Rejuvenated Crimson runner Pete Fitzsimmons ran to a first place finish in the 3000-meter steeplechase event as the Harvard team tied for fifth place in Saturday's Heptagonals, held at West Point. Cornell won the meet, upsetting second-place Penn, which has won the meet for seven consecutive years, by a score of 75- 63 1/2.
Fitzsimmons, who has been unable to register a major running success in more than two years due to knee problems, won the steeplechase with an impressive time of 9:16.6. "He just hung in there looking for a way to win," said track coach Bill McCurdy.
Harvard jumper Mike Young staged a major surprise with his second place finish in the high jump event, ending up just behind Rainer Malybender of Princeton Young had jumped to a dead heat 6 ft, 8 in mark with his Tiger opponent, only to drop to second place after a prolonged jump-off.
Still another stellar Crimson performance came in the 10,000-meter event, where distance top gun Ed Sheehan stayed on the heels of Army cross-country star Curt Alitz and Cornell's Pete Pfitzinger for a third place finish.
"Sheehan came right out and went after the leaders," coach McCurdy commented. "He usually starts an argument right away, and this time Alitz went up front after the mile and Eddie ran right on his shoulder," he added.
Further Harvard strength came in the hammer throw, where Crimson hurlers Ed Ajootian and Tom Lenz placed third and fifth respectively. The especially strong competition in this event prevented a better showing by the Harvard contingent, as Bruin Tim Bruno placed second behind Dartmouth's Ken Jansson, who won the event with a heave of 193 ft., 11 in.
In the discus event, Joe Pellegrini grabbed the third slot, behind Paul Baginski of Cornell and Duane Fuller of Army. In the pole vault, Geoff Stiles, who had won last year's competition with a 15 ft., 6 in. mark, came away with a disappointing fourth place finish of 14 ft., 6 in.
The problem for Stiles and other members of the field event squad, such as Dave Kinney, who failed to score in the javelin event, was one of adjustment to the outdoors, coach McCurdy said.
"Geoff's problem was with getting up speed on his takeoff," McCurdy said. "He was confronted with a slight wind in his face and that made a difference. Of course this would have never happened indoors, but between the horrible weather we've been having and the shortness of the spring season, the indoor-outdoor transition has been difficult this year."