The freshman and varsity cross country teams got the Harvard intercollegiate sports year off to a good start yesterday afternoon by sweeping the top five places in both of the races against Northeastern at Franklin Park.
The Huskies Larry Joseph and Mike Scanlon were the main reasons for Crimson concern in the varsity competition, but at the two-mile point on the five-mile course, a group of five Harvard runners swept by Joseph, the leader at that point. The race effectively ended after that.
Sophomore Bob Seals was the first to pass Joseph, but classmate Mike Koerner, who won the freshman meet with Northeastern last year, was right with him. Koerner soon moved out in front and led by 50 yards at the three-mile point.
Koerner led the Crimson in about 100 yards ahead of Tom Spengler, Seals, John Heyburn, and captain Keith Colburn rounded out the top five. The winning time was a satisfying 27:21.
Joseph and Scanlon finished sixth and eighth, sandwiched around Harvard's Erik Roth. Howie Foye was ninth, followed by five Huskies, making the meet score 15-47.
Seals and Coburn were both able to finish high despite ailments. Seals has had a bothersome knee, but it seemed to give him a minimum of trouble yesterday. Coburn only recently escaped the confines of Stillman Infirmary.
Roy Shaw ran well for about three miles, but dropped out when his calf started to act up. Dave Pottetti, who has a slightly tender heel, was not running.
The triumph was not a surprise to anyone, though some thought it might be a bit closer. Joseph and Scanlon seemed to pose more of a threat than they turned out to be, and, there was the danger that the Crimson runners might be a bit too confident of themselves.
Freshman coach Pappy Hunt was all smiles after his squad romped home a winner in its first event at Harvard Early in the three and a half mile race, Northeastern runners held two of the top three spots. At that point, Hunt pointed out that the Huskies had three good runners and said he hoped his squad could break them up.
By the two-mile point that was more than accomplished. Marshall Jones led his teammates to the two-mile spot in 9:42, and moments later, John Quirk went ahead on his way to a 30-yard victory. His time, 16:10, was 20 seconds better than Koerner's winning time last fall.
Tom New was second in 16:14, one second ahead of Jones, George Barker and Dave Elliott were fourth and fifth crossing the finish line 150 yards in front of Tony Frontierro of Northeastern.
Last year only two Yardlings turned in times under 17:00 against the Huskies, but six Crimson runners were under that mark yesterday in the 15-48 win.