Maine, the defending New England cross country champion, met the varsity, defending Heptagonal champions, at Franklin Park Saturday morning, with the results proving once again that the Crimson is more than a match for its New England relations.
The Crimson powerhouse, in its season opener, was hard-pressed to eke out a 25 to 33 win over the Black Bears, with Springfield a dismal third with 80.
Pete Reider, varsity ace who holds the record over the 4.1 mile course, nearly suffered defeat, as he had his hands full with Maine's ace, Dan Daly.
Although Reider had led during most of the race, Daly remained right behind him during the last two miles. He spurted into the lead going down the last big hill at the 3.3 mile mark and appeared to be opening ground on Reider with every step.
As they approached the large boulder at the beginning of the last half-mile straightaway, however, Reider called on his reserve, and the diminutive track captain sprinted past Daly to win going away in 20:7, excellent early season time.
The varsity and its Maine rivals traded the next six places, with Captain Dave Norris taking third by 25 yards. Maine's Rearick placed fourth, but he had to hold off the fast-closing Dyke Benjamin, who came from far back to finish a scant two yards behind Rearick.