The Team to Beat

McGinn Again

Call it the biggest meet of the season. This Saturday afternoon, at 2:00, in the Indoor Track and Tennis Building, the undefeated Harvard indoor track team will collide with its old nemesis, Northeastern, in what promises to be some of the most exciting indoor competition this year.

Northeastern in tough. Last year's indoor meet was of the razor edge variety, boiling down to the final two events--the relays. Harvard needed a sweep to win; Northeastern needed just one victory to protect its meager three point lead. It could have gone either way, but it went Northeastern's. The Huskies swept both events, winning the meet, 65-53.

Northeastern has depth. There are very few events in indoor track that Northeastern does not have the talent for. In fact, the places where they do show some weakness, such as the dash and the hurdles, have not been among the Crimson's strongest suits, although there has been some improvement in these areas. At the Brown meet, for example, Harvard ran one-two-three in the dash and took second and third in the hurdles. This kind of good news is important because it is in events like these that the Huskies will have to be beaten for Harvard to clinch the meet.

Northeastern is flexible. Ay, there's the rub. With the kind of versatility the Huskie runners show, it's anybody's guess where these people are going to pop up on Saturday. There's Mark Lech, the All-American runner who placed fourth in a middle-distance event in last year's Nationals. Lech can run well in any middle distance event and usually has--especially in the half-mile and the 600 yard run. Then there's the distance team of Flora-Bickford-Flora, which has been busy quashing Crimson hopes for a first place victory in the GBCs for the past few cross-country seasons.

Bruce Bickford is one of the best milers in New England, and has been known to run this event in 4:01. John Flora, the better half of the Flora brother act, is a two-mile specialist, but like Bickford, can easily run well in middle distance events.


Against this awesome-looking array Harvard is not totally defenseless, however. On the field event squad it boasts Hasan Kayali, the Turkish-born jumper who has gone undefeated in the high and triple jumps in the three meets Harvard has swept this season. As a competitor, Kayali is a master of the art of one-upmanship. During the Boston College meet, in the long jump, BC jumper Amjad Ghori leaped the prodigious distance of 22' 10". From the reaction of the BC fans it was obvious that Ghori had just jumped the longest distance of his life, apparently sewing up first place for the Eagles. His lead, however, lasted until Kayali took his next turn, when he pulled an untouchable 22' 11 1/4" mark, his best jump ever this side of the Atlantic. Kayali then cooly declined his third option; with his first place finish, he was the only Harvard jumper to score points in that event.

In the distance events, Thad McNulty is the Harvard threat. McNulty has won first place honors in the mile run in both the Brown and BC meets, as well as performing meritorious service in both the 1000 yard run and the two mile relay (Harvard has not lost the latter all season).

McNulty, like the rest of the team, has been looking forward to this meet for weeks. When asked about his state of preparation, he told me yesterday, "Well, I broke my lower leg this morning, but I think I'll be alright for the meet." Sometimes I just wish McNulty would quit pulling mine.

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