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...

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Was "The Sandwich Year" Coach Groves' Best?

I am pretty sure that Coach Groves considered the 1979 team his best of all time.  And it was sandwiched by teams that finished 3rd and 4th in the NCAA. I will be corrected if I am wrong about that.  A 3rd place at the NCAA Meet with all regional Americans was certainly a minor miracle considering the influx of foreigners in those days.

While I didn't break back into the first team that year, I did finish a meet without the top-7 in first place, making me kinda sorta the 8th man that day.  It wasn't easy on a team with many good runners making up 2nd, 3rd and even 4th teams that could compete quite favorably anywhere.  I did go on to achieve performances in the track season that year that eclipsed my high school performances as measured by the IAAF standards.  So Coach Groves did make me a better runner, as well as a better person.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Final Four Three Years In A Row Started in 1978!

If PSU's basketball team ever made the Final Four three years in a row, we would never hear the end of it.  And rightly so.  But 1978 was the first of 3 straight top-4 finishes for the Men in NCAA Cross Country!

Being a second-stringer on all three of those teams was OK by me.  A guppy in the Koi Pond of Division I NCAA XC was really fun.  I had the time of my life running with some of the best.  This year was hindered by a bout of pneumonia and a groin pull I sustained in Fencing Class!  (That's known as a high-ankle sprain nowadays...)  Never got rolling after all of that, but logged a lot of miles and made some of the best friends

Of all of the PSU team photos, this one shows my true size at the time.  I was the smallest guy on the team, even smaller than Alan Scharsu and Bob SnyderCoach Groves wouldn't even put my true weight on the team brochure, or whatever it was. 

Thursday, August 22, 2019

He Must Be A Wee Bit Irish!

 Harris is an Irish name, after all.

It's root beer, everyone!

Isaiah Harris scored his second victory in the land o' green in the 800M at the Morton Games in Dublin, Ireland.  This time, he slipped at the start and was in last place for much of the first lap.  The announcers called him out of the race with just 100M left but he still managed to pick off everyone with ease.  PSU is 800U in Ireland.

The whole race:

Just the finish:


 Isaiah HARRIS
United States 1:48.20
   Harun ABDA
United States 1:48.44

United States 1:49.07

Ireland 1:49.27

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

We Always Said It, But The 90s Guys Codified It

It has been a joke since the very first students attending the land-grant farmer's high school that became our alma mater.  With the electric chair housed at nearby Rockview Prison, the moniker became even more funnier after Penn State became a University.

State Penn!

But the 1993 XC squad took the name to a new level when they warmed up at the NCAA XC Championships with the t-shirts made up by Leif Steiner.  Even Coach Groves got in on the action during the meet.  I believe these photos were by Brian Boyer and the bike in the last pic is Matt Hutzelmann's

Tom McGlynn, Bob Hamer, Coach Groves, Harry Stants, Ken Cooper.
Coach is holding Jake Bartholomy's All-American Certifate for finishing 29th. The team finished in 14th place overall.  Not bad for a bunch of convicts!

29th Jake Bartbolomy 30:32
58th Robert Hamer 31:00
95th Leif Steiner 31:33
109th Jon Pritchard 31:43
112th Tom Mcglynn 31:45
115th Ken Cooper 31:48
134th  Harry Stants 32:09

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

A Rate Cut That Is Targeted At Our Group!

For once, here's a rate cut that all of us can benefit from.  Not the shifting from one pocket to the other, but a real cut in the cost of your very own Alumni Singlet or T-Shirt.

Ever hard-working Mark Hawkins was able to obtain diferent suppliers to bring the cost of an Alumni Singlet or T-Shirt to $55 for this time-limited sale.  That includes a reduction for those who have already ordered.  And only $50 for additional items in the same order.  Also $50 for recent grads and those who can have theirs hand-delivered by Owen Dawson in State College

So, you have until kick-off of the Pitt/Penn State Football game to get your order in.

