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.

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