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Track tops visiting WPI

By Arthur Lee

Greg Procopio '85 rocked back on his right foot. His balance was maintained. He made sure of it. In one fluid motion, he spun around and the shot went off perfectly from his shoulder. It landed at a distance of 44@# 51/2". His next throw was not so good, however, but the WPI shot putter who hounded Procopio all afternoon came up one inch short. The victory was sweet for Procopio.

And for MIT.

The MIT Engineers squeaked past their Worcester visitors by a score of 84-79. It all came down to the last event of the afternoon: the 1600-meter relay. Winner takes all. Simple as that.

Procopio cheered on his teammates. "It's a lucky thing I won the shot." The joke was in his eyes, but the statement took on serious overtones. It was indeed fortunate that every MIT competitor won what he won. Co-captain Pat Parris '85, Gordon Holterman '87, Bill Kelly '85, Ross Dreyer '86, and Sean Garret '88 all contributed to the win. There were others, too, who did their share.

"Good hand-offs, guys," someone yelled.

Earlier in the 400-meter relay, the MIT squad dropped the baton during a hand-off. Confidence was blown. Five precious points were lost. Winner takes all. Simple as that.

The gunshot started the 1600-meter relay. Simultaneously, the Accutrack system was set off. The Polaroid camera was ready to provide photo-finishes, if necessary. John Hradnansky '85 ran after his WPI competitor, who was ahead because of a stagger. He made up some of the distance. But not enough.

Charles Parrot '87 took the baton. No problem. Fast was the word. Parrot made it a foot race well worth getting high blood pressure for. He made it seem effortless.

Alex Menchaca '85 almost lost the slim lead. His WPI competitor shot out of the relay area like a "bat outta hell." Menchaca stayed cool and ran his race, slowly gaining on the leader. He beat the WPI runner to the hand-off.

Co-captain Ron Smith '85 ran the anchor leg. It was elegant. Poetry in motion. Smith took off and never looked back. He beat the WPI anchor to the Accutrack eye by 2.7 seconds. The total time was clocked at 3:24.1. It was the fastest 1600-meter relay time ever for the MIT squad, and they put it to very good use.

"Yeah, that's the way to do it!" shouted MIT assistant coach Halston Taylor. His hand was clenched into a fist, telling everyone and no one in particular how he felt at that moment.

Sweet victory. Yeah.