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Just two returning lettermen and a promising, but unproven, group of sophomores, make Coach Bill McCurdy's cross country team the biggest question mark in University athletics this fall. As McCurdy puts it, "I could have my first losing season since coming here (that was in 1950) or we could go all the way."
Fundamental to Crimson hopes for a successful season are the performances of veterans Ed Hamlin and Eddie Meehan. Two of last year's "big three" (along with the now graduated Mark Mullin.) Hamlin and Meehan will form the nucleus of the new squad--if they can stay healthy.
But both runners have been plagued with early season injuries. Captain Hamlin has been troubled with a leg injury, a bad foot, and now a heavy cold; while Meehan, a junior, is just recovering from a bruised Achilles tendon. In spite of the injuries, McCurdy has indicated that both runners will be on hand for the first meet against Cornell Saturday.
Supporting the new big two in one of the "best crop of sophomores to come along in some time." Bill Crain has been the best of the sophomore harriers in preseason training and could conceivably challenge Meehan and Hamlin for number one before long.
Behind Crain are Roy Cobb, probably the most improved sophomore on the team, and Jack D'Arch, who also figures to be included in McCurdy's top five.
Another boy showing promise is junior Aurel de Hollan, whom McCurdy termed "a pleasant surprise" in pre-season training. But de Hollan is out indefinitely with a sore foot.
Questioning this lack of experience, McCurdy pointed out that distance running is the "toughest sport around." He explained that attitude and self-confidence are as important as conditioning.
18 Miles A Day
McCurdy's runners are always in condition. A majority of this year's squad has been involved since early September in a training program calling for approximately 18 miles of running a day. Beginning on Labor Day Weekend, Hamlin, Meehan, D'Arcy, Crain and others have been working out in double and triple sessions daily sandwiched around afternoons of heavy calisthenics.
William Hill, a freshman pole vaulter, won the All Harvard Cross Country Handicap with a time of 20:14:5. He was followed by Jim Holt who covered the three and one half mile coures in 20:15. Holt and Hill, were among the few novices to beat coach Bill McCurdy's cross country team, running under a five minute handicap. Eddie Meehan set a new record for the event with a time of 17:38.
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