Like most other college coaches, the Crimson's track and cross country leader, Jaakko Mikkola, has a special fondness for Freshmen. "We need good Freshman runners badly," he says, "because they are the core of our future Varsities--successful Freshman teams mean successful Varsities and vice versa."
Practice Starts Next Week
Guided by this philosophy, Mikkola always dusts off the welcome mat for first year men. Next week, he'll hold a meeting for erstwhile pavement pounders at his headquarters in Dillon Field House. Practices are held on what is known as the University Handicap Course, a cinder strip running parallel to the Charles River as far as the Metropolitan Police Station. For meet competition, both Freshman and Varsity squads move to Dorchester's Franklin Park.
Dismal Season Last Fall
Last year's Varsity record was typical of the mediocre showing Crimson harrier units have made in the past few years (although Coach Mikkola's Freshman-Varsity track and cross country scorecard against Yale in 33 wins and 9 losses).
The 1947 season came to a disastrous ending at Princeton when Harvard, in the traditional triangular meet, knuckled under to the Bulldog 18 to 33 and to the Tiger 16 to 38. Mikkola didn't bother to send then team to the annual 1C4-A championships at New York's Van Courtland Park. This year he is hoping for better things.
"Cross country means so much," he explains. "When your cross country material is good, your track teams generally turn out strong."