This is the first of a series of three articles on the track team as it prepares for the Quadrangular Meet on Saturday. The second will appear tomorrow.
Jaakko Mikkola is used to having good track teams. Last year, and for years immemorial before that, his teams and those of Eddie Farrell took the honors. But last season, after one of the best balanced teams in Harvard history, graduation took more than its usual toll, and the result has been that the structure of the team is being built up from the bottom; and another result is that for the first time in the history of the meet the track team will walk onto the Garden Boards Saturday night not only not the favorite to successfully defend its title, but expected by many to end up in last place.
Their smashing victory over the Yale team in a dual meet last Saturday showed one thing clearly: Cornell is going to be the team to beat in the Quadrangular Track Meet in the Garden Saturday. When the Red team's Coach Jack Moakley was here for the BAA games, he felt that he had the makings of a fine, well balanced squad. And the justification of that prediction was shown at least in part in that meet in Ithaca's Drill Hall as the Cornell trackmen snowed under the Elis on the boards so completely that the bulldog superiority in some of the field events proved useless.
Down at New Haven, the team journeyed up to Ithaca expecting they might take a beating; but none of them expected that it would be as bad as 75 1-3 to 37 2-3. They will come up to Cambridge as definite underdogs, realizing that Cornell has an even more powerful outfit than had been generally expected; and they will come up realizing that their only hope of upsetting the dope and winning this Quad meet will be their strength in the field events coupled with Harvard's strength in the running. In other words, the Elis feel that if the Crimson can cripple the Big Red's running sufficiently, they will slip in and steal the show.
The only events that Yale managed to take against Jack Moakley's boys Saturday were the high jump, the broad jump, the pole vault and the 35 pound weight. The Elis will be right in the running in all of these events on Saturday, with Bill Handing, the star pole vaulter, being pretty sure of taking his event. The star Eli's principal opposition will come from the Crimson's Win Pettingell, who, while at Exeter, once beat Harding, then an Andover star. But since that time the Yale boy has stepped out and he did 13' 9" at the Millrose games; and two of his trys at 14' barely missed. Pettingell's best is his 13' 6" at the B.A.A. games. He will press Harding, but the Eli appears to be really hot just now.
Johnny Badman only had to do 5' 10" to win the high jump against the Big Red, and at that rate he wouldn't get very far in the Quad meet competition. But the story from New Haven has it that Badman can hit 6' 1" with comparative ease, and they think he's good for 6' 2" if he's pressed. So that should turn out to be a very closely contested event, for Dartmouth has a couple of boys good for 6' 1" anyway, and Jaakko will send Bob Haydock out there hoping he will pull the first place. Haydock did 6' 2" in the B.A.A. games, and should be able to push Badman and the Big Green's Eldridge and Cuffe. Here may be decided the fate of Cornell's opponents.
As for old Eli's other stars, John Castle looks good in the weight throw; he won that event with a 48.1 1-2 over Cornell, but he did a 51 foot heave in practice the other day and will be on or near the top in the Briggs Cage. Edward Ethridge is good in the broad jump, and he is going to fight it out with Dartmouth's Warren King, a 22 foot man. Cornell, despite all their sprinters, hasn't been able to turn up any good broad jumpers, and no one has come along to fill Milt Green's shoes for the Crimson. Ethridge looks like the potential winner, for he cracked Yale's Coxe Cage record last week with a jump of just under 23 feet; and the Elis have one Windy Gary who is just about as good.
In the relays, Yale has nothing to stop Cornell's crack one mile team; while Frank Kanaly will start Congdon, Pierce, Holderness and either Fox or Hamilton in a two mile quartet that is expected to do some where's around 8:05. There is no decent shot putter worth much at New Haven, and the mile situation doesn't look too good because the best miler, Woodland, will be fighting his hardest in the two mile. Cornell's Johnny Meaden looks like the mile winner with Alex Northrop having an outside chance to topple him. Meaden won a comparatively slow 880 for the Ithacans on Saturday with Cornell's other crack miler, Howard Welch, taking that event in 4:27.6. But with Northrop in there, everyone expects that the Cornell ace will shift back to the longer distance. Yale has Joe Fox, along with Ben Holderness and Hugh McMenamin in this race, and judging by Saturday's performance they shouldn't give too much trouble.