The men's cross country team, running their best race since the season opener against Northeastern, fell four points short yesterday afternoon as Boston University edged the Crimson for the Greater Boston Championship crown, 41-45, at Franklin Park.
"We really didn't deserve to lose this time," coach Bill McCurdy said after the race. "We went out and took the race to them. We ran aggressively for a change."
The amazing Bruce Bickford added another trophy to his already sizeable collection, finishing first in 29:19, over a half a minute ahead of Harvard's Reed Fichner who completed the course second in 29:52.
John Murphy came home not far behind, capturing third place, while teammates Buck Logan, Noel Scidmore, and Eric Schuler rounded out the Crimson scoring finishing ninth, 12th and 19th, respectively.
Although Northeastern's Bickford once again coasted to victory, the real race occurred behind him. Even before the gun, it began as a contest between the fleet-footed Crimson tracksters and the scrappy, tough Terriers, and the two swuads dueled over the entirety of the 10,000 meter course.
At the first mile split--about 4:40 for the Crimson leaders--Eichner, Murphy, and Logan were running even with the top three BU competitors. Before reaching the second mile the lead changed hands several times, see-sawing back and forth.
"They would move ahead of us," Murphy said, "and then we'd jump on them and vice versa, but by two miles we had beaten them. They weren't prepared for that."
At the two-mile point, the Crimson was sitting pretty--the three leaders were followed by Scidmore and Thad McNulty not too far behind.
However, McNulty soon began to fade, falling back and way out of the competition, not even finishing in the top twenty-five runners. All of a sudden the Crimson needed a fifth man, fast.
"I don't know what's with me these days." McNulty said after the race. "If I had just run my race then it would have been all over for BU. I guess I'm still on vacation, but I'll be back soon."
About the time McNulty was disappearing behind the hills, freshman Schuler started passing people right and left gaining the 19th position before he was through.
"Schuler came out of nowhere and kept picking off people," McCurdy said. "He will never be in a more competitive race as far as the importance of individual places and the fighting going on for them."
Friday, the Crimson will face a depleted Dartmouth squad that is missing the services of Art Switchenko, last year's runner-up in the Heps, who is sitting out this season because of mononucleosis. Rumor has it that mono has claimed several of his teammates as well.
"We'll kill Dartmouth," Murphy said, "after all, we need the eggs."