Harvard's swimming team, second to the superhuman Elis last year in the Eastern Intercollegiate League, opens its season tonight in a non-league meet with M.I.T. Bill Brooks' freshmen launch the splashing contest in the Blockhouse pool at 7:30 p.m., and Hal Ulen's varsity goes on at about 8:45 p.m.
Tonight's contest will take more the aspect of time trials. Ulen's squad has lost more strength through graduation than it has gained from last year's freshmen, but the Tech rivals, with one or two exceptions, border on the futile. Gordon Smith's M.I.T. team opened at Brown last Saturday and was drowned by the fairly strong Bruins, 49 to 26, with a half-dozen Harvard swimmers watching from the stands. Tech is sadly lacking in depth, and has only a few performers who can be classified as good.
The one potential event-swimmer from Tech is the fine backstroker, Dirk Plummer. The Crimson has lost its outstanding man in this event, John Steinhart, who went undefeated last season until the Eastern Championships. Steinhart's understudy was Hugh Hartwell, and sophomore Don Mulvey is even faster than Hartwell, but neither should be able to defeat Plummer in an opening meet.
Ulen is knee-deep in outstanding sprinters, with Dave Hedberg, Ron Huebsch, Don McNamara, Captain Bob Stroud, and Phil Pratt ready to compete in the 50, 100, or the 400-yard relay. Hedberg and sophomore Mary Sandler are also efficient in the 220.
The untried Crimson freshmen, however, may have a good deal of trouble with a fairly good Tech yearling team. Last Saturday, the M.I.T. freshmen trounced a weak Brown first-year team 51 to 24.