"There are always two kinds of teams," explains women's track coach Pappy Hunt, "those that go out and buy eight or nine star runners and rule the country, and those who have big teams where everybody gets to run."
When the tracksters go out against B.U. today in the Greater Boston Championships down at the I.T.T. it will, most likely and unfortunately, be all too clear who the voracious capitalists have been. Nationally ranked B.U., which took the GBC crown from Harvard last year for the first time, has been stocking up on imports and should be unapproachable this year.
First place conceded, the interesting part of the meet will be a tight battle for second place by three equally strong teams: Harvard (who grabbed second last year), Tufts, and B.C. The crux of the battle will center around the half mile event, coming in the latter half of the meet. Harvard's Martha Clabby and Eva Anderson give the tracksters a good shot at a one-two finish, but it seems that every team involved boasts a star half miler so the contest should be especially tight.
Darlene Beckford, who competed in the Invitational Millrose Games last night in New York City as the top 800 meter specialist in the country, should make it back just in time to help the Crimson take the 5000 meters event, a wind-down race for the recovering Beckford.
Harvard's two top all-around performers Karen Gray and Liane Rossell will be debuting in the grueling Pentathlon. B.U. should have the event locked up with their latest acquisitions, a 23-year-old freshman high jumper who took sixth place in the Montreal Olympics and another older freshman from England who another older freshman from England who long jumps over 18 feet and runs 55-second quarter miles.
The tracksters, always competitive in middle and distance events, can't be, counted out of the running altogether. Coach Hunt's strategy, to grab seconds and thirds in the sprints, hurdles and field events behind B.U. and then come back strong in the distance and relay events just may work. Anyone can go out and hire a team, but life is nasty, brutish, short, and above all, unpredictable. So who knows, the tracksters may win after all.