Adam Dixon set a new Heptagonal record in the 1500-meter run and was named the outstanding performer of the meet as the men's track team took fourth place in the 34th Annual Indoor Heptagonal Track Championships at the ITT Saturday.
The overall team scoring of the meet was close, with Penn coming in first with 51 points. Princeton second with 50, and Army third with 49 1/2.
Harvard scored 41 points.
Dixon, the Crimson's only individual participant to cop a first, also anchored the record-setting distance medley team behind Peter Johnson, David Stephens and co-captain John Murphy. Their time of 9:55.96 is a new Heptagonal record.
Just a half hour later, Dixon blasted by the rest of the pack during the second leg of the two-mile relay when he high-kicked around the banked turns to bring the Crimson back to the fore after a slightly slower first leg. Harvard eventually finished second in the event.
However, Dixon cannot single-handedly win the Crimson's track meets. In fact, after setting an American record in the 1000-meter run last week in the Big Three tournament here, he wasn't even able to enter the 1000 in the Heps because of a rigorous events schedule, which put it immediately after the 1500.
Admittedly, there were obvious holes in the Crimson's roster. "We just weren't deep enough in potential," coach Bill McCurdy said. "We had no slush fund," he added.
Although the Crimson only scored--had a runner in one of the first five positions--in six of the 15 individual events, it wasn't as if Harvard was never in contention during the meet.
"Almost every event was closely contested," McCurdy said. "We didn't have the luxury of having things go against us." Unexpected misfortune waylaid the thinclads in the 400-and 55-meter dashes.
In the 400-meter finals, just into the last lap, senior co-captain Mare Chapus was tripped up by Penn's Jeff Hill. Almost as soon as he hit the track, Chapus was on his feet again, but his momentum and his excellent position--"in front of the little guy from Penn," as Chapus put it--were gone.
Chapus finally came in at 55.41 seconds, not even enough to score in an event that almost definitely would have been his, an event in which he holds the ITT record.
Another would-be first--the 55-meter dash--was nuked early in the meet. Still undefeated senior Peter Nsiah, a strong favorite to win, had to be pulled from the event at the last minute when it was discovered that the leg he had cramped in practice was bothering him.
The outcome of the last event of the meet--the one-mile relay--served as a fitting yet frustrating tribute to the Crimson's day-long efforts.
The trio of anchormen--respectively, Derric Anderson from Army, Hill from Penn and Harvard's co-captain Dave Frim--all hit the tape at the same time. The ITT crowd of about 400 waited while Accurtrak photo finish decided the winner.
The decision went to Army, with a time of 3:15.51. Penn got second, off by only one-hundredth of a second. And Harvard's time of 3:16,00--a new University record--was only enough for third place. "I'm not at all unhappy about the performance, though." McCurdy said. "In fact, I think the entire team feels pretty good about it. There were only ten points between our fourth-place finish and the winner. And I think if you look at the stats you'll see a lot of personal best performances."
Chapus was slightly less ebullient: "Those are the breaks. You know, you win some, you lost a lot."