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NEW YORK. Nov. 7-An overpowering team performance and captain Keith Colburn's fourth consecutive victory enabled the Harvard varsity cross country team to dispose of Julio Piazza, Penn, and every other quasithreat at today's Heptagonals in Van Cortlandt Park.
Fast-improving Dave Pottetti finished right behind Colburn, and Harvard took five of the top eight spots to easily out-class the opposition. It was Harvard's third straight Heptagonal win, so the Crimson is now entitled to permanent possession of the team trophy.
One of the most satisfying accomplishments for the harpiers yesterday was the win over Penn's Julio Piazza, the sophomore who beat all Crimson runners on the same course in October. He was one of the leaders all the way until Colburn and Pottetti broke away from him with less than a mile to go Piazza finished third.
The story of Piazza's semi-demise began at the starting line, where the runners were forced to stand for an unusually long time before the gun was fired. Pottetti, freezing in the pouring rain, looked around him and saw Penn coach Jim Tupenny holding an umbrella over Piazza. "When I saw that I said to myself that there was no way I wasn't going to beat that boy," Pottetti said after the race.
The early pace on the soggy course was slow and about four Harvard runners were out front with Piazza and Princeton's Eamon Downey. Halfway through the race. Colburn and Piazza were running shoulder-to-shoulder with Mike Koerner and Pottetti close behind.
It was near that same point that Piazza had broken away from Colburn in the October meet after the two had led the field for most of the race. But Colburn has been running better every week recently and simply had too much for the Penn sophomore. The same was true for Pottetti. "My strategy was to just hang on, and I figured I could outkick Piazza," Pottetti explained.
Koerner was fourth, Roy Shaw was sixth, and John Heyburn eighth, finishing only 42 seconds after Colburn to again demonstrate Harvard's superb grouping. Cornell's Jon Anderson ran a strong fifth, and Dawney was seventh. Harvard's 21 points were many less than Penn's second-place 66 points.
"We ran our of sheer desperation." coach Bill McCurdy said. "since manager Ed Lincoln accidentally left the trophy back at the hotel."
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