Harvard's mythical city title turned into a real myth last night as Northeastern knocked off an astonished Crimson squad, 60-58, at the Huskies' Solomon Indoor Athletic Field.
However, the victory was not the sole result of Northeastern's efforts. In what turned out to be almost a triangular meet, Harvard had to fight both the Huskies and the referees.
After the Crimson ran up some impressive victories, including an antelopean double win performance by Ric Rojas in the mile and the two mile, city laurels appeared destined for Harvard.
With the Crimson's hopes resting on a stacked mile relay team of Rick Buckley, John Maggio, 600 winner Joel Peters and Nick Leone, Harvard smelled its seventh consecutive indoor win.
Leone passed Northeastern's anchor man and broke the tape and the scoreboard indicated that the Huskies were out of reach. But a referee disqualified Buckley for stepping out of his lane and onto the inside dirt surface.
Although Harvard protested, disputing that Buckley had left the track for only three steps, adding nothing to his race, the decision stood and Northeastern triumphed.
"We lost a heartbreaker," acting head coach Edgar Stowell said after the meet. "It was too bad because it overshadowed an outstanding performance by Ric Rojas and Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace."
Vanderpool-Wallace nabbed first in both the long and triple jump as Jim Kliegar vaulted to a 16-foot victory, and Mel Embree continued his high jump dominance with a 6 ft. 8 in. win.
But top honors for the night easily went to Rojas. Harvard's best distance man admitted after the race that he didn't want to run the two mile contest after completing a record-breaking 4:10.2 win in the mile.
In another controversial race, freshman Steve Brown finished second in the 1000, almost nudging out his Huskie foe. But the referees declared that Brown' elbowed his opponent at the finish and disallowed the points.
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