The two-day Greater Boston Track Championships opened at the ITT last night, and as far as Harvard is concerned they may have closed, too. A calamitous streak of bad luck in the trials of the running events spoiled several fine field performances, and all but squelched Crimson hopes of winning the meet.
The thinclads entered the competiton without middle-distance men Ryan Lamppa and Bob Higgens. both sidelined with injuries. The depleted forces were further thinned when Marc Chapus, Harvard's fastest quarter-miler, pulled up during his event with a muscle cramp, leaving David Frim as the lone trackster to qualify for this afternoon's finals.
Later, in the semi-finals of the 600-yd. run, star trackster Adam Dixon stumbled once, and was jostled to the ground a second time moments later. He recovered quickly, and continued to run, but finished inches short of third place and a spot in the finals, removing the possibility of any Crimson points in the event.
In addition, distance sensation John Murphy, bedridden with the flu, is a questionable participant in today's mile and two mile.
"We're not out of it," coach Bill McCurdy said after the meet, "but what we're into is trouble."
The trouble would have been malignant, however, if the throwers and jumpers had not contributed their finest effort to date.
Led by Jim Johnson, who also suffered an injury on what McCurdy termed this "day of disaster," the field event contingent racked up a first, two seconds and three thirds in the six events.
Johnson, who pulled a hamstring in his first attempt in the long-jump and left the competition, proved that once can be enough by making it stand up, copping first with a leap of 23 ft., 13 1/4 in.
Dave Randall, second in the pole-vault, and Tom Lenz, third in the 35-lb. weight throw, chipped in with solid efforts while Bruce Brooks (second) and Shawn Hall (third) continued to demonstrate that the triple-jump has been transformed from a Crimson weakness to a strength.
Co-captain Thad McNulty praised last night's fine efforts but waxed realistic: "It's gonna be tough for us to win at this point."