Unfortunately, the rumors were unfounded. The gossip circulating through the ranks of eastern cross country buffs that Providence College was finally beatable were proved disappointingly untrue as the Friars totally outclassed the Crimson in a trimeet with hapless UMass, 21-39-69, yesterday afternoon at Franklin Park.
Providence All-American Ray Treacy completed the shortened five-mile course in 23:52, followed by teammate Peter Krooke in 24:09, who was sidelined last year with mononucleosis. Once again Reed Eichner led the way for the Crimson with a time of 24:16 to capture third place.
John Murphy, freshman Buck Logan, captain Thad McNulty and Noel Scidmore rounded out the Harvard scorers, placing fourth, ninth, tenth and thirteenth respectively. Adam Dixon, a half-miler trying out cross country for the first time this season, took fourteenth.
The Friars went out fast. Their strategy involved going out and really pushing for the first mile, hopefully upsetting the less experienced Crimson, and the plan worked like a charm.
At the half-mile point, the Providence contingent jumped out and took off. "All of a sudden they were gone," McNulty said after the race. After that, the Crimson were never in contention and simply chased the Friars home.
"The race was all over after three-quarters of a mile," Coach Bill McCurdy said. "It's just too bad that Providence frightened us to death. Maybe it has something to do with the Pope visiting," he added.
Time Waits for No One
The first mile split at 4:35 was over ten seconds faster than that of last Saturday's meet with Northeastern and the Crimson wasn't ready for it. "My time at the mile was ten seconds faster this time," McNulty said, "and this time I was already out of the race."
McCurdy cited inexperience and the long-standing Providence reputation. "We were too much in awe of them and deferred to them too easily. We ran relatively fast, but out of the race," he said.
There were, however, several bright spots in the Crimson performance. Eichner once again was the Harvard harrier challenging the pacesetters, showing that he is indeed ready to run this season. "This sport is more mental than anything else," he said. "You just have to decide to work hard and stay up at the front and no one will beat you."
See Spot Run
The other bright spot, Dixon, also credited his performance to his mental attitude, or rather the mental games he played during the race. "I did lots of lying to myself," Dixon said. "I just kept telling myself the finish line was just over the hill."
This Friday the Herd, 2-1, takes to the road, traveling to Van Cortlandt Park in New York to start their Ivy season in a trimeet with Columbia and Penn.
Providence 21, Harvard 39, UMass 69 at Franklin Park, Mass. (5 miles)
1. Treacy (P) 23:52; 2. Krooke (P) 24:09; 3. Eichner (H) 24:16; 4. Murphy (H) 24:23; 5. Fallon (P) 24:24; 6. Reed (UMass)24:29; 7. Maloney (P) 24:31; 8. Beaulieu (P) 24:37; 9. Logan (H) 24:44; 10. McNulty (H) 24:50; 11. Ball (P) 24:54; 12. Molteni (UMass) 24:58; 13. Scidmore (H) 25:03; 14. Dixon (H) 25:06.