With his winter track schedule about half over, Coach Jaakko Mikkola anticipates this Saturday's meet with Yale as one of the best of the year. "I think the team as a whole is in good shape," he said yesterday, "and the Yale meet will be a real battle. We showed lots of pep against Army, and the team is very determined to beat Yale."
Yale will be strong in the regular races, Coach Mikkola said, while Harvard will dominate the field events. The Crimson's superiority in the latter, coupled with an above-average group of hurdlers, given them an excellent chance to beat Yale. The most Saturday will be the first of its kind, for the Mikkolamen have never before competed with the sons of Eli in an indoor dual meet.
The Dartmouth meet, a week later, will probably be even more dangerous. In fact, the Hanoverians themselves have said that they have on of the best squads in history. There will be no relay races against the Green, which will make it doubly hard for the Mikkolamen. Dartmouth is outstanding for its individual men, according to Jaakko, but the all-around quality of the Crimson should make it a very close meet.
Within the past few months the trackmen have turned in very creditable showings in their five meets--the V. F. W., K. of C., and B. A. A. games in Boston, the Millrose games in New York, and the Army meet at West Point. But these meets have actually been only preliminaries for the highlights of the winter season, the Yale and Dartmouth contests.
In the dashes, Sophomore Doug Pirnie has played the stellar role. He won the 50-yard handicap in the Millrose meet in 5.5, and placed second in the Army meet. Charley Smith and Bill Trainor are both dangerous men, and will doubtless figure in the two meets.
Perhaps the strongest department of the Mikkolamen is the hurdles. Captain Don Donshue, who excels in both high and low hurdles, is probably the outstanding member of the team. In the words of Mikkola, he is wonderful." He set the Harvard 220 yard hurdle record last May at 23.6 seconds; moreover, his spirit and pep are extremely infectious. Roger Schafer has run 5.9 in the 45-yard high hurdles, and Don MacKinnon, last year's Yardling captain, is always certain of placing.
The mile relay team has been struck heavily by sickness. Ted Graves has sinus trouble, and Ted Meredith is laid up with a pulled muscle. But Larry Corbett, a Sophomore who starred in both Millrose and B. A. A. contests, and Tom Watkins, who never ran over 220 yards last year, insure a strong combination.
The two-mile relay is capably handled by Bob Houghton, Rolla Campbell, Fred Phinney, and Bill Young. Bob McLoughlin; number tow cross-country man, is the outstanding miler, and two Sophomores, Don McCaul and Bob Troescher, are improving rapidly. Johnny Sopka, Tom McElligott, and Bob Kent are all seasoned cross-country veterans, and form the two-mile group.
In the field events, Mike Ford, a Sophomore who has been consistently clearing 13 feet, is the star polevaulter, but Chet D'autremont has been pressing him for the top bracket. In the high jump, both Bob Partlow and Johnny Bunker usually top six feet. The broad jump will be omitted in the Yale meet, but Partlow and Pirnie will face Dartmouth with an excellent chance of finishing one-two.
Finally, in the 35-pound weight division, three Sophomores, Tom White, Bob Fisher, and Bob Chase lead the field, while Dick Pflster, who has improved tremendously, Johnny Shattuck, who took third at Army, and Tom O'Loughlin, a consistent point-winner, will put the shot for the remainder of the season.