Unleashing his best throw ever, big Charlie Ajootian picked up Harvard's only victory in the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships this weekend at Detroit's Cobo Arena. His first-place throw accounted for five of the Crimson's eight points in the meet.
Harvard's premiere shot-putter, Captain Dick Benka, picked up two points by grabbing fourth place in his event, and junior Keith Colburn collected the Crimson's remaining point with a fifth-place finish in the 1000-yard run.
Although Ajootian has been mentioned as a possible winner before the meet, most best were riding on sophomore Ed Nosal. whose 62'2" heave earlier this season established a Harvard record. But Nosal was unable to find the distance Friday, and had to settle for twelfth place, his best throw being more than ten feet shy of his record-breaker.
It was a different story for Ajootian, however, as he hurled consistently long tosses of 59'6', 61'8 1/2", 59'9 1/4", 56' 8 1/2", and 61' 6 1/2" while fouling only once. His winning throw was eight inches, farther than his throws in any previous meet. The senior's closest challenger was old rival Ed Potts of Navy, who threw the weight 60'9".
In the shot put, Benka had to fight some of the toughest competition in the meet. Winner Carl Salb of Kansas set a new meet record of 66' 3/4", bettering Randy Matson's old record by almost three feet. Kansas stars also swept second and third places with heaves of 61' and 60 9 1/2", compared to Benka's 60 1/2".
Only 1.4 seconds separated the top five finishers in the 1000-yard run, and Colburn's 2:09.4 was only one-tenth of a second behind fourth-place Ralph Schultz of Northwestern. Wisconsin's ray Arrington won the event in 2:08, six-tenths of a second faster than Colburn's Harvard record.