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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained

Trackmen Triumphant

McGinn Again

By Thomas A.J. Mcginn

They're just so amazing. Coming of last year's indifferent 2-4 season, the born-again Harvard indoor track team has christened its now pink-and-white sports palace by devastating its first three opponents by progressively cataclysmic scores.

First on the chopping block was B.U. It must be remembered that although B.U. sports a good hockey team, the remainder of its sports program would run into serious trouble with the Boston Latin J.V.s. The Crimson field event group had their Terrier counterparts for dinner, taking first and second place in every event. Final score: Harvard 91, B.U. 45.

Boston College was the next victim. Although possessing a little more strength than B.U. in the field events, B.C. was no match for the Harvard running attack. Sophomore Thad McNulty led the Crimson charge, racking up two personal bests in the mile (where he led the field with a smoking 4:09.1) and in the 1000-yd. run (where he set another facility record with a time of 2:12.4).

Harvard jumped out to an early lead in this meet by taking first place in the first five events. This habit proved extrememly hard to break, as they went on to place first in 13 of the night's 16 events. The relay teams capped a successful capped a successful evening by easily sweeping both the mile and two mile and two mile relay events. So much for B.C.: Harvard 95, B.C. 41.

And then came the grudge match against Brown. A word or two about Brown is in order here. Last year the Crimson track team trudged down to Providence on he last day of the fall term, with its ranks therefore depleted, only to lose a thriller to the Bruins in the last event, the two-mile relay.

So you might say that this year's meet had some special significance attached to it, heightened by the fact that Brown had defeated both B.U. and B.C. early this season.

But this time it was Brown which had to make the snowy trek from Providence to Boston, and it was Brown which suffered from player absenteeism, most noticeably Irish import Colm Cronin. Cronin had won the Irish National championships in the triple jump just last week with a mark of more than 53 feet, a distance which threatened to blow the Crimson jumpers out of the pits.

All in all, the Bruin field squad did boast a few heavies. Besides Cronin, the weight throw and shot put teams were anchored by Tim Bruno and John Sinnot, respectively (both of whom went on to take first place in those events), while pole vaulter Dan Brown threatened to break any Crimson monopoly in that event.

The meet began closely enough, as Harvard grabbed the first two slots in the mile event, but Brown came right back with first in (unexpectedly) the weight throw and the 60-yd, hurdles. Then Hasan Kayali and Sola Mahoney opened the door a crack with a one-two Harvard finish in the long jump. A few minutes later, Harvard kicked the door in. Wayne Moore, Ralph Polillio and Joe Salvo swept the 60-yd. dash. Before the night was over the Crimson Harriers went on to sweep three more events and place the top two finishers in four others.

Amid the Bruin carnage, with Harvard leading 66-32, Coach Bill McCurdy was jokingly asked if Doug Terry, the Brown coach, had been gracious enough to deliver his concession. "Well, he'd be a madman if he didn't," McCurdy exclaimed, pointing out that the score required only three more points for the Crimson to clinch the meet.

Seconds later, the verdict was in. Harvard had just swept the two-mile run and high events, and placed first and third the pole vault--for a total of 24 points to Brown's three. The relays didn't make a difference this time. Final score: Harvard 96, Brown 40.

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