Sport: Cross Country

A pistol crack set 129 pairs of legs into motion. For 200 yd. the pack of runners awkwardly angled across the springy turf like a vast centipede, then spread-eagled as the pace slackened. The legs plodded up Van Cortlandt Park's hilly course, coasted around to the starting field. Spectators, paying little attention to the wiry, green-jerseyed leader, No. 129, carefully watched Pennsylvania's smooth-striding Gene Venzke in 15th place.

Up the same incline again panted the long, wavering line. Suddenly the pace stepped up. A mile from home, Venzke was slightly in the van....

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