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On This Day In History | 1966

May 25, 2019
B Track 1966

Spencer in action vs. Poly

On this day 53 years ago, the boys’ track team edged Poly Prep in a thrilling, controversial finish, just eleven days after clipping the Brooklynites, 48-46, to win an eleventh straight Ivy League Championship. Here is the account of the meet from the July 1966 edition of the Stony Brook Bulletin:

A return match at Stony Brook brought Poly into head-to-head confrontation with the conquerors on May 25. It was another knuckle chomper. After Jerry Armfield’s 168′ 10″ heave of the javelin led the home team to a nine-point sweep, Poly came back to tighten things up by garnering a succession of firsts and seconds. But the Brook never quit. Even when [Steve] Hirsch upset [Bill] Krampe in the 440, the team spirit remained solid.

And the performances were solid too. [Christian] Spencer and [Dan] Stevens settled behind Mike Redmond, the mile discovery of the spring, for a 4:40.5 sweep; then the dynamic duo went back to work on their own. Spencer, running his first 880, sped to 2:03.8, pulling sophenomenon Tom Constant to 2:07.8 in second place. Stevens toured eight laps in 10:15.4, while Steve Haines and [Mike] Wildeman outlasted Poly for the other scoring places. In the long jump, [John] Crozier put to good use the cram course administered by Coach Goldberg a few days before the meet and took second; Dennis Dreger and Bob Seebacher picked up second and third in the high jump; and in the triple jump, Seebacher’s final effort of 39′ 4″ produced a second place.

With all events but the relay completed, Stony Brook again led by one point, 68-67. The relay must be won, for the scoring in a dual meet is 5-0 for the relay winners. The Ivy League team line up: Sie, [Fred] Sampson, Crozier, Krampe. At the start of the first turn, Sie, running on the inside appeared to be cut off too sharply by Poly’s Frankel. Sie dippsey-doodled to keep from going down and regained his momentum out in the middle of the track, some 15 yards behind. Poly went on to win the race, as Stony Brook in frustration ran out of the zone on the final exchange.

The air was tense as the judges met to decide the results. Stony Brook was obviously to be disqualified for the faulty baton pass. But had the Poly man interfered with his opponent’s progress? The decision was affirmative: both teams were disqualified, and by reverting to the score prior to the relay, the Ivy League champions retained their hold on the top rung.

The incident cast a cloud upon the final competition; but the overview remains that this spring’s track squad was perhaps the most courageous team in many years.

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