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NEW YORK, October 3-Penn's Julio Piazza captured first place with relative case, but Harvard's cross country team, with only 27 seconds separating its first and fifth men, came across virtually en masse behind Piazza to win the important meet, 21-34, today in Van Cortlandt Park.
Columbia also ran in the race. losing 15-50 to both teams. The pair of dual meet victories enabled Harvard to tie the University record of 28 consecutive wins. Since the freshmen also swept to two victories. 21-35 and 15-50. Harvard's intercollegiate teams have yet to lose any of their 19 contests this fall.
Piazza was clearly the man to beat as the three teams started out across a wet, grassy stretch of the course. The opening pace was slow, however and Crimson captain Keith Colburn took the early lead. followed closely by Piazza and a group of Harvard runners.
Several times Colburn slowed a little to let the Penn sophomore set the pace. but Pizza turned down the offer every time. At the two-mile point, Piazza and Colburn were running together with Mike Koerner. Tom Spengler. and John Heyburn, all of Harvard, close behind.
Then Piazza made his move. and Colburn let him go. Harvard had more or less conceded first to Piazza in prerace strategy: the important thing was grouping. "He went out on the flat. the one place where I didn't expect it." Colburn said later.
It was at this point that coach Bill McCurdy was most concerned. "You had to realize that Piazza was a strong first and that their second group wasn't far behind our top runners." he pointed out.
With about a mile and a half remaining the Crimson top four were still clustered, but not far behind were four Penn harriers. But Harvard's Roy Shaw was beginning to move. On Cemetery Hill, the four-mile mark on the five-mile course. Shaw passed Dan Stevens.
"I knew we had the meet won when I passed Stevens." Shaw said. But with a quarter mile left. he started to move up on three Quakers who were bunched in positions six through eight. He passed tow but couldn't catch Karl Thornton. His final kick put a convincing finishing touch on the surprisingly clearcut victory.
Koerner went by Colburn late in the race to beat him by a second in 26:10. Piazza's 25:51 was 15 Seconds slower than Shaiws winning time last year.
Penn ran without captain George Lokken. who passed out after last weekend's victory over Lehigh and Temple. in which he finished third. Lokken has suffered from sugar and salt deficiencies the last two years, and coach Jim Tupenny thought he should not run today.
McCurdy said after the race that Lokken could have made a significant difference early in the race. Harvard, however, was without the services of Dave Pottetti, who dropped out after two miles with a leg injury.
John Quirk won his third consecutive race to lead the Yardlings over a supposedly tough Penn team, avenging last year's white vash. The Crimson took the top four places and might have had fifth if John Elliott had not sprained an ankle after one mile. "I suspected we had a great team and now I'm convinced of it." coach Pappy Hunt said.
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