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Northeastern University's cross country squad won a stunning victory in the Greater Boston Championships yesterday at Franklin Park.
The Huskies robbed Harvard of the title for the first time in nine years.
The most also marked the first defeat handed to the harriers this year.
The final scoring gave Northeastern 30 points to Harvard's 34. Tufts finished third with 86, followed by Boston College, 112; MIT, 139; Brandeis, 159; and Boston University, 170.
Harvard did manage an individual victory, however, Ric Rojas edged out Tuft's Dan Moynihan by one second, and broke the GBC record, which Moynihan set last year.
Rojas stayed with Moynihan all the way. At Clubhouse Hill, nearing the end of the race, Rojas noticed that Moynihan was tiring, and fell back about five yards, hoping the Jumbos' top runner would slow his pace. The ruse worked, and Rojas flew past Moynihan and the finish line.
Rojas's record time was 23:43, with Moynihan a second back.
Then came Northeastern's top three, Bill Rowe. Ken Flanders and Dave Goldsmith. Rowe came in in 23:59. Flanders in 24:08, and Goldsmith in 24:12. Harvard's Andy Campbell finished next in 24:16 and 24:24, but the Huskies had already done major damage.
"Toward the end of the race, J.R. (Quirk) and I were running together," said Harvard's Marsh Jones, who was Harvard's final scorer in 11th place. "We cut over and ended up going through a bog, and that just broke our momentum. J.R. managed to keep going and caught Steve Hamel and Joe Crowley (both of Northeastern) who had gone by us."
As Quirk was catching Hamel and Crowley, both went by Durrette. Durrette eventually re-passed Crowley, and as things ended up. Hamel finished eighth behind Quirk, in 24:26, followed by Durrette in 24:29 and Crowley in 24:34.
Jones was 11th in 24:45, with Tufts' Ham Amer in the 12th spot at 24:32.
"They edged us out in the last half mile," assistant coach Ed Stowell said. "They had us by a point at the final hill. It was their two and three runners who made the differences. Goldsmith passed Durrette, and eventually caught Campbell."
A Bunch of Runners
The runners were bunched together for the whole race. Only 1:20 separated Rojas in first from Jones in 11th, and there were only 37 seconds between Jones and fourth place finisher Flanders.
Harvard's next finisher after Jones was sophomore Jimmy Hughes. He was 17th, in 26:15.
A major Northeastern advantage in the race was psychological. The Huskies had been itching for their second shot at Harvard ever since their opening day loss to the Crimson.
The Harvard runners, meanwhile, may have been looking ahead to the Heptagonal championships in New York City on Friday, when they will face both Penn and Cornell again.
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