The only word for it is the one used by acting coach Dave Hawkins: "fabulous." This year's Freshman swimmers broke every Freshman record on the books, set University and national marks, and earned a spotless 11-0 record. What's more, they beat Yale.
The whole season can almost be viewed as preparation for the Yale meet. The possibility of defeating the Elis in swimming for the first time in 13 years provided the Freshmen with motive for perfection perhaps greater than individual glory or a winning team season.
On their way to the Yale meet, the Freshmen defeated the best Dartmouth and Princeton Freshmen teams in recent years. The Indians had the bad luck to be the team participating in the Crimson's first nome meet, and lost by the telling score of 60-26. The Tigers were more fortunate. A somewhat rough flight to Princeton preceded a Freshman victory there by only 48-38.
The squad was loaded with men who would be standouts anywhere. Captain Bob Kaufmann's time of 57.8 in the opening leg of the medley against Yale set a University and national collegiate freshman record in the 100-yard backstroke. Later in the same meet, he set another University mark with a 2:13.3 in the 200-yard backstroke.
A week ago Saturday, March 14, was the national Amateur Athletic Union meet in Raleigh, N.C. The only Crimson freshman attending the meet, Fred Elizalde, set a national junior record by winning the junior 200-yard butterfly in 2:31.0. He also holds the University record in the 200-yard butterfly, the race more usually reserved for dual meets.
Another University record is now held by Norris Eisenbrey, who did 1:32.2 in the 150-yard individual medley this season.
The Yale Meet
One of the most memorable times for the freshmen this year was the visit of ailing coach Hal Ulen to their squad meeting before the all-important Yale meet. Ulen's words of advice prepared the Yardlings for a fitting climax to the season.
The Elis had been counting on a win in the opening medley relay to start them to another victory. Hawkins placed freestyler Bill Zentgraf in the weak breaststroke position, and backstroker Eisenbrey swam freestyle, as the Yardlings won the race in 3:58.0, taking a full 8.7 seconds off the freshman record set by the regular medley relay team earlier in the season.
The stunned Elis then watched Jay Hayden, who usually swims backstroke, pick up a third in the 50-yard freestyle, and Ian Finlayson, a freestyle sprinter all season, swim the 220-yard distance.
Yale had a chance for a tie going into the final freestyle relay, but Finlayson, Zentgraf, Eisenbrey, and Kaufmann broke their own freshman record by 9.5 seconds, winning the race in 3:28.2. Final score: 50-36.
Other freshman records set this year were by Henry Southall in the 200-yard freestyle, and Zentgraf in the 220 and 440-yard freestyle.