After closing out the indoor season with a rash of bad luck and minor inuiries, the Harvard men's track team moves outdoors this week hoping to start off on a better foot.
The squad opens its delayed season Tuesday in a dual at MIT, Harvard's home track, for the 1982 campaign against the University of Birmingham, England.
The cancellation of today's scheduled meet at Yale, forced by Tuesday's snowfall, left Harvard coach Bill McCurdy considerably miffed. "We would have kicked the hell out of Yale," McCurdy said yesterday.
McCurdy's optimism is not unfounded. The Crimson destroyed the Ellis in the Big Three most during the indoor season but most importantly, Harvard seems to have shaken the injury plague that hampered it throughout the winter.
Granted Adam Dixon, last year's middle distance sensations, won't be able to run because of torn ligaments in his foot, but the rest of the squad is healthy and rested after a successful spring training trip to Florida over spring break.
The jumping corps should once again be the deepest and most dependable area of the track team. Gus Udo, Jimmy Johnson and versatile Mark Henry are all coming off outstanding indoor seasons and should continue to overwhelm their opponents.
In the sprints Henry will again be a key figure along with Joy Hudson, and Bennet Midlo, who has moved from the 400 to the 200 to give the Crimson added depth in the shorter distances.
In the middle distances the question will be how quickly can Scott Murver get himself into shape. At the start of the indoor season, Murrer was unbeatable in the 500, but then he hurt his calf in the GBCs and was unable to run on effectively. His log is now heated but Murrer may not be in the shape he was during the winter.
Other key middle distance runners are Dwayne Jones in the 400, Brad Bunney in the 800, and freshman Cliff Sheehan in the 1000 or 1500. Bunney was the sole Harvard representative to the NCAAs this winter, while Sheehan has made believers out of Crimson track fans with his consistent come-from-behind victories.
The most worrisome events will be the distances. The 5000, the steeple chase, the 3000 and the 1500 will "stretch the decimated distance group," according to McCurdy.
After Tuesday's meet, the Crimson heads down to Providence to take on Brown and Dartmouth next weekend. Harvard will be looking to avenge its loss to the Big Green during the indoor season. The remaining meets of this season will involve larger fields, including the GBCs (7) and the Heptagonals (10).