Struggling to regain momentum after two consecutive losses to Princeton and Army, the Harvard track team will send only a limited contingent to the Penn Relays in Philadelphia this weekend, in hopes of regrouping for their first home meet of the season against Dartmouth on Tuesday.
The Crimson will enter but a single relay, and three individuals in field events, but their chances of scoring against some of the nation's top flight track talent seem remote. Captain Bud Wilson, suffering from a cold, Baylee Reid, Austin O'Conner, and Nick Leone will run the sprint relay, but head coach Bill McCurdy has not decided whether to send the team or not because O'Conner slightly strained both his legs last week at Army and McCurdy is "waiting to see if it makes sense to go."
In the field events, Jim Kleiger will compete in the pole vault, Ted DeMars in the hammer, and Bill Pade in the javelin, but none are expected to place.
"We used to send our outstanding people to the Penn Relays and try to beat Dartmouth too." McCurdy said yesterday, "but there is no question of that this time." With all the problems he has encountered this spring, McCurdy said "the Penn Relays meant very little to me."
134 Colleges Entered
But to many of the country's track coaches the Penn Relays is the most important meet of the Spring. 134 colleges have entered teams, and a two-day total of 136 events have been scheduled for the tartan oval at Franklin Field. 6000 athletes are expected to compete, and for a small number the meet will be an important stop on the road to Munich and the Summer Olympics.
Penn track coach Jim Tuppeny, a man not particularly popular in Cambridge, is the meet director, and predicts that North Carolina Central College, a little known black school from Durham will dominate the major relay championships. They are favored in three relay events, and have the potential to equal Villanova's record of five championships in one weekend. The other teams that appear to have shots at winning titles are Villanova. Adelphi, Penn, Tennessee, Manhattan, and Texas-El Paso.