The undefeated Harvard track team, flying high after last weekend's superb victory in the GBC's, returns to earth and Yale's indoor dirt track this afternoon when it faces the Elis and Princeton for the Big Three Crown.
The Crimson, on the basis of its performances to date, is rated the favorite in the 20th running of the triangular meet. The Tigers, however, are strong enough to challenge, and Harvard must avoid any sort of letdown in order to take its 13th win in the series and its tenth out of the last twelve. Yale will probably be an idle host.
Princeton, which has yet to win the title, has good balance in both the field and the running events. It is stronger in the field, however, where it could take as many as four firsts. In the 35-pound weight throw Greenwood of Princeton is a sure bet, while the shot shapes up as a battle between Jay Hughes of Harvard and the Tiger weight men.
Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace tied the Harvard long jump record last week with a jump of 23'6'" but he will receive some stiff competition this afternoon from Wilson of Princeton who has already hit 23'8". Harvard's Leon Sharpe could make this a three-way event. The triple jump numbers five men over 46 feet, although Wilson and Vanderpool-Wallace will probably fight it out for first.
The Crimson dominated the pole vault in the GBC's as it has all winter and Jim Kleiger and Blayne Heckel look like another sure 1-2 bet. This may be the weekend for Kleiger's 17-foot vault, although he may wait for some better competition. Mel Embree has the edge over two Tigers in the high jump.
The mile always seems to shape up as a wide open affair at Big Three meets and this year is no exception. Both Yale and Princeton have sub-4:10 milers to challenge the favorite, Harvard's John Quirk. The 600, however, should be a Crimson strongpoint with Nick Leone coming off a very fast 1:09.9 GBC win, and only a two man entry rule preventing a possible Harvard sweep.
Dewey Hickman is heavily favored in the 60-yd. high hurdles, but Baylee Reid faces a strong dash field. Princeton, with two 6.3 sprinters, appears strong here. Harvard will counter with Bob Clayton, the fastest in the world so far this year in the 1000.
Strange Outcomes Possible
As in last week's GBC's the two mile shapes up as a wide-open battle this time between Ric Rojas of Harvard, Vanderkraats and Good of Princeton, and Mearns of Yale. Rojas, who ran away from the field last Saturday to win in 8:48.8 could do the same this weekend, while Jim Keefe could surprise everyone with a repeat performance of his second-place GBC finish.
If the meet is still close, the mile and two-mile relays could be decisive as Harvard and Princeton have fairly comparable units in both. The Crimson have recorded better times, but the Tigers are close enough to challenge, and strange things happen when relays decide track meets.