Harvard track teams have been good before, but rarely has one been as loaded as this spring's. There is talent in every event, and so much depth that coach Bill McCurdy could probably lose all his Heps champions with galloping elephantiasis and still mop up everyone on the dual-meet schedule.
This may be the best dual-meet team in the East: the only weaknesses are the pole vault, where Ken Winters' 13.ft., 5 in, jump is the team's best, and the javelin, which will be left to sophomore Bob Welch, a 192 ft., 8 in. performer last year.
Where do you start describing a team like this one? A good place would be last June's NCAA championships at Eugene, Ore. There Captain Art Croasdale got off a 189 ft., 2 in. hammer throw for a third place. Tony Lynch ran a 51.4 in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles. Chris Pardee cleared 6 ft., 10 in. in the high jump, and, like Lynch, took a fourth. A week later, in the USTFF championships at Corvallis, Ore., John Bakkensen threw the discus 179 ft., 9 in., and John Ogden ran a 1:51.6 half-mile. All the parformances were among the best of the year by any Eastern Collegian.
These performers will be back, and all but Bakkensen will be competing in more than one event. Croasdale, who won, third place in the shot put at the IC4A's last year, is the University record-holder in that event at 57 ft., 3 in. Pardee is a 22 ft., 10 in. broad jumper and a 46 ft. triple jumper. Lynch placed third in the Heptagonals high hurdles and ran a leg on the mile relay team. Ogden runs anywhere from the 440 to the mile.
These five (including Bakkensen, the team's only IC4A champion) would make a fair track team by themselves. But they barely begin the Harvard story. In the sprints there's Aggrey Awori, University record holder in the 100 (9.7) and the 220 (20.6), and sophomore Wayne Anderson, second to Sam Perry in the indoor IC4A dash this winter.
Awori also holds the University record in the high hurdles (14.0) and took third place in the IC4A's last year. Awori, Lynch and sophomore Harvey Thomas make this a strong event for Harvard. Awori's fourth event is the broad jump, where he's backed by Thomas and Pardee. In fact, the Ugandan could try a quintuple in some meet this year, since the powers that be have added a 440-yard relay to the schedule.
Joe Sam Robinson, a 48.4 quarter-miler as a freshman, is a strong threat to the 50-year old University record of 48.0, and sophomore Britisher Michael Hauck may keep him company. Ogden and Keith Chiappa, two seniors who have been hampered almost incessantly with injuries during their careers, have both run good 440, 880, and mile times. In the mile they'll keep company with sophomore Jim Smith and Walt Hewlett.
Field Events Strong
Hewlett is in charge of the two-mile, where he turned in a 3:57 in a time trial just after cross-country season. No one on the dual-meet schedule can give him trouble, and if he can overcome his aversion to big meets, he could finish near the top in the IC4A's.
Pardee, who cleared 6-6 in every meet this winter and made 6 ft., 9 in. on two occasions, heads a fabulous high-jump squad. Sophomores Charlie Njoku (6 ft., 6 in.), and John Newman (6 ft., 4 in.) help out.
Triple jumpers include Pardee, Olufemi Olunloyo (45 ft., 9 in.) and Njoku. Croasdale is backed up in the shot by two 50-footers, Ray Frieden and Tom Choquette.
The team is almost sure to take its second straight Heptagonal championship against a weakened field; a real test may not come until June when the Crimson goes after its first IC4A championship since the dark ages, against Villanova's great runners and Maryland's field-events men.