Most Bronxites leg it faster than they are accustomed to when they disembark from the Broadway subway at 242nd St. and Van Cortlandt Park, but the Harvard harriers are not your average group of New Yorkers and yesterday they were badly outstripped by both Penn and Columbia.
The Quakers piled up the biggest margin of victory possible in a cross country meet, winning 15-50, which coach Bill McCurdy described as "a state of affairs that doesn't leave me in a state of hilarity." Columbia also proved formidable on their home course, racking up a 23-24 win but finishing second to Penn.
The harriers' woes were largely the result of unforseen injuries. Thad McNulty was scratched when a strained leg flared up while Ed Sheehan became ill in the middle of the five-mile jaunt over the undulating Van Cortlandt layout.
"We don't have the depth of talent to be able to win with bad breaks," summed up McCurdy.
Reed Eichner crossed the tape first for the Crimson with a time of 26:22 that placed him tenth overall. Penn swept the first three places with captain Steve Sholtes leading the charge followed by teammates Richard Mohler and Kenneth Roberts.
Freshman Noel Skidmore followed Eichner for Harvard with a time of 26:32. Mark Meyer came in next for the harriers trailed by captain Stein Rafto. Bill Berkely ran a strong fifth and McCurdy pointed out, "This guy's a newcomer. It's a tribute to him that he was fifth."
The Crimson was holding its own over the opening mile of the circuit but began to lag behind the Quakers during an uphill stretch in the second mile, a particularly perfidious part of the course that was partially washed out by heavy rains. By the time the harriers approached the last leg of the course, aptly known as "Cemetery Hill," the Lions had also pulled away easily.
McCurdy said, "I checked them at the mile and congratulated myself on my brilliance. I came back after the second mile and heard rustling in the bushes. It was Ed Sheehan down on his hands and knees and I no longer congratulated myself on my brilliance. "With Sheehan out of the running, it was all over except for the Bronx Cheer at the end.