A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. --Ralph Waldo Emerson
We were much too consistent. It was too drearily logical that this would happen with Murphy not running. --Cross country coach Bill McCurdy
The consistent but inexperienced Harvard cross country team collected 189 points for a lowly eighth place at the Heptagonal Championships yesterday at Van Cortlandt Park in New York.
Princeton grabbed top honors with 40 points while Navy finished a close second with 49. Dartmouth came in third at 94 with Yale, Columbia, Cornell, Penn, Harvard, Brown and Army in tow, respectively.
Overall, the Harvard team ran solidly, but "when you get into the big meets, someone had to do something that he's never done before," McCurdy said after the race.
Crimson sophomore Buck Logan almost did just that, fighting back after a relatively slow start to take second place one-and-a-half miles into the race.
"Buck was running very well and I thought he was going to win it," McCurdy said.
For the next mile-and-a-half through the hilly terrain of the Van Cortlandt course, Logan remained about 30 yards away from leader Tom Ratcliff from Brown. At the three mile mark, however, the course flattened out for about a mile, and Navy runners Bill Kovach and Mark Donahue jumped the pace, leaving Ratcliff and Logan behind.
Kovach and Donahue went on to complete the race in 24:47 and 24:53, respectively, to give the Middies a one-two finish. Ratcliff came in third in 24:54. Only 15 seconds separated the next seven runners--four from Princeton.
Having fallen off the pace, Logan had to settle for a 25:37 race and a disappointing 19th place finish, only one place higher than last year.
Other Harvard scorers included Eric Schuler (25:54 for 30th), Felix Rippy (26:11 for 41st), Adam Dixon (26:13 for 42nd), and Paul McNulty (26:47 for 62nd).
Schuler, who had some troubles on the course earlier this year, ran a strong race but took it out too cautiously to be a threaten the forerunners.
Similarly, Rippy--consistency personified--went out slowly but picked up places along the way to finish in the top half.
Dixon never quite broke out of the pack at the start and spent the entire race getting jostled, while McNulty took the race out hard and was Harvard's number two man at the mile mark. But McNulty couldn't maintain the pace and the freshman had to drop back.
"Logically without Murphy running we shouldn't be upset," McCurdy said. "But honestly I think we have more potential then we showed."
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