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A Heptagonal Title to Defend

By William C. Sigal

Although now probably hardest hit by graduation than any time in the past five years, the varsity track team appears potentially as strong as last year's undefeated Heptagonal champions.

Replacements, which are sorely needed to fill vacant spots, have appeared for some of the graduates, however, and several of last year's weak events have been strengthened by members of last year's undefeated freshman team.

Joel Landau and Sandy Dodge, along with junior Art Mayo, make the dash potentially the strongest in years, if temperament and injuries do not incapacitate any of them. Landau is potentially one of the greatest dash men in Harvard track history, who unfortunately has his own ideas on how he should train and what he should run. At the moment he is a good runner.

In the 600, Captain Dick Wharton and junior French Anderson, currently injured, make the loss of record-holder Al Wills seem less fatal. Both have approached Wills's best times so far this season.

In the 1000, Jim Cairns is the Heptagonal champion, but he has been bothered by a severe case of shin splints. If this University record-holder can regain his old form, this event could prove to be a consistent point-producer for the varsity, for senior Bill Morris is showing the form which made him a standout freshman year. If these two come through, the loss of Wharton to the 600 will not be so drastic.

The backbone of the team again this year is the two-mile, which consists of the best from the Heptagonal champion cross country team. Pete Reider is threatening the University record, while Dave Norris, who finished second to him in the outdoor Heps last spring, makes an ample number two man. Sophomore Jim Schlaeppi improves with age and could challenge Norris before the season is over.

Other than these events, however, the team lacks an event which combines an outstanding performer with necessary depth to back him up.

The team has outstanding performers. Pete Harpel in the 35-pound weight, for instance, is throwing better than he has ever done in his career, and could break the University record. John DuMoulin has developed into another good weight man, but he and sophomore Jim Doty are not in Harpel's class.

Sophomore John deKiewiet could break the record in the high jump, but unless juniors Jack Murphy or Jerry Fields, or sophomores Dave Rosenthal or Carl Pescosolido develop, he will have little support.

Broad Jump A Problem

Sophomore Dave Gately could be the answer to the team's broad jump problems, but he also lacks support. Henry Wente, Warren Plath, Mayo, or Rosenthal must improve.

Joel Cohen in the hurdles has returned to form, but he, too, needs strong support Art Martin looks like the logical runner-up, which is a shame, for the team has a hurdler who is as good as Cohen, the selfsame Landau. But Landau has stead-fastly refused to hurdle--claiming it hurts his dashing.

Coach Bill McCurdy has his weak, problem events, principally the mile, the pole vault, and the shotput.

In the mile, McCurdy has had to double Norris, who, along with Dave McLean and Bill Thompson, cannot compare with the departed Wills and Ken Wilson. He does have an outstanding miler in Phil Williams, who nearly broke the mile record outdoors last year. But Williams is notoriously poor indoors, a condition which just might be as much psychological as physical.

Pole vaulters Kip Smith and Don Richards have both graduated, leaving a huge void which must be filled by sophomores Dick Williams, Barnes Keller, and Barrett Churchill. Keller has looked the best so far, which, at this point, is unfortunately damning with faint praise.

In the shot put, Jim Doty and Hank Abbott, both sophomores, must fill the vacuum left by the graduation of captain and record-holder Art Siler. Neither has shown up exceptionally well so far.

In the relays, McCurdy can choose from his strong middle distances, plus such newcomers as former Yardling captain Al Gordon, Dave Spinney, Steve Monk, Dave Brahms, and seniors Mike Robertson and Dick Norris. Both relays should be strong.

As the picture shapes up, therefore, this team looks stronger than last year's, especially in the number of strong events, and lack of potential "bust" events. Last year's squad was decimated by injuries, but managed to rise to the heights. The question is whether or not the present varsity could do the same under the same circumstances, if, as everyone hopes not, it should have to

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