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The undefeated Harvard track team faces its toughest challenge so far this season as it meets Northeastern tonight at the Huskies' Huntington Avenue cage. The meet begins at 6 p.m.
"Without question, it will be the closest dual meet we've had with a Boston school in the last fifteen years," assistant coach Edgar Stowell said last night. He went on to predict a Crimson win.
Northeastern is unbeaten in two outings. In their first meet, on December 11, the Huskies overwhelmed Brown, 80-29. Six days later, they won over St. John's of New York with surprising ease, 75-34.
Never Run Again
The leader of Northeastern's attack on the Redmen was Billy Row. Told he would never be able to run again last spring after a severe leg and thigh injury. Row broke the cage, meet and school record with a strong 9:15.5 performance in the two-mile.
The Crimson won its first three meets going away. In the season opener on December 7, the team downed B.U., 83-35. It overwhelmed Army on December 11, 72-46. The thinclad's margin of victory over the strong Cadet squad was much bigger than anyone had anticipated. John Quirk led the Harvard effort, winning in the mile and the 1000.
In their last outing, the thinclads bombed a weak B.C. contingent, 80-38.
Tomorrow's meet could be a different story though. Two-milers Mike Koerner, Ric Rojas and Fred Linsk will face some stiff competition from Row. And Harvard 600 runners Nick Leone and Rick Melvoin could have a rough time with Northeastern's lanky Paul Horrigan. The 6 ft. 2 in, 170-pounder shattered Northeastern's 600 record against St. John's, beating his opponent by 30 yards with a time of 1:12.7. The old record was 1:14.4.
The 600 could prove particularly troublesome if Melvoin, who has been having a bout with the flu, is unable to run. Contacted last night, he said he hoped to run in the hurdles and the 600, but may be forced out of the latter.
In the 1000, Bob Clayton and Quirk are expected to the strong, but Northeastern's Ralph Bowman will not make victory easy. The towering (6 ft. 4 in.) Huskie broke the old Northeastern 1000 record of 2:16.4 with a 2:15.6 run.
Harvard will be looking for victories in the dash, with Dewey Hickman, the pole vault with sophomore Jim Kleiger, and the broad-jump with Leon Sharpe.
Coach Bill McCurdy said last night that several factors could throw the meet one way or the other. Both the hurdles and the dash will be run over 50 yards instead of the customary 60. This will give the advantage to the quick starter, and it's not clear which side will benefit from the change.
In addition, the runway for the broad jump is shorter than that at Harvard's indoor athletic facility.
"The meet could be close--or one team could seemingly overwhelm the other," McCurdy said. "As of right now, there are enough contests that are still up in the air to permit one team--if it won them all--to roll up a big point total," he said.
Among the other races too close to call are the mile, in which Tom New and Quirk will face three good Northeastern runners. And in the 35-pound weight, Jay Hughes will have some difficulty with Northeastern's Jim Conboy and Paul Rao.
Tonight's meet is the Crimson's last outing until the Greater Boston Championships on February 4 and 5. Since the Huskies and the Crimson are Boston's strongest teams, tonight's contest will be a dry run for the February meet.
In the sub-varsity meet, Pappy Hunt's yardlings should have little trouble with the Huskies. Against B.C., the squad was nearly invincible, dismembering the Eagles, 99-7.
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