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The greatest ski team in Harvard history must accept the role of giant-killer next week at the NCAA Championships in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
Harvard has little chance of toppling pre-meet favorites Denver, Dartmouth, and the University of Colorado, and coach Dick Friedman sounds uncertain while predicting the Harvard will finish sixth among the 15-team field.
"We may fall flat on our faces in the team competition," he admits. "But we have enough individual talent to challenge for honors in the Alpine events."
Last year, only Willie Draper and Peter Carter carried the Crimson banner at the NCAA Championships, but the results were encouraging. Draper, who credited transcendental meditation for his success, finished fourth in the slalom to become an honorable mention All-American. Carter captured tenth in the downhill.
By finishing third behind Dartmouth and Middlebury in last month's EISA Championship. Harvard's entire squad qualified for this year's competition.
Watson A Favorite
Sophomore Alan Watson is rated son, who had previously excelled in the among the favorites in the slalom. Watgiant slalom, has only perfected the shorter race this year. A member of the Eastern Ski team, his greatest victory came in the New England Kandahar last year when he beat 97 of the East's top performers.
Although Draper has spent most of the winter battling mononucleosis, he is always a threat in the slalom.
Peter Carter broke an ankle skiing in Argentina last summer and the injury has never healed completely. Nevertheless, he has performed consistently all season and rates as Harvard's best bet in the downhill.
Jay O'Rear and Larry Carter complete the Crimson Alpine squad, and both rank among the top in the East.
In 1966, O'Rear finished ninth in the national giant slalom, beating five members, of the U.S. national team. Last year, he won both the combined and the downhill in the freshman division on the Dartmouth Winter Carnival.
Larry Carter has placed among the combined leaders in every major carnival this winter. He will be a contender in both Alpine events in Colorado.
Sophomores Jim Platz, Christian Ferner, and Rowley Hazard, who represent Harvard in jumping, finished second in the East behind Dartmouth. A mammoth 60-meter jump should help their chance next week.
Western schools generally dominate the cross-country competition, but Harvard's Steve Hinkle should meet the challenge. Last week, Hinkle won the cross-country race at the Eastern Nordic Combined Championships. Ferner and Jim Wolfe are the other Harvard competitors.
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