Harvard has not won a Heptagonal championship in track or cross country for to these many years, and it is perhaps too much to hope for that the Crimson will capture one today. Still, the Heptagonal cross country meet this afternoon in New York's Van Cortlandt Park provides the varsity with an excellent chance to take all the marbles.
Past experience should discourage anyone for predicting success in the Heps for Crimson squads. The record in recent years has been one of dismal failure. But this year's cross country team has been something special, even for a Bill McCurdy-coached squad.
Captain Mark Mullin, Ed Hamlin, and Eddie Meehan have shown a remarkable amount of determination in running despite injury and illness. In last Friday's Big Three meet, the effects of a long, hard season caught up with the varsity, as Princeton won with 27 points to 42 for the Crimson and 52 for Yale.
Hamlin was hampered by a stitch in the Big Three run, and Mullin had a sore leg. Meehan turned in a courageous effort by taking fourth despite an illness which would have sidelined most people.
But now the pressure is off, and the varsity is relatively fit for the first time in quite a while. Presumably, Bob Knapp has recovered from an attack of food poisoning; Don Kirkland is not likely to get a stitch as he did last week; and Greg Baldwin has an affinity for the Van Cortlandt course.
Army, paced by John Jones and Ralph Lingle, must be rated the team favorite. Cornell, 27-29 conquerers of Army last week, and Princeton should challenge the Cadets, as should the Crimson. The individual crown should go to either Steve Machooka of Cornell or Bobby Mack of Yale.
The varsity defeated Cornell earlier this fall, 26 to 29, although Machooka was the individual winner.
If the varsity can put three men in the top ten, and if Kirkland, Knapp, and Baldwin can supply at least two respectable finishes, the Crimson could take the title.