PRINCETON, N.J.--It hadn't been done before in your lifetime, and if Harvard coach Bill McCurdy has his way it won't be done again in his. But Saturday afternoon in Palmer Stadium Princeton avenged 40 years of frustration at the hands of Harvard outdoor track teams with an 89-65 victory that one would have liked to have captured on film. It was that noteworthy, if only in a negative sense.
When was the last time the Crimson couldn't put a man on the track who could break two minutes in the half mile? When was the last time it didn't have a healthy sub-4:20 miler? Yet Harvard could come up with neither Saturday, and the Tigers swept the 880 and placed 1-2 in a 4:16 mile to put victory out of Harvard's reach for the first time since 1932.
McCurdy and his staff had been cautious going into the race, even though the squad had slaughtered the Tigers indoors last February. Injuries, defections and the switch to the outdoor events had left the Crimson vulnerable in several places, and an incredible amount of juggling had to be done to enter three men in each race. But Harvard did, and for a while, it was an even contest.
Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace won the broadjump. Adrian Tew took the javelin, and Rich Gilbane and Howie Kennan placed a surprising 2-3 to Tiger Carl Barisich in the discus. Then Ted DcMars and Jay Hughes took second and third in both the shot and hammer, and when Baylee Reid and Dewey Hickman won the 100 and 120 hurdles, it appeared as though the Crimson could hang on, if only it could realize its potential in the last five events.
But Harvard had overextended itself. Princeton's Jeff Weicksel led a Tiger 880 sweep in the unbelievable slow time of 1:57.6. Tigers Pierre Gourdon and Steve Wilk edged out Reid in the 220. And even though Harvard's John Maggio and Steve Dart placed 2-3 in the 400 hurdles, which neither had ever run before for the varsity, it wasn't enough.
Princeton had already piled up enough points in the mile, high jump, and 440 to remain out of touch. It was a disappointment, but then. McCurdy and his boys have been that way before. Don't bet on their staying down very long.