The opening meet is always a good place to find out whether pre-season doubts and fears were well-founded. Women trackster coach Pappy Hunt, for instance, was afraid his squad might be sadly lacking in depth.
Yesterday the tracksters ran by the University of New Hampshire (UNH), 61-44, and left no question that they've got it. Get it? Depth. No stand-outs, no ITT-shattering records, just a lot of very fast team players.
Much of the tracksters' new-found stability comes from the ranks of the freshmen recruits. Yardling Alice Neuhauer took first in the long jump, an event Harvard is perennially weak in, with a leap of 4.96 meters. Teammate Karen Ueda was just a fraction off for second place. Neuhauser also finished third in the 60-yd. dash and could be a real boon to the Crimson's less-than-meaty sprinting division.
Harvard has produced yet another strong middle-distance runner in fresh-man Eva Anderson. Anderson and Martha Clabby ran the 880 in perfect tandem at a blistering place, Clabby kicking out the win in 2:18.4 with Anderson just two seconds behind.
Two more freshmen stepped in to take the 440 for Harvard. Grace de Fries had a hair-raising debut as she struggled neck-and-neck against UNH's Ann Lannon, pulling ahead only in the final seconds to win. Freshman Lucy Ashwood contributed an impressive come-from-behind effort, rapidly passing four UNH runners to take third place.
When the high jump results flashed across the giant electric scoreboard, the Crimson got another pleasant surprise. Veteran jumper Liane Rozzell had broken the old ITT record with a surge of 5 ft., 5 in., and sophomore Karen Gray came in second, tying the old record of 5 ft., 3 in., displaying Harvard's depth in the field events as well as on the track.
A bit of comic relief came before the start of the 220. With runners on the line, the starter standing on the edge of the banked curve toppled off the track, landed with a resounding "thud," and had to scramble back up to set the runners off. The crowd in the gallery roared--it enjoys good slapstick as much as good running.
The 220 itself was not so comic. UNH's Aleshia Davis took the event easily, while Harvard had to settle for third.