If Pittsburgh's Bill Rea hadn't been able to hitch a ride to Princeton's Jadwin Gym with an assistant coach from LaSalle University, Harvard's Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace would be the sole possessor of first place in the long jump competion of the IC4A championships last weekend.
The legendary Vanderpool-Wallace had leaped to 24 ft. 5 1/2 in. and looked like a sure winner when the Pitt senior came through with a 25 ft. 7 in. jump, breaking the oldest record in NCAA annals. Rea, seven-time titlist in the Intercollegiate Amateur Athletes of America championships, said Saturday that he had not had too much competition in the past two years, but VPW's best jump has spurred him on.
While Rea and VPW were engaged in their jumping duel, the Villanova Wildcats streaked to 29 points, and an IC4A championship upending last year's winner, Manhattan, and Seton Hall by one point. The speedy Wildcats snared their title on running alone, busting up meet records all along the way.
The sleek John Hartnett, a 'Nova senior with Olympic aspirations, smashed the old IC4A two mile record with a breakneck 8:33 clocking. The soft-spoken Irishman then came back and anchored the Wildcat distance medley relay team that bettered the meet record with a time of 9:45.6.
Teammate and fellow Irishman Tom Gregan galloped in with a mile time of 4:00.6 establishing another new meet record. He snapped a one-year old record held by Penn's Dennis Files.
Heptagonal champion Navy, with distance men Jim and Jeff Kramer seasick, drifted in for a fourth berth with 22 points, mostly on field events.
Harvard corralled its seven points on VPW's efforts and Mel Embree's 6 ft. 11 in. high jump, his personal best. Embree nabbed third place with his jumping feat.
The Crimson's heavyweight Jay Hughes failed to break an anticipated 60 ft. throw, but he did notch a sixth place in 35 1b. weight action. Navy's Ted Bregar took an easy first place with a 65 ft. 2 in. flick.