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Original Issue

They tread with fear

Why are Mike Manley and Steve Savage so grim? Here they are in the 1972 U.S. Olympic Trials, a bout to make the team in the 3,000-meter steeplechase—surely an occasion for elation. No way. One approaches the starting line for the event with the same foreboding one has when closing in on the dentist. For example, beneath Manley's and Savage's feet lies a little pool of stagnant water. Big deal, you say? If you turn the page you'll see what can happen if you fail to clear it.

Doug Brown of Tennessee belly flops during last year's NCAA championships. He arose from the depths to finish a wet but worthy third.

From this angle, the Olympic aspirants at Eugene, Ore. seem to be insouciant.