Northeastern handed the Crimson track team its first loss of the season, besting Harvard 94-81 on Sunday in the Greater Boston Track championships.
Tri-captain Mel Embree high jumped 7 ft. and freshman Geoff Stiles polevaulted 15 ft. 9 in. for Harvard's only individual win. Jeff Campbell lost the mile to Catholic Memorial's Billv Martin by .2 seconds with a time of 4:06.6.
Embree's win was no surprise, but Stiles's vault exceeded his previous best in a meet by 13 in. He had vaulted 15 ft. in practice several times, but never higher.
The southern California native attributed his startling improvement to the balmy weather and his mental preparation. "The weather was really nice and warm so I could bend the pole," he said yesterday.
Stiles explained the loss as "a combination of a lot of people having bad days, especially in the throwing events." "That combination is what beat us." Harvard had won 13 of the previous 14 Greater Boston outdoor meets, but coach Bill McCurdy was not particularly surprised by the loss.
"I wouldn't label it an upset. Northeastern had every right to expect a win," he said yesterday. Northeastern's depth in the distance events, where it outpointed Harvard 18-1, decided the meet.
The loss was not without other bright spots for the Crimson. John McCulloh placed second in the high jump with a personal best of 7 ft., making Harvard the first school in New England ever to have two 7 ft. jumpers. The Crimson has consistently swept the event this season and Sunday proved no exception.
The 440 relay team of Joel Greenberg, Mark McClain, John Jakenfelds and Todd Hooks tied the University record with a winning time of 41.9 seconds. Ralph Polillio turned in the fastest 100 yd. dash of the season, with a 9.9 in the semifinals of the event.
The team, with a season record of 7-1, goes to Brown on Saturday for the Heptagonals.