PHILADELPHIA, Pa., May 30--The Crimson trackmen threatened early today to capture Harvard's first IC4A crown since 1909, but the powerful host team from Villanova put down the Cambridge pretenders in the late going to gain the title for the fifth straight year.
The Wildcats finished with 45 points to 26 1/2 for the Crimson and 20 for third place Morgan State.
Harvard hopes had soared in yesterday's trials, when Chris Ohiri set a University and IC4A record with a 51' 4 1/4" triple jump and John Bakkensen took the lead in the discus competition with a 169' 10" toss. All told, the Crimson qualified 11 men for today's finals, one more than did Villanova.
But even amidst Friday's favorable statistics lurked the threat of an unbeatable Villanova scoring punch. The Wildcats qualified ten men, and their power was supposed to be in the longer running events, which did not have trials. In addition, their strong sprint contigent of Earl Horner and Marshall Uzzle got a big boost when injuries side-lined the pre-meet favorites. Sam Perry of Fordham and Bob Mattis of Manhattan.
Undaunted by such trivia, the Crimson juggernaut rolled to early successes this afternoon when Ohiri's record triple jump and Bakkensen's discus throw held up to take first places. An unexpected bonus came from unheralded junior Bill Pfeiffer, who captured a fifth in the disc.
Tony Lynch, the University's premier hurdler, added some laurels of his own with a second place in the 440-yard hurdles against top opposition. Manhattan's Vince McCardle won the event in a scintillating 0:51.6, and Lynch's runner-up clocking was a speedy 0:51.9, a Harvard record.
Captain-elect Art Croasdale offset his sixth-place showing in the hammer throw with an unexpected third in the shot put to build the Crimson point total. Ahead of Croasdale's 56' 10 1/4" put were a 59' 5 1/2" toss by N.Y.U.'s hulking Gary Gubner and a 57' 5 1/4" effort by Northeastern's Carl Wallin.
Chris Pardee lost out in the high jump at the 6'6" mark to rivals John Hartnett of Princeton and Kim Hill of Yale, but Jack Spitzberg grabbed a tie for fourth to give the Crimson 4 1/2 points for the event. Hartnett was eventually ruled the winner in a jump-off.
Other Crimson scoring in the field came in the broad jump, where Aggrey Awori took fifth place with a 23' 5" leap, 11 1/2" short of the winning jump by Maryland's Mike Cole. The lone point was a slight disappointment for McCurdy & Co., since Awori and Ohiri both had qualified for the six-man final.
The Crimson lead built up in the field events dissipated rapidly when the runners took over in earnest. Wildcat Tom Sullivan took a second and four points in the mile behind Dave Farley of Brown. Farley's finishing kick ended an exciting stretch duel and brought the Bruin ace to the tape in a fast 4:06.6.
Horner matched Sullivan's runner-up performance with one of his own in the 100-yard dash. Uzzle picked up a fifth place behind winner Colgate's Sam Amukun, clocked in 0:09.7.
Wildcat captain Vic Zwolak took over in the three-mile run winning in a meet record
These Wildcat scores put the writing on the wall, but it took an incredible 11-point Villanova outburst in the grueling 3000-meter steeplechase to convince the Crimson die-hards. Zwolak got the win within 9:25.7; Dave Hyland notched second place in 9:40, and the third Wildcat cohort, Marty Ferko, took fifth in 9:51. The Crimson contingent of Ed Meehan, Dave Allen, Keith Chiappa, and John Ogden failed to score.
Harvard managed its final flash of brilliance in the next event, the 120-yard high hurdles, when both Awori and Spitzberg qualified for the finals and Awori got three points with a third place finish. His time of 0:14.3 was the same as that of the winner, John Bethea of Morgan State.
The Wildcats fattened their total in the 220-yard dash and the pole vault. Horner took the 220 in 0:20.9 for a nine point performance on the day. Uzzle finished third. Rolando Cruz topped LaSalle's John Uelses in the pole vault, clearing a meet record height of 16 ' 3 1/2".
In other events, Yale's world-record holder Wendell Mottley fell sprawling at the tape, but still took the 440-yard run in 0:47.6. Penn State's Ernie Krombolz won the javelin with a 227' 9 1/2" throw, and Morgan State took the mile relay with a meet record 3:10.3 clocking.