There are so many ifs going into the men's cross country season opener against Northeastern today that the Crimson "ought to live in Ifly, England," coach Bill McCurdy says.
But back in Reality, USA, the Harvard Harriers enter this year's race for the Heptagonal championship with a sophomore-dominated group of talented, young runners.
"This season goes against our master game plan for the sophomores of this year being a year of maturity. This year is next year for them," McCurdy said yesterday.
Sophomore Buck Logan, who scored consistently for the Crimson last year, should lead the pack at Franklin Park. Logan missed the training camp this year and may not be in top condition but, as McCurdy said, "he's good enough for me anytime."
One of the biggest ifs of the season concerns Logan's sophomore running mate Eric Schuler, who is suffering from a knee injury-it is extremely doubtful that he will run.
Junior Adam Dixon, making his debut as a long distance runner, is another if, and "God knows what he'll do," McCurdy said.
Dixon, who usually runs middle distances, has been training hard, cutting his weight 17 pounds from last year-he could be a top Crimson contender.
Senior Ryan Lamppa, another refugee from the half-mile, is looking very good, and if he can learn to live with pain for six miles, could boost the Harriers.
Other potential scorers for the Crimson include sophomores Andy Regan, Bruce Weber and Ralph Smith. Junior Peter Johnson is still having ankle trouble, but once he's over that, he figures to pick up points.
All That Glitter
The freshman class offers some glimmers of stardom as well-Mike Bender, Felix Rippy, Jean-Christophe Biebuyck and Paul McNulty will all try to make it in the big time this season.
With the loss of Captain John Murphy to injury for the season and the long injury list that includes Schuler, Smith and Johnson, the Crimson may be left saying, "if only..."
As McCurdy concludes, "Like all Americans, we're looking for someone good to run-our fondest hope is we'll find an Anderson on our team."