To everyone who imagined that Harvard was to prove an easy winner over Yale in the second meeting of the University Track Athletic Association yesterday afternoon at New Haven, the old adage, "There's many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip," must recur as possessing peculiar relevance. Fortunately, Harvard did not make enough slips to prevent her from winning the cup and at the end of the meeting, Harvard had 61 points to her credit while Yale had to content herself with 51 points and the doubtful consolation that she came very near beating her hereditary rival.
Almost everything that goes to make an athletic meeting a success in the ordinary sense of the word was wanting at the meeting yesterday afternoon. To begin with, the weather was unfavorable. The afternoon was cold and raw and the heavy rains for the two days before had left the track in a deplorable condition, - any attempt at fast time being practically out of the question. There were certain regrettable flaws in the conduct of the meeting, - no announcing, for instance, being done at any time. The crowd which gathered to see the games was small - Harvard's delegation of thirty or more supporters making a good showing in the cheering. It was to be deprecated, also, that any attempt to protest Evins on the general grounds of "professionalism" was made by Yale, - although it took very little effort on Harvard's part to nullify the protest.
It would be difficult, however, to fancy a meeting more interesting and exciting as an athletic contest than the one of yesterday. The score was on a perpetual see-saw until the last event was finished at 7 o'clock, and when it is remembered that a difference of one first place would have tied the score, the extreme closeness of the games can be comprehended. To be sure, Yale at the end of the fourth event had 23 points while Harvard had 9 only. Yet the mile run and the mile walk evened the score and from then till the end, both Harvard and Yale men were kept on the very tiptoe of expectation.
It was a day of surprises and showed very clearly that track athletics is a "mighty uncertain critter" to make any prophecies about. Who would have been willing to prognosticate, for example, that Corbin would get first prize in the half mile run out of the clutches of Will Wright himself? Or that Wright of Harvard would have to content himself with second place, owing to an unfortunate misunderstanding about the exact position of the finish line? Or that Stillman would beat Evins in the hammer throwing? Or that Wade of Yale would be better by a place than R. H. Davis of Harvard? Yet such was the actual condition of things, and perhaps this very departure from the conception of how things ought to have been was what made the athletic contest of yesterday so exciting.
It was fully 3.45 when referee Mapes called for the first heat of the 100 yards dash. And the quick, sharp Yale cheer rang out when Swayne of Yale speeded down the track and crossed the tape first, an easy winner in 10 2-5 seconds. Thompson and Hawes of Harvard had a very pretty brush for second place, the latter winning by two feet. In the second heat, Allen of Yale had very little difficulty in coming in first, Brown of Harvard finishing second. When it came to the finals, both Brown and Hawes strained every nerve to secure first place for Harvard, but Swayne and Allen were too speedy for their crimson rivals and easily finished first and second. Harvard had to content herself with the third place which Brown won. The time was 10 2-5 seconds.
In the 120 high hurdle race, the competition was only fairly sharp. When the pistol shot was heard and Lyman and Hammond of Yale and Shead of Harvard dashed forward from the starting line, everyone expected the great Yale hurdler to win. But so he did not, evidently saving himself for the final heat. Eor Shead won in 17 3-4 seconds, Lyman taking second place. Hammond had previously taken one of the hurdles poorly and had dropped out. The second heat was an easy one for Fearing, as he cleared the last hurdle and crossed the line fully ten feet in front of Van Ingen. When the final heat came, the hopes of the Harvard delegation ran high as they dwelt upon the fact that Shead had beaten the redoubtable Lyman in the trial heat, and Fearing had distanced Van Ingen. But Lyman had evidently been "sparring for wind," as the prize fighter would phrase it, in his first heat and now he proved his right to the reputation which he enjoys by coming in a good first in 16 2-5 seconds, - Fearing and Shead winning three points for Harvard by securing second and third places.
