NEW HAVEN, May 11--Yale made its greater depth pay off here this afternoon, as it took the all-important relay to defeat the varsity track team, 71 to 69.
Even without ace half-miler Jim Cairns, who had injured his knee in a freak accident last night, the previously unbeaten Crimson made a gallant fight and nearly pulled out a victory.
With his last semblance of depth gone, Coach Bill McCurdy threw a quartet of Bob Weil, Mike Robertson, Al Gordon, and Dick Wharton against Yale's Jack Halpern, Ed Holohan, Bob Skerritt, and John Slowik, Crimson anchorman Dick Wharton faced the impossible task of making up nearly twenty yards on a runner of Slowik's calibre. Yale won by fifteen yards in 3:19.2, a meet record. The varsity was caught in 3:22.1.
Joel Landau proved the standout of the meet when he gave up a chance to beat Eli rival Disk Fisk in the high hurdles by entering the 100-yard dash 15 minutes earlier. He placed second to teammate Sandy Dodge's 9.9 to give the varsity an extra valuable three points.
As it was, Landau nearly caught Fisk, even though he stumbled after clearing the last hurdle he fell across the finish line a scant two steps behind his Eli rival, but ahead of Yale's Keith Moore, who had upset him in the indoor Heps.
Later, Landau climaxed his spree by whipping Fisk in the low hurdles, with teammate Dave Rosenthal only a foot behind the Eli in third place.
Pete Reider led the lone Crimson sweep as he, Phil Williams, and Bill Thompson finished one-two-three in the mile. Reider outsprinted Williams to the tape in 4:15.6, a meet record. Later, he nosed out Dyke Benjamin in the two mile, setting another meet record of 9:28.7.
Although unable to bend his heavily-bandaged knee, Cairns attempted to run the 880, and actually led for the first 350 yards, at which point he was forced to drop out. With an incipient Yale sweep threatened, French Anderson forced his way into third place with a dogged sprint which almost carried him past Yale's Ed Hedeen, who placed second. Yale's Slowik won in 1:53.6.
Wharton gave the rain-spattered spectators a thrill as he came from dead last at the beginning of the stretch to overtake Eli Bob Skerritt and win the 440 in 48.3. Gordon just missed third, as he ran the distance in 48.8. Halpern outlasted Dodge in the 220 to win by a yard in 21.9.
In the field events, Pete Harpel and John DuMoulin continued their dominance of the hammer fields as they placed first and second. Tony Gianelly surpassed his own best mark, as he won the discus with a toss of 152 feet, 9 1/2 inches.
John deKiewiet scored the other Crimson victory, winning the high jump at 5 feet, 19 3/8 inches.
Jim Doty took second in the shot, with a throw of 47 feet, 11 1/2 inches, edging Dick Hunt, who last year had beaten him handily. Although hampered by a sore shoulder, Carl Pescosolido lost by less than four feet to Gene Coker in the javelin.
In the final analysis, it was a weakness in the broad jump and the pole vault which lost the meet for the varsity, as Yale took first and second in both.
In the freshman meet, Pat Liles and Ed Martin scored the only Yardling wins, as the Eli freshmen won, 90-50. Liles tied for first in the pole vault, took seconds in both the 220 and the broad jump, and third in the 100, for 11 points. Martin won the mile in 4:23 to break a meet record. He later placed third in the two mile.