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For years the local lament has been that Harvard cross-country coach Bill McCurdy can select any five men he wishes and win any meet he wants to. This afternoon. when the Crimson meets Northeastern at Franklin Park, he may have to.
Four of Harvard's top performers-Roy Shaw, Keith Colburn, Dave Pottetti and Bobby Seals-will be competing in substandard physical condition, and McCurdy might have to rely heavily on the middle of his ladder, which usually provides "overkill" depth, to pull out a victory.
Last fall. Harvard humiliated the Huskies, shutting them out and sweeping 11 of the top 12 places. They should still win this afternoon, but the Crimson will have to depend on John Heyburn. Mike Koerner and Tom Spengler to do it.
All three ran impressively at McCurdy's pre-season camp, and their improvement over last season should make them an even match for the Huskies' tow best performers. Mike Scanlon and Larry Joseph.
But Northeastern can offer little depth behind their limited quality, and it is here that the Crimson should pull away. At least one of McCurdy's substandard performers should score among the top eight finishers, and senior Erik Roth can be counted upon to challenge anyone on the Husky ladder.
Harvard usually schedules Northeastern in order to provide a healthy, but not too healthy. opening test. The tradition should hold up this afternoon, when the squads meet at 3:30 p.m.
The Crimson freshman harriers. who coach Pappy' Hunt praises as "the best I've ever seen." will face the husky freshmen thirty minutes before the varsity race.
"McCurdy is lucky that I've come up with another outstanding crop of freshmen," Hunt said." He won't admit it. but he's been toying with entering them as the varsity today."
McCurdy was unavailable for comment.
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