Red Hawks Celebrate 40th Anniversary of Undefeated Cross Country Team

From left: Guy Pilsbury ’78, James Fairbanks ’75 ’78 MA, Robert Mayer ’74 ’84 MA, Kevin McGrath ’72 ’81 MA, Allen Johnson ’75, E. Greg Weiss ’73, Johnathan Frankel, John Fisher ’76, Michael Sinnott ’74

In the history of Montclair State athletics spanning eight decades, there have been many teams which have posted memorable seasons however there are only a select few that were perfect.

In 1971, the men’s cross country team earned that right and placed themselves among the very best the University has ever produced. On Saturday, January 7, the team reunited for their 40th anniversary in addition to being honored at halftime of the Red Hawks men’s basketball game against Kean University.

Just three years prior to that magical campaign, the then-Indians went 2-12 in their dual meets. Over the next two seasons, Montclair began to turn that record around and in 1971 accomplished something that only three teams (football in 1947, 1960 and 1964) had previously done.

Armed with several outstanding competitors, including three future Athletic Hall of Fame members and a Hall of Fame coach in George Horn, Montclair put plenty of distance between themselves and the competition. The team won the first 10 dual meets, some in dominating fashion. Against Kings College, Montclair set a new school mark for victories with its 11th breaking the old standard of 10 set in 1949. But the Indians weren’t done winning and added four more wins to the total finishing the season at 15-0.

Since that year only two other teams have gone undefeated at Montclair State - the 1982 football squad (8-0-2) and the men’s lacrosse team which matched the harriers with a 15-0 record in the 1989 season.

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