Walt Hewlett, Harvard's spindly new long-distance wonder, will face his first real test here today when the Crimson cross-country team tackles Cornell and Brown.
Running "California style" in white hat and sun glasses, the sophomore from Palo Alto broke the Franklin Park course record by 52 seconds Tuesday against a weak Boston University squad. His feat was made even more spectacular by the fact that he had warmed up by running the eight miles from Dillon Field House to Franklin Park.
Just how good Hewlett really is will be tested today when he runs against three of the top eastern collegiate runners: Cornell's Jim Byard and Steve Machooks, and Brown's Dave Farley. A first place will establish him as the clear favorite for the Heptagonals and IC4A's later this year.
Machooka competed only sporadically last year, but as a sophomore he won the IC4A cross-country meet going away. He has been slow in coming around to top form this year and teammate Byard has beaten him both times they have run.
If he is on, Brown's Farley will be the man to beat today. Farley is the IC4A indoor mile champion, finished second in the Heptagonal cross-country meet last year, and is described by Crimson captain Ed Meehan as "very hard to beat when he is in top form."
All three squads come into the meet undefeated and according to coach Bill McCurdy they are the three best in the Ivy League. If he "views it dispassionately," McCurdy says that Cornell must be the favorite on the strength of their victory over a highly-reputed Penn State team. But again, McCurdy refuses to view things dispassionately, and he says that Harvard will win.
A Crimson victory hinges largely on the performance of the runners below the big three of Hewlett, Meehan and William "Buffalo Bill" Crain. These three can all be expected to finish near the top, but both Brown and Cornell have a great deal of depth that must be countered by strong performances by other Crimson runners.
Bruin Depth Dangerous
McCurdy is particularly worried about the depth of the Bruins. He says, "The six-man group of Farely, Boog, Rothenberg, Kinsella, Wooly and Odenil could really hurt us."
For this reason the performance of Bob Anschuetz against B.U. this week was very encouraging to McCurdy. Anschuetz, a letterman last year, has been plagued by injuries all fall, and his sixth place finish Tuesday was far and away his best showing to date. "If he continues to improve it will help considerably," says McCurdy.
The Crimson will also count heavily on John Ogden and sophomore Dave Allen. Ogden took things easy against B.U. because of a cold and finished 11th, but his sixth place finish helped the Crimson edge Providence in the first meet of the season