They're nursing old grudges in Ithaca and Philadelphia. And in Annapolis, the Midshipmen are watching this with a sort of aroused confidence.
The Heptagonal championships are being run today at 2 p.m. at Van Cortland Park in New York, and many coaches agree with Penn coach Jim Tuppeney's assessment of the running. "This is the big one." He said yesterday.
The race should be close, and the talent is pretty well distributed among Harvard, Penn, Cornell and Navy (though not necessarily in that order).
Fewer Big Boys
Last year, Penn romped in the Heps, winning 19-40 over second place Cornel. That's not going to happen today. Penn's lost some of its big boys: Julio Plazza and Tom Thornton, among others. That they're not the team they were last year was made perfectly clear by Harvard. The Crimson downed the Quakers 27-28 on the same Van Cortland Park course on October 6.
Cornell isn't the team it used to be, either. Harvard destroyed the Big Red. 19-40 on October 21.
One might logically conclude from the above that Harvard is the team to beat. But in sports (as in politics) it's not that simple. In the first place, the Crimson lost its first meet this week, the Greater Boston championships, to Northeastern. Moreover, a one-point victory is never conclusive. Ponn, despite its manpower losses, is still very much a contender.
And then there's Navy. The midshipmen have been very strong all year. Last week, the seabees took 12 of the first 13 places against a Georgetown team which lost to Eastern powerhouse Villanova by only four points.
So the struggle for the Heps crown is wide open.
Among the top runners in the race are Penn's Bob Childs and Dennis Fikes; Cornell's Phil Collins; and Harvard's own Ric Rojas.
Against Collins, the Crimson fared quite well. Not only did Rojas beat him (in the process of setting a record), but no did captain John Quirk.
Childs is a different story. He defeated Rojas by five seconds, setting the stage for the tough battle at the bottom levels in the Harvard Penn meet.
The Heps pit the Ivy League schools and Army and Navy against each other. Among the other potentially strong teams are Princeton-much improved over last year-and Army. The cadets have been struck by sickness, however, and this should limit their free fire power.
Among the top Harvard men in New York, in addition to Rojas and Quirk, are Marsh Jones and Andy Campbell, sophomores Jimmy Hughes and Jim Keefe, and frosh Bill Durrette and Carl Tsiginnis.