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The varsity came as close to winning a Big Three Cross Country Crown as it is possible to come and still lose, yesterday, in an Ivy League classic that ended with the Crimson in second place, just one point behind Princeton. The loss came in spite of Captain Ed Hamlin's amazing first place finish.
Hamlin was an uncertain element right up until the starting gun, since he had been unable to practice all week because of a sore knee. But injury and all, the 6 ft., 2 in. senior ran the greatest race of his career and set a new course record with a blistering 24:17 time. The effort left Yale's favored Bobby Mack 11 seconds and 70 yards behind at the finish.
But the Crimson didn't have the depth to go along with Hamlin's performance and it was the Tigers of Princeton who won the team title. Taking their second straight Big Three Championship. Princeton made the most of its abundance of runners.
Ray Somers was the first Tiger distance man to cross the line, in fourth place behind Hamlin, Mack and Crimson sophomore Bill Crain. But six more Princeton men finished before coach Bill McCurdy's fifth man could complete the course, and the varsity lost by the score of 28 to 29.
Princeton runners dominated the middle positions, finishing fourth, fifth, seventh, and eighth. After an Eli runner at the number nine spot, three more Tigers clinched the meet by crossing the line before the Crimson's Bob Anshuetz.
Individual Crimson brilliance was almost enough to off-set the powerful Tigers--seven deep in top runners. Hamlin clipped 30 seconds off the old course record, and Crain fought right up to the last 10 yards of the five mile course to beat Princeton's Somers for third. Junior Eddie Meehan was hit by a stomach cramp halfway through the contest, but still managed to finish sixth with a 24:57 time.
It was the second time in as many years that McCurdy's men entered the Big Three Meet undefeated only to go down before the Princeton running machine. That the varsity could finally beat Yale's Mack and still lose was, as Hamlin put it after the race, "kind of hard to take."
The Bulldogs finished a distant third, and were never in the contest, except for Mack's bid to take first place.
The meet was the last official outing of the season for McCurdy's harriers, except for the Heptagonals in New York next week-end.
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