The Crimson harrier squad journeyed to Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., for the NCAA championship meet yesterday, but despite some strong personal performances, found itself outmanned and outclassed, finishing 25th, just ahead of last-place Houston.
"Well, we did better than last year," coach Bill McCurdy said yesterday. "After all 25 out of 26 is better than 28 out of 29."
The first Crimson jersey across the finish line belonged to John Murphy, who won the Heptagonal individual crown on this course two weeks ago with a time of 31:13. Murphy placed 132nd in the field of about 250, posting with a time of 31:23
Junior Noel Scidmore knocked almost a minute off his hep time, taking 163rd in 31:41. Thad McNulty and Eric Shuler finished 206 and 208 respectively. Harvard's fifth scorer, Bruce Weber, was 218th.
Texas El Paso, featuring a band of Kenyans, narrowly won the event, with Oregon and Washington State finishing close behind. Henry Rono of Washington State, won the individual title, beating out Oregon's Alberto Salazar by almost ten seconds, with a time of 28:18.
Two other Crimson harriers, Peter Johnson and an ailing Buck Logan, completed the course 225th and 227th respectively.
"It was really kind of thrilling," freshman Logan said. "I would have liked to run better, but it was exciting just to see all those great runners, the best cross-country runners in the nation--people I've always heard about."
The Crimson drew a starting slot in the middle of the line, and the whole team got out easily enough, considering the size of the field. After 100 yards, Murphy found himself in second place with Northeastern's Bruce Bickford (Bickford ended up a disappointing 85th).
Despite the blistering pace, the Crimson still had two runners in the top hundred after the first two miles, but Murphy and McNulty both faded, as Scidmore passed McNulty at the three-mile mark.
"I felt strong," Scidmore said. "I think I would have done better, but I was pushed around an awful lot at the beginning of the race. I moved by some people in the middle part, but not getting off faster definitely hurt my time."
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