advanced Physics (simultaneously our Official Physicist and NOT our Official Physicist) Ron Moore ran in the Grayson Highlands 50K.  He placed third overall and the second Male.  4:59:54 at 5,429 feet of elevation!  (That's 9:39/mile on mountainous trails at altitude!)

He continues to spread the word of his sponsor, Apple Hill Podiatry, to the animals on the trails of the eastern USA.

Daughter the Younger
 And a shout out to Coach Fritz Spence on teaching Daughter the Younger how to hurdle at a Day Camp from PSU coaches back in the Alford-Sullivan era.  Her technique is awesome.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Two Notable Birthdays

Happy Birthday Mike Fanelli!   Mike owns the world's greatest track and field museum in his immaculate garage.  And he married up!  (He married a Nittany Lion...)

And Happy 49th Birthday to Greg Fredericks, without whom this blog would suffer mightily. Thanks to his better half Anne (he married up as well, as have all men!) for the pic of Greg at the beach with a smartphone.

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