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McCurdy Says Harriers Face 'Challenge'

By John P. Demos

We found Bill McCurdy and Ed Stowell, varsity track coaches, in the exercise room atop Dillon Field House. They were in the midst of a long and arduous series of calisthentics that would have done credit to the most fit of their undergraduate charges.

They finished the exercises and lay back on the floor mats to catch their breath. A minute later McCurdy began discussing the prospects for the coming season.

"First," he said, "we lost an awful lot through graduation--the most in any one year since I came here." He mentioned the names of several stalwarts on last year's team whose presence will be keenly felt, and pointed out that most of these were middle-distance runners. "In winter track," he observed, "your middledistance crew is your most important one. They've got to take care of four events: the 600, 1000, and both relays.

Outstanding Individuals

"Right now the team has a few outstanding individual performers," McCurdy continued, "but we lack the depth to be a good dual-meet team." In the "outstanding" class he placed Capt. Pete Reider, a distance runner, along with hurdler Joel Landau, quartermiler French Anderson, and weight-man John DuMoulin.

He shifted his line of thought and began to consider the matter in terms of the individual events....

In the dash he has two excellent men in Landau and Sandy Dodge. But both, McCurdy noted, have already begun their annual battle with leg injuries. Dodge has not run hard since incurring a "hamstring" injury early in the fall; and Landau has recently been hobbled by a pulled calf muscle.

In the hurdles McCurdy expressed concern about the lack of depth behind Landau. He has three sophomores here, all of whom are working hard; of what he has seen so far, however, "they have one common problem: they don't run fast enough."

Depth is also the paramount problem in the crucial middle-distance area. Support will have to be found for Anderson from amongst Al Gordon, Dave Cahn, Al Percy, Dave Spinney, Dave Brahms, and Art Hoyt. None of this group has had much previous varsity experience.

Good Distance Men

In the distance events, the picture is somewhat brighter. In Reider, sophomore Ed Martin, and cross country captainelect Dyke Benjamin, McCurdy has a strong, smooth-riding trio who can be counted on to score high against any opponent. Moreover, junior Willie Thompson rates only slightly behind these three.

McCurdy turned to the field events... "In the past few years," he noted, "the runners have been carrying the field events men. This year I think it's going to be different."

He admitted to very high hopes for his high-jumpers and weight-men, especially. John deKiewiet is the best of a half-dozen jumping prospects.

"The pole vault was more or less of a bust last year," he commented, "but we have all the busts back, along with a couple of pretty good sophomores." He expressed the hope that one or two first rate vaulters could be developed from amongst Dick Williams, Barnes Keller, Doc Bennett, and Pat Liles.

In the shot put, McCurdy has no one, as yet, besides Doty; but he is currently working hard with two or three burly newcomers to this muscle-flexing pasttime. The broad jump picture is a rather nebulous one; at the moment Liles appears the best of six or seven aspirants.

A Challenge

At this point McCurdy stood up and prepared to move out to the Cage. "Well, I guess that's the picture," he said. "It's a picture of the weakest team I've had--in terms of proven material."

But McCurdy is not one to dwell long on the darker side of things. "By the end of the season I think we may be stronger than last year's team," he continued.... "Everybody's working a little harder now.... We can't help but look on this as kind of a challenge." He smiled and left.

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