Finally, the time has arrived.  We are having our biggest ever Alumni Singlet and T-Shirt Sale.  I know many of you have been waiting for this for a long time.  In order for this to reach everyone, I am asking that everyone "Like", and "Forward" this post on every available medium.  You have more friends than I do and our reach can exponentially grow if we include yours (and theirs!).

The hard work of this project is being done by Mark Hawkins ('81).  And even though he is a bit shy about it, he deserves thanks and accolades from all of us.  This stuff isn't easy and it would be quite easy to forego any of it except for the love of our program shared by Mark, me and all the rest of our wonderful Group.  We aren't there yet, but I am striving to have us be the largest and most active Track and Field Alumni Group in the world.

I will let Mark's words about ordering stand as the final word on this Super Duper Sale of the Century!

Fill out the form below to order a Penn State Track & Field (and XC) Alumni Singlet or T-Shirt.  Based on a throwback design, they are a great way to celebrate our organization of Penn State proud alumni athletes and coaches.  The shirts were introduced in 2009 and are being worn coast2coast and internationally by more than 250 of your brothers and sisters - spanning teams from 1968 to 2019!

The main design on the front of the shirt reads PENN STATE between two solid bars.  The lower bar includes the ALUMNI designation.  In addition to the front design, the varsity block S is also incorporated into the back or sleeve of each t-shirt or singlet.  You also have the option (preferred) of including your year of graduation or competition (ie '81) positioned on the right chest above the main design.

Mark Hawkins ('81) is handling the orders again this year.  Mark will be contacting you to acknowledge and finalize your order.  We order the stock as needed and each shirt is custom printed by Collegiate Pride in State College. Please note that Mark orders the stock and supplies it to the printer, so please communicate with Mark.  Due to the inclusion of the graduation year, it is not trivial to make changes or substitutions.  If you have not seen the shirts, Mark will be happy to send pics.

The singlets and T-shirts will again be the Nike "Miler" style.  There are Men's and Women's versions available for both of these dry-fit shirts.  For this printing, our primary color scheme is Blue printing on white shirts.  We have printed white on blue for the women's shirts as an option in the past - if you are interested in this color scheme or other shirt styles, please contact Mark.

Costs of the shirts have increased, and we now pay a royalty charge to PSU via the printer.  This year both singlets and T-shirts will cost $55 (including shipping).  For personal hand delivery or for additional shirts shipping to the same address, you may deduct $5 each.

Look for an announcement of the closing date for orders. Closing date for orders is the kickoff of the Pitt/Penn State Football game.  Thank you!

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Recent Additions To Our Ranks Around The World!

Michael Shuey added to his National title in the javelin with a 4th place finish in the Pan-Am Games in Lima Peru.  I know I would instantly have food poisoning if I went there, so it's a notable achievement!

And our most recent member, Isaiah Harris, just ran a season best 800M prior to heading to Europe for some fast 2-lappers!

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

I Ran In The Same Spikes As Greg Fredericks!

I am just angry that mine were 2 minutes slower (or more) than the version he got.  It's just not fair... They sure were beauties, though.  And the more you wore them, the better they fit.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Cross Country Starts Soon

From Greg Fredericks:

August is here and XC camps open soon... where did the summer go?

Attached is a photo of an "old" xc shoe.  How many remember the original version was real leather and had green stripes.  Oh to be young again and run or glide over the golf course!

Sunday, August 4, 2019

These Guys Were Coach Groves' First Athletes

Phil Peterson sent me this pic of the 1968XC season.
  • #1: Al Sheaffer
  • #7: Phil Peterson
  • between #1 and #7: Jeff Deardorff
  • Glasses: Ray Smith
  • far left: Steve Gentry
  • Others in back: Art Knapp and Joe Witkowski
We need stories from this year from any of them.  The personality change in coaches from John Lucas to Harry Groves must have been something like a 7.0 Earthquake.  With Coach Groves' Army background, the turbulent late 60's with protests and anti-war sentiment must have been a volatile mix.

And don't forget to order your "Official" Alumni singlet or T-shirt
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