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Junior Tom Spongier set a course record as the Harvard cross country team swept the first six positions in its race against Cornell in Ithaca Saturday. The Crimson defeated the Big Red, 15-48.
Winning his first race for the varsity Spongier broke the course record of 25:45.8 established by Jim Baker 68 two years ago finishing the five-mile course in 25:29.8. "He ran a magnificent race," said Harvard coach Bill McCurdy.
Two other Crimson harriers sophomore Mike Koerner and captain Keith Colburn. also broke the course record with times of 25:35 and 25:40. Senior John Heyburn finished fourth and Dave Pottetti, running in his first meet in almost a month, came in fifth. Royce Shaw who won last week's race against Brown placed sixth.
Despite unfavorable running weather, the Crimson runners set a fast pace at the start which they maintained throughout the race. Until the one-mile mark, Koerner and Spengler were staying with Cornell's two sophomore stars, Phil Ritson and Don Alexander. The rest of the Harvard team followed in a tight group.
After the first mile, Colburn dominated the running. In a series of personal challenges, he sprited in front of the Cornell runners several times, forcing them to run at his pace. Near the three-mile mark Cornell's Ritson collapsed and didn't finish the race, while his teammate. Alexander dropped back to seventh.
At the three-mile mark, Harvard was assured of a team victory. Colburn moved back to third, and Spengler and Koerner took over. Spengler sprinted the last mile and finished just seconds ahead of Koerner and Colburn.
"The team effort was an exciting thing to watch," said McCurdy. "We wanted to go out fast and keep pace with Ritson and Alexander. And that's what we did," he said.
Spengler and Colburn both looked good said McCurdy. "We had hoped earlier that Shaw and Pottetti would come along and looks like that may be happening now." he said.
Spengler a steady performer all year, has always placed in the top five but had not won until Cornell. Dave Pottetti has been plagued by a string of little injuries all season. His good showing against Cornell and Royce Shaw's return to form give the Crimson good strength and depth.
The Harvard freshman cross country team scored an impressive victory over Cornell on Saturday with John Quirk setting a new record time for the three-mile course. The Yardlings took five of the first six places.
Quirk whose winning time of 15:31.4 was 1.2 seconds faster than the previous record set in 1965. has won every freshman meet this year. Tom New and George Barker finished second and third for the Crimson. Cornell's Tom Cahill came in fourth one-half second ahead of Harvard's Marshall Jones, while Mark Connolly finished sixth, just 35 seconds behind Quirk.
The team winner was obvious before the one-mile mark with Harvard's runners grouped well ahead of Cornell, but the individual winner wasn't decided until the final stages of the meet. Tom New led until the two-mile mark when John Quirk made his move to win the race.
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