In its toughest test so far this spring, the varsity track team will face Penn and Cornell in a triangular meet tomorrow in the Stadium. Penn is strong and deep, and Cornell's scattered stars could take enough points away from the Crimson total to turn the meet into a neck-and-neck battle.
The varsity's Joel Landau could be the central figure of the afternoon. Landau has been experiencing difficulty with his hurdling form, and his performances this season have been below par. Last week, even with a strong following wind, he managed only 15.1 in the high hudles and two weeks ago he lost to Gil Roesler of Army.
Of course, Landau could recover, and his resurgence would be a tremendous boost for the Crimson. In the low hurdles, where form is not so important, Landau is still the favorite, on the strength of last Saturday's 23.8 effort. He will also run the 220, where he is the only one who can match Quaker Dave Coffin and Cornell's George Ekstrom.
A field of six excellent runners will clash in the mile. The Big Red's Chuck Hill has a 4:13.3 clocking to his credit, and Penn's Ernest Tracy and John Jerbasi have both broken 4:20. Against these coach Bill McCurdy will send Dyke Benjamin, who ran 4:15.6 against Army; Jed Fitzgerald, who defeated his teammate in a 4:16.2 race a week ago, and Fred Howard, a 4:21 miler. Hill must be considered the favorite, but there has been talk this week of a 4:12 effort by Benjamin or Fitzgerald.
In the 440, captain Albie Gordon will need a strong performance to defeat Quaker George Katterman and Cornell's Murray Moulding. Both Katterman and Moulding can break 49.0 with ease, and the Penn ace is an especially strong and dangerous competitor.
Katterman may attempt a double in the 440 and 880. In the latter event, he has already run 1:52.7, a sensational time for so early in the season. Hill and Pete Brandeis of Cornell and the varsity's Art Cahn are clustered at the 1:55.6 level, but any one of them could move up to challenge Katterman.
Benjamin should have the two-mile all to himself, since his best time, 9:08.5, is 20 seconds better than anything either Tracy of Penn or Cornell's Nat Cravener has been able to produce. Crimson dash men Frank Yeomans and Sandy Dodge should place in the 100.
The field events, however, may decide the meet. The Crimson's Jim Doty should take the hammer throw over Bill O'Connor of Cornell, and teammate Stan Doten could give the varsity a one-two sweep. In the shot, Penn's Carl Shine, the Heptagonal winner, and Dave Sikarskie, who threw 51 ft., 7 in. last week in the Penn Relays, make a formidable and virtually unbeatable twosome.
A one-two sweep for the Crimson is a distinct possibility in the discus. John Bronstein, Doten, and John de Kiewiet all have done better than the 131 ft., 3 in. heave credited to their nearest competitor, Pete Smith of Penn. The same deKiewiet is favored in the high jump, though he will be pressed by Penn's Andy Wohlgemuth.
Quaker Bob Reed is the choice by a slim margin in the broad jump, but the varsity's Bob Downs and Pat Liles could finish one-two with a little luck. Cornell's John Murray is far and away the best pole vaulter in the field, having cleared 14 feet.
The javelin will be close. On paper, the Crimson should have three of the first four finishers in Blodgett, Skip Pescosolido, and Bert Kneeland. But Blodgett went from 184 feet., 1 in. against Army to 169 feet against Princeton, and the rest of the javelin throwers are equally unpredictable.
Again, it will take good breaks and a large dose of the magnificent determination that was so much in evidence against Army for the Crimson to win the meet