Villanova displayed awesome strength in the running events today and came up with an unexpected victory in the triple jump to trounce Maryland and the other 74 colleges competing in the 56th annual IC4A indoor track and field championships at Princeton University this weekend.
Villanova's team total of 51 points was the highest registered in IC4A competition since World War II. The Terranpins claimed second with 37 points, while Seton Hall had 20 and Northeastern tallied 16.
Georgetown finished with six points on the strength of a first-place finish in the distance medley delay, while Navy accumulated four points by scoring in the 440-yard-run, the two-mile run, and the 60-yard high hurdles.
James (Jumbo) Elliott, the Villanova coach, said "the key to this meet was the 1,000. After that, we were in control."
As the competitor came to the starting line for the 100-yard run, the Wildcats possessed a 34-26 advantage over Maryland.
Don Paige and Ed Takacs of Villanova cruised around the 220-yard Tartan track in Jadwin Gymnasium with little opposition from the rest of the field as they piled up 10 points for their team by finishing 1-2.
Maryland was unable to produce as many points as it had hoped for in the field events and was unable to threaten the Wildcats after that.
Terrapin coach Frank Costello conceded "we got beat by a real fine track team. But we'll be back outdoors."
Elliott spoke higghly of Nate Cooper, the Wildcat who won the triple jump today despite a three-month layoff because of an ankle injured.
"Cooper was an unknown quantity and his win meant a lot to us," Elliott explained.
Cooper sprained his ankle in December and since that time his training has been limited to running with the sprinters.
"I wasn't sure how the ankle would hold up today, but after my first jump (of 49 feet 4 inches) I knew I was all right," Cooper said. he won the triple jump with an effort of 51 feet 11.
Dennis Ivory of Maryland, who captured the ACC triple jump title in February, placed fifth today.His teammate, larry (shortly) Long, who also had high hopes, wound up third.
"I just had an offday," Long explained. "I don't have any excuses to make."
Villanova's domination of the running events included gold medels in the mile relay and the 880 yard run in addition to the victory by Paige in the 1000-yard run.
Mark Belger, who is undefeated this winter in the 880, brought the crowd of 4000 to its feet as he tied the meet record with a sizzling 1:50.7 performance.
"I didn't think I would have any trouble winning out there today," Belger said after the race.
"There's nobody here better than me except maybe (George) Buckheit of Bucknell and I knew they had entered him in a differenct event."
Georgetown's Jim Peterson brought the Hoyas a come-from-behind victory int he distance medley by running the mile anchor leg in 4-08.7.
The Hoyas' time 9:59.3 int he 2 1/2 mile relay event was barely enought to win as the teams from Manhattan and Villanova both turned iin clockings of 9:59.7 to finish second and third, respectively.