Running off with first and third places is not always good enough to win a cross-country meet. Harvard found that out again yesterday.
Northeastern grabbed seven of the first nine spots at Franklin Park yesterday and whipped the Crimson, 24-37. Last Friday Harvard also took first and third against Providence College but bowed, when the Friars snatched six of the top nine places.
Harvard's prodigy Doug Hardin zipped across the finish line 46 seconds ahead of the Huskies' sophomore Bob Bruen to take first. Hardin ran the 4.8-mile roller-coaster course in 23:14 -- the fastest time ever clocked by a Harvard harrier at Franklin Park.
Jim Smith finished third for the Crimson in 24:09, trailing Bruen by nine seconds. After Smith it was all Northeastern's ball game. The Huskies bunched six men from fourth to ninth place to wrap up the meet.
Jim Baker's ankle injury crippled Harvard. Baker could barely bend his ankle but still finished 11th, about two minutes behind Hardin. Sophomore Bruce Jones and junior Bill Stempson rounded out the scoring five for the Crimson. Dick Howe -- who pulled up with a severe stomach cramp Friday -- fell back in the second half of yesterday's race and finished a disappointing 13th.
Harvard nipped Northeastern last year by two points. And although injuries to key men were destructive yesterday, it was really the Crimson's inability to show solid depth that cost them the meet. One or two more runners in the top ten would have won it for Harvard.
With the two toughest meets of the season out of the way, the harriers settle down to Ivy League competition. They tackle Columbia and Penn in a three-way meet Friday in New York and the prospects look much brighter. Right now, Harvard's 0-2 record can't help but get better.
The freshmen showed class yesterday in sweeping the first five places to cream the Husky pups, 15-44. The Crimson's Roy Shaw breezed around the 3.1-mile course in 16:48 to lead the way. Harvard runners took nine of the first eleven places to even up their record at 1-1.