Boosted by the Irish spring in the legs of import runners Ray Treacy and Brendan Quinn, Providence College captured first place at the 10,000-meter NCAA qualifying meet at Franklin Park Saturday with 35 points. Dartmouth and UConn grabbed second and third with 89 and 125 points, respectively, for the remaining two berths in next week's NCAA meet at Wichita State.
The Crimson harriers, minus injured captain John Murphy, had to settle for ninth place out of 11 teams with 245 points.
Despite an injured Achilles tendon, Murphy had intended to run Saturday, but coach Bill McCurdy ruled against his decision.
"I was walking to Dillon just before the race and McCurdy stopped me to tell me he had been up all night thinking about it and he didn't think I should take the chance and run," Murphy said yesterday. "I think the disappointment of me not running took the edge off the team effort."
With Murphy out of the running, Harvard lost most of its experience. Out of the five top Crimson finishers, two were freshmen, two were sophomores and one was a rookie junior.
Sophomore Buck Logan crossed the line first for Harvard as he placed 34th overall in 30:50--almost 25 seconds off his best time on the Franklin Park course and 1:33 off Treacy's first place time of 29:17.
"The Providence guys really took it out fast and I never made a move of any sort. There was no zip in my legs," Logan said.
Finishing just two seconds behind Logan, teammate Felix Rippy latched on to 35th place. Rippy, a freshman, began the race conservatively, saving his strength for the hilly middle miles.
"At the two-mile mark, I was in about 80th place," Rippy said. "I tried to use my knowledge of the course and the hills to my advantage and it worked."
Harvard's third finisher, Paul McNulty, took 41st place. Also a freshman, McNulty ran a good race, picking up places near the end. Junior cross-country rookie and sophomore Eric Schuler rounded out the Crimson's squad, notching 61st and 64th places, respectively.
A Sad Tale
"It would have taken something special to happen for us to qualify," Murphy said.