(Special to the CRIMSON)
NEW YORK, Nov, 17-Today's IC4A meet in Van Cortlandt Park was once again a saddening experience for Harvard's varsity and freshman cross country teams. Captain Keith Colburn was third in the varsity race, but the Crimson's second finisher. Dave Pottetti was 22nd, and Harvard had to settle for a distant second behind powerful Villanova, the defending champion.
The Crimson, undefeated in dual meets this fall and the Heptagonal champion. was rated a definite contender today, although most people acknowledged that Villanova was the favorite. But today, as happened last year. Harvard clearly had a bad afternoon and was fortunate to earn second with 138 points, 78 behind the Wildeats and 16 in front of Penn State.
The start was encouraging for Harvard as Colburn, Roy Shaw, and John Heyburn moved out among the leaders. Heyburn was the first of the three to drop back when his calves tightened. And at the two-mile point. Shaw dropped out of the race with a sprained left ankle.
The other four Crimson harriers-Pottetti, Mike Koerner, Erik Roth, and Howie Foye-did not start as well, though. Towards the end of the race they moved up somewhat to hold off Penn State, but by that time Villanova was out of reach.
Back Loops Break
"The break came in the back loops, where it usually does, and we lost Shaw," coach Bill McCurdy explained afterwards. As the pack came by at the two-and-a-half-mile point a few moments later, Villanova was well grouped up front, while Colburn, running second, was Harvard's only high man.
There had been some concern that Shaw might fall back after such a fast start, and he had dropped back to about 36th when he fell down in front of Villanova's sixth man. Andy O'Reilly, after about two miles. That made Roth Harvard's fifth man, but he was way back.
Slower Than Record
Art Dulong of Holy Cross. the preface favorite, was striding comfortably with a 30-yard lead halfway through the course, with Colburn and Villanova's Don Walsh second and third. Walsh then moved by the Crimson captain and ran a distant second the rest of the race. Dulong's winning time was 24:06-8, two seconds slower than the record he set two years ago.
Mean while. Koerner, Pottetti, and Heyburn were running together about 30 places behind. "I' just never had anything," said Pottetti, who was seventh last year and was expected to finish near the top today, Koerner was 24th, and Heyburn was 26th, right in front of Penn's Julio Piazza, who has beaten all three at some point this fall.
Roth was 69th, but it didn't really matter at that point. Villanova's runners finished second, fifth, sixth, 19th, and 28th for their easy victory.
Takes the Apple
Harvard had high hopes last year, too, but captain and top man. Doug Hardin, finished 36th, and others had discouraging days. Villanova feels there's a psychological element involved, "Harvard always takes the apple. (chokes)," O'Reilly explained. "and Villanova always seems to come through. It's just too bad that Hardin wasn't there to take the apple with them."
The Crimson freshmen. who had perhaps better chances of winning, could not stay together. Captain Tom New was seventh, but the team finished fourth.