Harvard Grabs Early 12-5 Lead in B.C. Meet; Crimson Thinclads Seek Final Conquest Today
Harvard's indoor track team travels to Boston College today with a seven-point advantage. No, coach Bill McCurdy's crew hasn't been spotted the lead by a generous Eagle contingent, but rather earned its edge through a "subway series" format employed in the dual meet.
Due to the lack of an adequate facility at the Jesuit complex, scheduled visitor Harvard hosted B.C. in the 35-pound weight throw and shotput events, yesterday at Briggs Cage. Thanks mainly to the heaving of Danny Jiggetts, the Crimson holds a 12-5 edge in the staggered meet, which shifts to the Eagles' domain for the remaining action this afternoon at 2 p.m.
Senior Jiggetts, the All-American grid ace for the 1975 Ivy football champs, made a mockery of matters in the weight throw. The mammoth chucker unloaded a 61 ft. 8 1/2 in. hurl to top the tossing pack.
Sophomore teammate Ed Ajootian nailed down the runner-up slot, propelling the bulkage 59 ft. 1 1/2 in. Eagle Joe Dray salvaged third place for the visitors, launching the hammer-like object 58 ft. 11 in.
But Dray came on strong in the shotput, outdueling Jiggetts for a measure of revenge. The Boston College ace's best effort nestled to the earth after defying gravity for 54 ft., 1 3/4 in. Meanwhile, Jiggetts could muster only a fling of 51 ft. 3 in. for second place honors.
Third place in the shot then became a pivotal position, Harvard senior Kevin McCafferty proving equal to the test. 'Big Mac' unfurled the shot far enough to break the 50-foot barrier by 5 1/2 inches, and in the process captured the key slot.
Boston College has some outstanding track talent, but as in the past, its depth still looms as a large question mark. The unusual two-day format of the meet, coupled with NCAA team traveling limits, led both squads to agree on 22-men squad restrictions. Therefore, give the edge in the depth department to the Crimson.
B.C. All-American Keith Francis is a proven entity in the middle distance events. High school All-American Bill Martin has already raised collegiate eyebrows in the 1000-yard and mile runs. 1975 IC4A sprint champion Bob Hazard is still fleet of foot and could spell trouble for the Harvard dash duo of Todd Hooks and Mark McLean.
The Crimson's fortunes in the mile will rest firmly on the shoulders of freshman sensation Pete Fitzsimmons, an All-Ivy harrier in the fall. Classmate Scott Dobson and Jeff Campbell will be called upon to pick up a two-mile attack impaired by the absence of distance staple Stein Rafto, sidelined with the flu.
Tri-captain Mei Embree spearheads a Harvard forte, the high jump. Hunt Block, freshman Geoff Stiles, and junior Steve Hanes could catapult the Crimson to victory in the pole vault, while veteran Ahmed Kayali is the locals' triple-jump threat.
Last year, Harvard rolled to a 78-40 win over the Eagles, but mentor McCurdy doesn't put too much stock in past laurels. "The outcome will hinge on the hurdles, 600-yard run, and long jump events. where neither team has an advantage," the amiable coach commented after his squad had posted the early seven-point edge.
McCurdy is looking to get clutch performances from tri-captain Joel Peters and Gary Schmidt in the 600-yard run. The hurdles stack up with tri-captain Sam Butler at the helm, complemented by Todd Hooks and Mike Plater.