The billing at Penn's Franklin Field on Saturday describes a ten-team contest, with all the Ivy track teams, Army and Navy. But don't let that Heptagonal P.R. work fool you. Most of the trackmen entering the Heps have conceded title aspirations to Penn, Navy, Cornell, and Harvard only.
Although the Quakers have racked up three straight victories in the outdoor version of the Heptagonals, it appears that if any of those top four teams has a chance besides Penn, it will be the Navy contingent that will take most of the day's laurels.
The Middies have an impressive line-up in both running and field contingents. Their balanced attack could be enough to salvo any attempts by the strong-running Penn club and Harvard's predominantly field-oriented attack.
But nobody is overlooking the Crimson's chances for waltzing off with the Hep crown. Coach Edgar Stowell's prognostication that "If we can get everything we should, we'll hang in it well," is actually an underestimation of Harvard's chances.
With a jumping corps featuring two of the biggest stars in the East, Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace (long and triple jump) and Mel Embree (high jump) Harvard is guaranteed to pick up a few points in the field.
Blayne Heckel in the pole vault and Jay Hughes in the hammer throw and shot put can't be discounted either. Heckel vaulted 15 ft. 6 in. against Army last Saturday and Hughes took the hammer throw at 185 ft. 1 in. and the shot at 51 ft. 1 3/4.
It's the running squad, however, that holds the key to Crimson title hopes. Ric Rojas, who has turned torried in the last few weeks, will be on hand to prove that his 13:30.4 three mile in the Penn Relays was not a fluke. "He has a good chance of winning that one," Stowell said before the meet.
Ace Baton Club
But the squad to look out for is Harvard's churning mile relay team. The ace baton club has been clicking off times in the vicinity of 3:16, and on Penn's tartan turf, Sam Butler, Nick Leone, Joel Peters, and Steve Brown will probably crash the 3:15 barrier. If so, Leone should be snapping the tape at the relay's finish line.
A peek around the league reveals that the meet's top performer could be Penn's Dennis Fikes. The Penn senior kicked to a 3:55 mile behind winner Tony Waldrop at the Penn Relays, and will be the undisputed pick to notch first in the mile event.
Other expected stars include Cornell's Pat Roach, a 1:50 half miler, and Navy long distancemen Jeff and Jim Kramer.