For the first time in three years, the Crimson track team is favored to beat Army today. But if anything, the team is laboring under an even greater handicap than it did when it upset the Cadets 76 1/2-63 1/2 last year, and it's all because of the weather.
The team returned from Puerto Rico last Saturday, but since then bad weather has allowed only one day of outdoor practice. The trackmen have had trouble adjusting to the New England weather after being in the Caribbean, and performances have been poor. Just how poor they will be today remains to be seen.
Army, coming back from a defeat at the hands of Missouri, could potentially upset the Crimson. The Cadets should take the first two places in the 100 and 220, and they are fairly strong in the high jump. The Crimson, on the other hand, is looking for possible sweeps in the half-mile, broad jump, and hammer throw events.
There are two key races upon which the meet could hinge. One is the 440, where Dave Newi, Larry Repsher, and Don Kirkland will face Army's Jerry Garwick, who ran a 48.2 against Missouri. The second is the mile run, which pits Mark Mullin against Cadets Ted Benx and John Jones. Mullin beat them indoors, but they both beat him in the Indoor Heptagonals.
The two-mile run features a continuation of the literally running battle between Jed Fitsgerald and Army's Howie Roberts. This year's indoor match was the scene of some bloody elbowing, with Roberts emerging the victor. Fitsgerald hopes to repeat his last year's outdoor victory.
The mile relay will be close if the Crimson is in top form. The Cadet team ran 3:16 indoors. The hurdles should be a Harvard victory in the first two places.
The hammer and broad jump will be Crimson strong points. Ed Bailey and Stan Doten will definitely place in the hammer, and Roger Wilson may beat Army's Bob McCarthy for third. The broad jump should be a sweep by Chukwuma Asikiwe, Alan Albright, and Tom Blodgett. Blodgett is also expected to win the javelin-throw, and, if he can beat the Cadets' Gary Brown, the pole vault.
The high jump looks like a clear victory for Gene LaBorne and Bill Hawkins of Army. Hawkins won the indoor meet at 6 ft., 3 in. Neither Marty Beckwith nor Tony Deness can match the Cadets' consistently high leaps.