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The varsity cross country team sounded optimistic at yesterday's practice about its chances to beat Penn Friday in New York, but there is some of the usual concern about injuries.
Penn's team, built around last year's unbeaten freshman squad, will probably be the Crimson's toughest opponent this Fall. The Quakers have extraordinary depth to go with their exceptional runners and have rolled over their opposition so far.
Penn will have the added incentive that it has never beaten Harvard, despite 15 attempts. On the other hand, the Crimson will be trying to tie the University record of 28 consecutive cross country dual meet victories by downing Penn and Columbia, the third team in the race.
There are other factors which make this meet one which is charged with emotion. Penn's freshmen swept the first six places against the Yardlings last year. There is also a feeling among the Crimson harriers that the Quakers are not overly impressed by Harvard.
Captain Keith Colburn, Roy Shaw, and Dave Pottetti are all running better this week, but Pottetti was complaining yesterday about a new ailment, which did not appear to be too serious, but which nevertheless concerns coach Bill McCurdy.
"Shaw and Colburn are feeling and running better, but injuries are still bothering Bob Seals and Dave Pottetti." McCurdy said yesterday. Seals has been suffering recently from left hip pains, which developed after a knee injury cleared up. Erik Roth and Charlie McCormick are also at less than top speed because of ailments. All are expected to run, however.
After two days of working out on the hills in Waltham, the team stayed in Cambridge yesterday to concentrate on speed work on the track. After running a-mile-twice-with a 10 minute rest between, they ran half-miles and quarters. Today's practice will be jogging and calisthenics with an emphasis on mental preparation.
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