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...

Monday, May 18, 2020

A Summer Camp To Remember


In the waning days of summer 1969, there was a lot to negotiate for student-athletes.  There was a pandemic known as The Hong Kong Flu ravaging the country, just as Woodstock was held in rural New York state.  Over one million people died worldwide.

And there was a new coach at Penn State for Cross Country who brought in many new training techniques and had a fairly good stable of runners. 

They all ended up at a Summer Camp prior to the first trimester of the 1969/1970 season. From Dick Geiger, all the way from rural Tennessee, who is featured in this photo front-left. (That's Greg Fredericks and Coach Groves front-right!)



Fall XC camp in 1969 was near Woodward about 35 miles east of State College. Obviously, it would have been a little difficult to get free weights there even if we'd have been able to "borrow" them from the weight room in Rec Hall. So Coach Groves decided to use what he had--and we could lift. Probably the first and last time an entire team did their entire workout simulataneously and with a single weight. But Coach was always thinking out of the box.

Actually, this posed photo was after the team lifted/dragged/pulled Ralph Kissel's classic Porche roadster back onto the dirt road that lead to the cabin. Ralph had pinned it against a tree; said something about a calf cramp, as I recall! I guess that clutch was really a stiff one. Coach Groves is 2nd from the right next to Greg Fredericks.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Larry Mangan Broke The Barrier And Vanquished Black And White Photos For PSU Track




On This Day: Larry Mangan Makes Penn State History
Mangan became first Nittany Lion to run a sub-four-minute mile
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – On a sunny State College day on May 16, 1980, junior Larry Mangan toed the starting line hoping to make Penn State history.
"I woke up and went for a little shake out run in the morning and I was nervous. It had been on my mind for a couple years." Mangan said. "I had gotten close for the first time, I had run 4:01 a year earlier so it was on my mind that I thought I could do it. The Saturday before, it was at the Pitt Invitational, I had run 3:42.0 (in the 1500m) to break the school record…which was the equivalent to a sub-four minute mile so I felt I could do it."
Four minutes later, he had done just that. Mangan broke the tape in a time of 3:58.4 to become the first Nittany Lion in Penn State history to run a sub-four-minute mile. Mangan outraced Sosthenes Bitok, who would later run for the Kenyan Olympic team.
"He (Sosthenes Bitok) took the pace so I give him credit because he led most of the race. I was able to get him with about 80-meters to go. And that was his first sub-four as well." Mangan added.
Today marks the 40th anniversary of Mangan's historic run. Mangan's time at the 1500m mark also set the outdoor track record at 3:42.5. Mangan's marks weren't the only records that were set on that day in 1980. Richmond's Hillary Tuwel clocked 14:00.73 to set the outdoor track record in the 5,000m.
Mangan success was not limited to the track as he was a member of the Nittany Lion cross country team that finished fourth, third and third in 1978, 1979 and 1980 at the NCAA Cross Country Championships. Mangan earned All-America honors in cross country during the 1980 season. He was joined by teammates Alan Scharsu and John Zishka on the All-America team.
Mangan also spoke about his head coach, the late Harry Groves.
"He (Coach Groves) put Penn State track & field on the map from 1968-2006. He recruited well. He was an excellent distance coach and he surrounded himself with coaches who were strong in the other disciplines and he was a motivator…He believed in a system and it worked for a really long time….He invested in me and he trusted me."
Penn State remains a big part of the Mangan household. Larry's daughter, Olivia, threw javelin for the Nittany Lions and graduated in 2014. Larry had a son graduate from Penn State in 2016 and his youngest son is a member of the Penn State class of 2024.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

40 Years Ago Seems Like Just Yesterday!




40 years ago, Friday May 16, 1980 Penn State Track and Field finally broke though a long standing barrier and one Larry Mangan wrote his name into the record books.  Yes, the first Penn Stater to run a sub 4 mile and he did it right in Happy Valley (who said it is always too windy here?)  Larry will join us Saturday May 16th at 10AM eastern time and hang around a bit for the west coast to wake up!  Maybe each of you have your Larry or 1985 4X800 moment you can share.  Lets have some fun and recognize one of our greats.

Thanks.
greg

And let's not forget that it wasn't too long after that but 2 years since Greg joined the Bannister list!  Go Larry!

Gregory Fredericks is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.



Wednesday, May 13, 2020

We Need This Guy For Our Tourney Next Year!


Saturday would have been the 19th Annual Coach Harry Groves Golf Tournament to coincide with our Program-wide Reunion.  It would have been our first at Toftrees, where Spouse the Better and her brothers lived next door to Fred Wolf, the author of Joe Dirt and Strange Wilderness.

I would also have been vying for my third straight title, a feat that has not yet been accomplished.  My practice schedule indicates that I had as good of a chance as any of my other 3 victories.

But what we truly need is a guy who can get things done without any muss or fuss.  One club bought for $2.99!  No bag, no worries.



 
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