Last year when the Harvard women's track team competed against Springfield College, its victory in the mile relay to the end of the meet provided them with the five points necessary to win the contest, 55-50.
Last Saturday a relay again proved to be the decisive edge in the Harvard-Springfield showdown, as the winning Springfield 880-yard relay missed its final baton connection in the opening track event and allowed the Harvard team to speed by to a 1:47.9 victory and gain the momentum that carried it to a 69-36 victory.
Junior sensation Darlene Beckford demonstated her renowned running versatility as she stepped down from her forte--the mile--and ran in the 400-meter distance to a new school record of 57.0 seconds.
Beckford, who ran the race with sparse speedwork background, said that she hadn't looked forward to the event, but that "some-one had to do it, and I guess that the lucky person was me."
"I really feel helpless in a race like the quarter," she said. "In the 800 and the 1500 I always have a strategy to win. My strategy for the quarter is to go out hard and try to stay ahead. Then whatever happens, happens."
Because of Springfield's strength in the shorter events, places by freshmen Sigrid Gabler and Marjorie Scharoun, and sophomore Alice Neuhauser in the 200-meter run and the 60-yard dash were essential in keying the Crimson victory. Scharoun grabbed second place in both contests with times of 26.4 and 7.6 respectively, while Neuhauser took third in the dash (7.7) and Gabler also grabbed the bronze in the 200 meter event (27.2).
Freshman phenom Mariquita "Skeets" Patterson performed well as expected, tying her school record of 8.6 in the 60-yard hurdles for a win, and later preventing a Springfield sweep in the long jump with a 16 ft., 5 1/2 in. place effort.
After her narrow hurdles victory Patterson said she thought she had run faster because, "I've never had anyone that close to me; it made me run that much faster."
Harvard's extraordinary depth in the distance events was readily apparent as seniors Kristin Linsley and co-captain Mary Herlihy cruised to an easy one-two finish in the 1500 meter event (4:33.2 and 4:36.3), and freshman standout Kate Wiley led fellow Yardling Miriam Keltz and junior Wiley McCarthy to a sweep in the 3000 meter event with times of 9:37.5, 10:23.8 and 10:25.2.
Harvard sweeps also occurred in the shot put and the 800 meter distance, as senior co-captain Kim Johnson overcame the flu to hurl a 43 ft., 8 3/4 in. winner, and freshman Kathy Durante and Marie Acacia took second and third with efforts of 37 ft., 1 1/2 in. and 39 ft., 5 1/4 in., respectively
In the 800 sophomore Grace deFries passed teammate Jenny Stricker in the final stretch to win by .3 seconds with a 2:15.8, and senior Anita Diaz ran neck-and-neck with a Springfield competitor to manage a gutsy third with a 2:17.7.
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