By far the most exciting event of the afternoon was the two mile bicycle race. In all the heats the men were closely bunched and the Harvard men especially exhibited excellent head-work in their riding. In the first heat. when the pistol was fired, all the men appeared to be afraid to set a good pace and as a result the first two laps were finished in very slow time. Allen and Brewster of Yale then started off mere rapidly, closely followed by Davis and Elliott of Harvard and in the sixth lap Davis spurted and took the lead. He was unable to keep this, however, and on the final stretch both Brewster and Elliot passed him. Just at the last turn however Allen run into Elliot in a spurt, both men were thrown to the ground and Brewster finished first, with Davis a not vary close second. The referee decided that Allen fouled Elliott and that Elliott should go into the finals. The second heat saw a very close fight between R. H. Davis and Wade, but the Yale man had saved himself for the spurt in the last lap and as a result, he crossed the line a few feet ahead of the Harvard man. In the final heat, R. H. Davis very craftily set a fast pace, tired the Yale man out, and in the final stretch, his brother, P. W. Davis, made a beautiful spurt and captured first place, Wade of Yale and R. H. Davis of Harvard being close second and third. After the shock of the fall in the first heat, Elliott was hardly in condition to do well in the finals, although he pluckily stuck to it and finished a good fourth.
The disappointment of the afternoon - so far as Harvard was concerned - came when the quarter of mile run was won by Sanford of Yale; for Wright of Harvard, had been confidently counted upon to win the event hands down. So be would have, had it not been for the fact that the start was put near the upper turn instead of at the middle of the stretch (as was the case in some of the other runs) and in the excitement of the race, the Harvard men made their finish where they are accustomed to and then slowed down. Sanford, the Yale man, kept pegging along, meanwhile, and before the Harvard men realized what had happened, he had won the race in 52 2-5 seconds - time which at least three Harvard men can easily beat.
But if the quarter-mile run was a disappointment to Harvard, the half-mile run had an even greater hope-shattering effect upon Yale men. For W. B. Wright of Yale, who was looked upon as a sure winner by Harvard as well as Yale, finished only second. Wright set a lively pace at the very start and led up to the last stretch when Corbin of Harvard, who had been running a splendidly-judged race, made the prettiest spurt of the afternoon, and crossed the line first amid the enthusiastic cheering of the Harvard delegation. For it was Harvard's winning six points, (Batchelder finishing third in this event) which put Yale behind in the total score. Corbin's time was 2 min. 1 4-5 seconds - unusually good in consideration of the bleakness of the day and the slowness of the track.
In the mile run, Scoville of Yale, led for the first three laps and when the fourth came, Lowell, who had kept close to Scoville up to this point, spurted easily and effectively, and together with Collamore passed the Yale runner on the final stretch. Collamore, who all the way through had run very prettily, finished second, with Scoville close behind him.
The mile walk was Harvard's, first, last and all the time, - although for an instant an ephemeral hope was born in Yale men's breasts by a sudden spurt of Wright's in the fourth lap. He had hardly gotten the lead when he fell from exhaustion and Endicott, Bardeen and Norton of Harvard finished in the order named - the tie which the judges declared to have been between Endicott and Bardeen being given to the former by the latter. Pierson of Yale was a hopeless and indisputable last
In the 220 hurdle, Fearing and Van Ingen were first and second in the first trial heat and Duane and Eaton in the second trial heat. The Yale supporters had strong hopes of Eaton's ability to beat Fearing and when these four men sprang from the mark in the final heat, there was an abundance of lusty Yale cheering. It did not avail to keep first place from Fearing, whose time was 25 3-5 seconds, - Eaton finishing a fairly close second, with Duane close upon his heels.
It was a foregone conclusion with everyone that two places in the 220 yards dash would go to Yale and in this one case, the foregone conclusion proved to be correct - Swayne and Allen winning first and second. For third place there was a very lively skirmish between Thompson and Hawes of Harvard, but the former was just a foot ahead of Hawes when the tape was reached and thus secured third place.
In the field events, the results coincided with general expectation - with the possible exception of the hammer throwing which Evins was expected to win for Harvard. Evins came very near winning but Stillman surprised everyone by beating Evins by 4 5-8 inches. One place only in the pole vault went to Harvard, and one place only in the shot-putting. The first two places in the broad jump were Harvard's and the high jump, which decided who was to be victor, gave eight points to Harvard.
The following is the summary: