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Twice runner-up in the University Club of New York Invitational Intercollegiate Squash Tournament, Larry Terrell may fail to win the title this year because he won't be there.
The Harvard captain is presently ranked number one in national collegiate standings and should be seeded first in the University Tournament when it begins at 11 a.m. today. Peter Marin, Canada's number-one Men's Amateur player, beat Terrell in the championship match two years ago, and Harvard's Anil Nayar edged his teammate for the title last season.
Marin and Nayar are gone, and Terrell would have to beat himself to lose the trophy this year. This morning in Philadelphia, Terrell will try to beat himself.
The Crimson squash and tennis star is a semifinalist in the Rhodes Scholarship competition. If he impresses the examiners in Philadelphia this morning, he will become a national finalist. Finalists will be interviewed in New York Saturday at the same time the Tournament is being played. And for Terrell, the Rhodes Scholarship interview takes precedence over a University Tournament match.
Without Terrell in the competition, the title will be up for grabs, Harvard has five potential winners in the Tournament besides Terrell: John Ince, Jaime Gonzales, Paul Brown, Allen Quasha, and Reggie Foster.
Ince, Harvard's number-four player, offers the best hope for the Crimson. "His ranking on our team is very misleading," coach Jack Barnaby said. "Our squad is very strong, and Ince could easily be as good as any team's first player in a given match."
Barnaby quickly added an aside that every team in the country is mumbling: "Unless he meets Terrell in the opening rounds."
Gonzales and Brown are numbers seven and eight respectively on the varsity team while Quasha and Foster have alternated at number ten.
"Each of these players has come along very well this year and they are far better than a Harvard ranking indicates," Barnaby said. "They'll enter the contest because it's very good experience, but I think any one of them is ready to knock off someone famous."
Barnaby has always encouraged the entire Harvard team to enter the Tournament. "This early contest is a chance to see the best of the intercollegiate field," Barnaby said. "Our number-nine man can see that he perhaps is only a few points away from the first-class players. That can give a player the extra incentive he needs to practice a little more."
The timing of the University Tournament has always been unusual. For the past few years the event has been held the day after Christmas. "It was a shame," Barnaby recalled. "You'd be all full of turkey and you'd have to stumble out on the court.
"The change of schedule is basically a good move, except that definitely Army and maybe Navy will not participate because of classes," Barnaby said, "That will ease the competition."
If Terrell can play, it will probably eliminate all competition.
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