If the men's indoor track team's 94-59 drubbing of Brown Saturday holds any portent of the kind of season the thinclads have ahead of them, then the stars certainly look propitious for the trackmen, and it may well turn into a season to remember.
In an afternoon of outstanding personal efforts, any one of which would have satisfied a spectator's daily need for sensation, perhaps the most prominent performance was turned in by the Crimson 400-meter sprinters.
Led by team co-captain Marc Chapus, who clicked into warp drive and came up with a new Harvard record of 48.5 seconds, the sprinters swept the event and left the Bruin contenders cleaning the cosmic dust out of their eyes. Sprinters Bennett Midlo and Kim Stevens arrived at the tape shortly after Chapus to claim the impressive times of 50.2 and 50.3 seconds, respectively.
Afterwards, Chapus attributed his time to the unlikely cause of illness. "I've been really sick for the last few weeks and really sick for the last few weeks and haven't been practicing. I guess that shows that it helps to be well rested," he said.
Ironically, the most highly-touted event of the dual meet, the match-up of thinclad Adam Dixon with Bruin Osman Lake in the 1500 and 800 meter events, proved anti-climatic.
In the 1500, Lake moved out two yards ahead of the pack early on, proceeding to box in the other runners and establish a snailish 2:80 pace at mid-point. Annoyed by his opponent's unwillingness to push, Dixon pulled out 15 yards ahead when the gun sounded for the bell lap and Lake's attempt to repeat his just-by-an-inch defeat of Dixon two years ago collapsed abysmally.
At the tape, Dixon coasted in with ease, with a two-and-one-half-second lead over the second-place finisher, and a 3:55.6 time. Lake dropped far back and did not place. Afterward, Lake, who many consider one of the East's premier runners, collapsed in exhaustion on the inside margin of the track.
Following the race, Dixon was piqued at the results. "I must say I'd been looking forward to this opportunity. It was a tactical race which was a waste of time. We raced against each other so we could push. Then he went out and pulled that." Dixon then said, "He's certainly got the stuff," but noted that Lake's problem lay in his lack of drive.
With the Crimson in no danger whatsoever in the overall points standing, Dixon withdrew from the 800, citing a lack of sleep and tight muscles. Lake recuperated from his earlier exhaustion to win the event, but with a slow, unconvincing performance.
In the field events the Crimson racked up a series of impressive victories. Sophomore long jump sensation Gus Udo began his pursuit of the Harvard long jump record by handily defeating the Brown competition. His 7.27 meter leap eclipsed second-place Bruin jumper David Carter by 45 centimeters.
But for Udo to set a new record he will have to repeat the 7.64 meter jump he achieved over the summer at the English amateur championships. Now, though, Udo remains unperturbed, saying, "I'm very pleased with that jump. It's the best jump I've ever started out a season with."
Udo made even more progress in his pursuit of the title of team Renaissance man. In addition to his long jump triumph, he led a Crimson sweep in the high jump with a six-and-a-half foot jump and for good measure ran the anchor leg of the JV one-mile relay "for fun."
Out of all the events, however, the thinclads saved the afternoon's thriller for last. After sitting out the 800, Adam Dixon decided that he was sufficiently fit to run the anchor leg on the two-mile relay.
When he took the baton, the Crimson foursome faced a half-lap deficit to the Brown team. As 200 spectators rose to their feet amid wild cheering and clapping, Dixon poured it on and passed the Brown anchor man within one quarter of a mile to finish a third of a lap ahead of him in 1.52.8.
The time was not Dixon's best, but as team coach Bill McCurdy said later, "It was just an outstanding effort. He had to be dramatic, and he was."