Competing without any academic burdens two Harvard athletes produced some exceptional performances last weekend at the National Sports Festival in Indianapolis. Ind
Senior track sensation Darlene Beckford, coming off a personal best in the U.S. West Germany dual meet in Durham, N.C., wound up second to veteran Francie Larrieu Smith in the 1500-meter run with a 4:13.17 clocking.
Beckford a Cambridge native, broke past Larrieu Smith in the final straightaway at the Indiana University Stadium, but the elder statesman of America's female distance runners kicked past the Crimson star in the final 10 meters to take the tape.
Sophomore Dan Watson finished lower than expected in men's diving competition but still managed to place sixth in the 10-meter event.
In March, Watson became the University's first national individual aquatic champion since 1961 with the top score for the tower competition at the AAU Nationals.
After qualifying fourth in the preliminary rounds, the Ashland, Ky., native had a lackluster performance in the finals before a standing-room crowd at the IU natatorium and fell to sixth overall. In the springboard competition. Watson's weaker event. He placed 12th.
Neither Watson nor Beckford could be reached for comment.
Diving Coach John Walker said yesterday that Watson was "lacking a little bit in preparation" because he recently returned from two weeks of travel and international competition in Austria and Italy.
Because he was not able to train intensively for the meet. Watson was "just not up to par" on parts of his dives. Walker said He added that meet judges were scoring entry into the water particularly closely, and Watson lost points on what is "typically his forte."
"Danny could've been in the top two and qualified for the World Team if he dove like he did during the year." Walker said.
Representing Harvard in the hockey competition, which continued yesterday afternoon, were Greg Olsen and brother Mark and Scott Fusco--all part of the Crimson squad that qualified for the NCAA finals this year.