Harriers Wipe Out the Bruins, 17-48
With their joined hands raised in victory, three Harvard runners broke the finish tape together as the Crimson cross country team blew out Brown, 17-48, Saturday afternoon at Providence's Blackstone Park.
Seniors Mark Meyer, Peter Fitzsimmons and Ed Sheehan all tied for first place, completing the 5.32-mile course in 26:33.2. Topping off the Harvard scoring, Thad McNulty and John Murphy came home fifth and sixth respectively.
The outcome of the meet was never in question. As early as the quarter-mile mark, only one Brown jersey appeared among the mass of red ones leading the pack. As Coach Bill McCurdy noted, "The whole tribe was up there showing the way."
After a flat, fast start, the course followed the rather dirty Seekonk River. Since by this time the Crimson runners were already safely ensconced in the top positions, McCurdy, who usually chases around the course encouraging his team at every bend, regretted that he did not have his fishing rod with him.
Turning away from the river, the course climbed a hill and then descended onto the grassy "green sword" that splits Blackstone Boulevard, where a walk-a-thon was in progress. The hoards of people and dogs milling around turned Blackstone Boulevard into an obstacle course and provided the biggest challenge of the day, since no extra points were awarded for wiping out spectators.
Going up the hill from the river, Fitzsimmons broke away, while Meyer took solid hold of the second slot. As the runners dodged the walk-a-thon participants, Sheehan grabbed the third position.
Murphy, who stayed with the leaders going into the second mile, slipped back when he stepped into a hole, twisting his ankle. He dropped back while "determining whether he had really hurt himself or not," according to McCurdy. Fortunately for the Crimson, the injury did not appear too serious.
With about one-half mile left to go, Fitzie realized that Harvard had the first three slots all wrapped up, so he slowed down to let Meyer catch him. The two then slowed up for Sheehan, and the three crossed the finish line together.
"They were real hotdogs," junior varsity team member Keith Salkowski said, "but Brown deserved it." Salkowski was referring to a controversial rainy-day meeting with Brown two years ago, in which many of the Harvard runners were disqualified for removing their shirts during the race.
"We didn't plan to tie like that before the race," Fitzsimmons said. "It would be dangerous to work it out beforehand, but I had thought about it. We didn't do it to slap Brown in the face--just for fun."