Princeton, Yale, Run Past Harriers
It had the makings of a great made-for-t.v. film. Forced to sit out the season because of an operation on his achilles tendon, the captain of the Harvard cross country team defies the medical world to race in the Big Three meet against Princeton and Yale. He is in pain throughout the entire race but staggers home to boost his team to victory.
Unfortunately life is not like the movies. It isn't even like made-for-t.v. movies, and despite the outstanding efforts of Crimson captain John Murphy, Harvard fell to both Princeton and Yale, 19-42 and 26-29, respectively, yesterday in New Jersey. The Crimson's record now slouches at 5-5 (2-4 in the league.)
Tiger Brad Rowe set a Princeton record yesterday, finishing the five mile course in 24:26. Running a mere two seconds behind Channeler, Harvard's Buck Logan was third to cross the line.
Although Logan has scored consistently this year, an overall lack of experience has prevented the Crimson ranks from running at par with their talent. A three-year veteran of cross country and an All-American in indoor track, Murphy hoped to boost the tem even though he has only done light running since he was operated on at the end of August.
"Murph just threw caution to the wind. It was an unusual effort," Harvard coach Bill McCurdy said after the race.
Harvard took off at a fast pace over the relatively smooth five-mile course. Going into the two mile mark, Murphy and teammates Logan. Adam Dixon, Peter Johnson, Eric Schuler, and Paul McNulty were all bunched together in the lead.
Around the third mile, however, the race split and except for Logan the Harvard runners began to drop back never to fully recover from the early strain. Still, Harvard runners Murphy and Felix Rippy made great efforts in the last stages of the race.
Renowned for his strong kick, Murphy had been running twelfth. Going into the last mile, he began to peel men off the finished the race in 24:53--only a second behind the seventh place finisher from Yale.
"Murph's got to feel tired but good." McCurdy said. "He got off the bus after the race and leaned against a parking meter. I told him he ought to put a quarter in because it looked like he was going to stay there for a while."
McCurdy added that he did not think Murphy would be able to run again this season.
Freshman Rippy also gave an inspiring performance in the later stages of the race. After losing contact with the upper echelon in the blistering start, he finished 14th in 25:10.
Other Harvard finishers included Schuler who clocked a 25:17 race for 17the place, and Adam Dixon who finished five seconds later for the 18th spot.